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7 Low-Effort Ways to Take Your Outfit from Day to Night

Whether you're headed to a party, a date, or drinks with the girls, you can go there straight from the office thanks to these outfit hacks.

Courtesy Lindsay Matthews Photo

Think in layers

“The absolute key to day-to-night dressing is layers,” says Lindsay Matthews of lifestyle blog With Love, Linds. “Simply start with a classic LBD, pop off your jacket, and swing an adorable embellished mini bag over your shoulder to unveil a look that’s classy and fabulous.” Check out these ways to look like you spent a lot on your outfit, even when you didn’t.

Courtesy Lauren Pearlstein for How Do You Fashion

Bear your arms

Says stylist and founder of How Do You Fashion Cris Pearlstein, “A sleeveless top that normally hides under a conservative blazer or classic cardigan is the perfect thing for after-work drinks. Simply add a rich berry lip and a pair of statement earrings—you’ll be transformed in two minutes flat.” Be careful to avoid these fashion mistakes that make you look messy.


Cover your BASEs

Fashion stylist Ashley Evangeline has a formula at the ready to easily remember what to do from day to night—she calls it BASE, which stands for: bag, accessories, shoes, and eyeliner. “Whatever outfit you have on for work can easily convert to night adding some kind of clutch, a piece of fun jewelry, whether it be a statement necklace or fun bangles or earrings, some heavy sultry eyeliner, and a heel.”

Courtesy Cassie McConnell Kelley

Remember the little things

“Your accessories are your hero pieces when you’re going from day to night, whether it’s switching our flats for a statement heel, or switching out the work bag for a clutch. Quickly throwing on an amazing pair of earrings can dress up any outfit,” says Cassie McConnell Kelley, founder of lifestyle site Womanista. Here are more tips for perfectly accessorizing your outfit, according to fashion stylists.


Swipe on bright lipstick

Plans at the last minute and don’t have your trusty pair of heels with you? Fashion stylist Chloe Badawy says it can be as simple as a quick beauty change. She suggests changing your hair and adding a bright lipstick for an entirely different attitude and vibe. This works even if you haven’t been able to change your outfit.


Choose a killer coat

“A bold coat can make a statement after work in a way that it won’t when it’s hanging in a closet in the office,” says New York City-based magazine editor Elizabeth Quinn Brown. “Go for a great color or pattern and remember to have it tailored so that it complements your curves.”


Don’t sweat it

Don’t pass on a fantastic last-minute invite just because you don’t have the clothes. For Charles Manning, style director of, the only thing that matters is your personality. “Don’t change a thing. You don’t need makeup or high heels or any of that to have fun. I say don’t stress about it. You look more than fine just they way you are!”

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest