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Get a Uniform: The MM Guide to Party Dressing

December 15, 2017 | Filed in: Your Closet

At MM, we’re big fans of uniform dressing for the workplace—but what about for evening?

Hear us out: Putting together an outfit for a night on the town, when the office dress code need not apply, can be liberating—but it can also lead to decision paralysis. In the season of endless holiday parties, why not avoid these common “getting ready” pitfalls—and create an evening uniform

Unnecessary Step 1: The Research Phase. Dinner confirmed, you settle into the couch and Google the restaurant. What you wear will largely be dictated by your environment, after all. After a quick scan of photos of the interior and reviews on Yelp, you decide that you must order the butternut squash risotto, and that it’s nice enough that you should probably leave the distressed jeans at home. But what are you going to wear?

Solution: A skirt that can be dressed up or down works on the full spectrum of dress codes and party vibes. Our Perry skirt looks just as chic with an elegant blouse for a more formal occasion as it does with the Audrey sweater for a more casual event.

Unnecessary Step 2: The Honeymoon Phase. The doorbell rings, and your friends tumble into your apartment, bottles of wine in tow. You turn on some music, fling open your closet doors, and toss potential options onto the bed. Your wardrobe is a glorious sea of infinite possibilities. “Let’s not even go out,” you say gleefully, holding up a top and glancing in the mirror. “Getting ready is the best part of the night, anyway.”

Solution: This phase is nice while it lasts, but it’s temporary. Pieces that won’t leave you with a high that’s only fleeting: a classic LBD, a jewel-tone top that pairs as well with work trousers as it does with jeans, and a timeless pair of pants with pajama-level comfort. Skip the honeymoon and commit for life.

Unnecessary Step 3: The Freak-out Phase. Five outfit changes later, a twinge of panic. The “glorious sea” of garments now looks like what it actually is: a pile of clutter. “Why do I even have this?” you mutter to yourself, yanking the latest reject over your head and throwing it on the bed.

Solution: Banish wardrobe-induced freak-outs for good by paring down your evening options to key staples that make you feel great, no matter the occasion. For instance: a one-shoulder top that’s trendy without being too trendy. (The adult going-out top, if you will.)

Unnecessary Step 4: The “Revert to Plan A” Phase. A few more unsuccessful attempts later…hopelessness. Your friends exchange anxious looks. How did this happen? Your closet is bursting at the seams; there must be something decent in there. “Just wear what you had on the first time,” a friend suggests. There’s a reason you reached for it first, right? Plus, the stretchy fabric will definitely be risotto-friendly.

Solution: Invest in “Plan As”: simple, striking pieces that won’t send you into a tornado of second-guessing. We’re partial to this patterned version of our classic Etsuko dress, which doesn’t require additional accessorizing.

The Etsuko dress in rosette.

Unnecessary Step 5: The Sweet Relief Phase. One hour and more outfit changes than you care to count later, you’ve decided to wear the very first thing you tried on. You take a final sip of wine and head out the door, en route to adventure (albeit running a bit late). 

Solution: Putting together an evening uniform will send you directly here, bypassing any unnecessary stress or wasted time. And the less time spent on outfit changes, the more time there is for pre-dinner cocktails. Cheers!

Did we pique your interest? Go on, shop our “Don’t Mind If I Do” holiday collection here

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Alexandra Johnson is the brand manager at MM.LaFleur, where she started out as a summer intern. Her happy place is the room housing Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA. Read more of Alexandra's posts.

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