Dressing to go straight from desk to dinner isn’t something I have to do very often. You see, I work from home and my desk is my dining table and my workwear is jeans and a breton. If I do go to a meeting or to dinner, I have my entire wardrobe at my disposal right here. However, there are a few upcoming events, optometry conferences and such like, which necessitate a smart, professional daytime look. Drinks and dinner will follow so I’ll change up the outfit to give it a different feel. Adding the right accessories, different shoes and amping up my make-up will transform the look in a matter of minutes.
The Desk Look
It’s important to feel comfortable and to feel like oneself, particularly in a professional working environment. When I was selecting the outfit to take me from desk to dinner, (or from conference to cocktails as it’s more likely to be), I went immediately to the dresses. You’ll know by now that I’m most comfortable in a dress. I love dresses and I feel right in them. They form my signature look and fill more than half of my wardrobe. Consequently, I know I’ll feel comfortable when networking and meeting new people because I have confidence in my outfit.
The dress I chose is a tunic shape with a statement bell-shaped sleeve, a style detail which has been prominent all year.
It has a dark navy background with an orange, teal and blue floral pattern which is bright enough to add interest and still look like workwear. It’s comfortable and hangs beautifully, without creasing, an important factor to consider when looking for a dress to remain pristine for more than 12 hours. (Flora dress Hobbs, £139)
My choice of shoes also reflects me and my style, but is a practical one. I don’t feel like I’m in work mode in flat shoes, but there’s nothing worse than aching feet when standing on them for hours. The solution? A mid-height block heel. This shape is both current and comfortable. They’re made in Italy from spazzolato leather and the finish is exquisite. The metallic tone is so much more interesting than black and just as versatile, if not more so. I will wear these with jeans and numerous other dresses and I can confirm that they are as comfortable as they look. (Ruby fringe court shoes, Hobbs, £159). My tights are the Satin Opaque 50 by Wolford and are excellent. A very worthwhile investment because they are incredibly comfortable and very well-fitting.
The Dinner Look
To take this dress to dinner, I’ll swap the black opaque tights for nude sheer ones. The ones I’m wearing are the Wolford Sheer 15. Again, quite an investment for a pair of tights, but they are beautiful quality. The daytime black leather bowling bag is easily swapped for a clutch, so all that remains is a change of shoes and an extra layer for the cab journey home.
A few pieces of statement jewellery add requisite sparkle. I have had the necklace and ring for several years, but I never tire of wearing them.
My shoes are by Mulberry and are one of the few pairs of “designer” shoes that I own. I couldn’t resist the tomato red quilted leather and signature postman’s lock fastening. They pick out the orange within the floral print beautifully and add an air of frivolity and fun to the outfit.
An elegant way of adding an extra layer is with a mohair serape, (see how I styled my cream serape with jeans and wellies for a casual transitional look). This dark navy one is elegant and would work with almost every colour and style imaginable.
How The Over 40 Collective Do Desk to Dinner
Of course, my floral dress wouldn’t be everyone’s desk to dinner choice, so for more inspiration here are the other members of The Over 40 Collective with their interpretation (Tap on their photos to see their posts).
Thank you to Hobbs for providing our desk to dinner outfits. Thank you too to Ian for photographing my desk look and to my son for photographing my dinner look. Later this week I’ll be linking this post to I Will Wear What I Like, Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share.