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The Two Swap Rule For Dressing For Day To Night

April 24, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

At M.M.LaFleur, we believe that when women succeed at work, the world is a better place. We design beautiful, office-appropriate clothing that keeps the spotlight on you, and we host intimate events for the remarkable women in our community. 

As spring kicks into high gear, transitioning from your outfit from day to night is less about rushing home to put on cozy clothes, and more about finding any excuse to be outside. This is the season of impromptu happy hours, roof-top client meetings, and those backyard date nights that go on a little (or a lot) too long. It’s that time of year when puffy coats and tights are replaced by light jackets and bare legs, and everyone is looking to shed layers and have adventures.

How do you lighten up for evening without a total wardrobe change? Follow the two swap rule. Every outfit that works for daytime only needs two swaps to work for night, no matter the occasion. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re going from day to night, pick two swaps from the list below and see where the evening takes you.

Flats For Heels

Transitioning from work to dinner and drinks is as simple as changing your shoes. The Grace loafer pairs well with any pair of black pants for the daytime, but can easily be swapped out with the Ginger pump for a little evening edginess. Either can be tossed in a tote, or more conveniently, left under your work desk and ready for the next day.

Studs for Stunners

Statement jewelry is a great way to express yourself, but certain pieces may not be right for your workplace. Night time is the right time to bust them out. Swapping a classic like the Lyssa earrings for the more sparkly Beauports is a quick way to bring out your eyes (especially if you pair them with a bold eyeshadow), and add a dash of drama to your look.

Opaque Tights For Bare Legs

Yes, an after-work date is a perfect occasion for a little black dress, but if you’re heading straight from the office, you probably don’t want your dress to be too, you know, little. A knee-grazing A-line dress, like the Noel, hugs curves but is still office appropriate. The Emily dress works especially well for pasta dates, burger dates, sushi dates, and any other date where eating is the main event. The Lydia dress is an elegant but unexpected option for formal dates, like to a play or a cocktail event. Best of all, all of these dresses look great with tights, and without. While black tights keep the dress office appropriate, going without them at night is a quick way to instantly look (and feel) sexier.

Neutral For Neon

Neutrals (black, white, brown) are the norm in almost every office, but we all want to stand out every now and then. Test drive your boldest prints (like the dot print Cristeta top) and brightest hues (like the sunny Candice dress) after the sun goes down. 

Tucked for Untucked

Your Didion top looks great tucked into your Foster pants with a blazer on top, but that’s not really the vibe at the mezcal bar where you’re meeting friends after work. A quick tip is to untuck it. You’ll instantly feel like you’re wearing a different outfit, and you’ll be ready to go in on all the chips and guac you want.

Suited for Softness

Blazers are a great option for the office, but feel free to leave them on the back of your chair at the end of the day. When going to a movie or concert in the park, a light cardigan will do. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit warmer, the Morandi sweater or Angelou shawl are both elegant and functional.  

Buttoned Up for Buttoned Down

Depending on your after work plans, it may be appropriate to undo one or two buttons on your Lagarde shirt, or change into a shorter skirt. There’s no hard and fast rules on this (you do you!), especially if you want to show off your arms or legs (or cleavage), but the key here is balance. Rising hemlines on the bottom mean higher ones up top, and visa-versa.

When in doubt…

Stick a bold lipstick in your purse and call it a day (or night). And most of all, remember to have fun.


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Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com. Read more of Caitlin's posts.


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