Have you ever fancied going for a drink after work but don’t want to travel all the way home to get changed? It can be tough to find an outfit which is suitable for the office and for socialising with your work friends after a long day, but it’s not impossible.

There’s a fine balance to strike between off-duty and ready for the working day, so we’ve enlisted the help of leading dresses retailer River Island, to help you out. From chic shirt dresses to classy maxi dresses, this desk to drinks guide will help you to stay on trend for AW18 and move effortlessly from your office to bar.

A good option is to choose an outfit that you won’t have to make many changes to when it’s time to leave work. This midi shirt dress with three-quarter sleeves is the perfect blend of work-ready formal and post-office style. The collar is naturally connected to workwear — like blouses and shirts — while the elegant show of leg and bold colour makes it an outfit that will stand-out for all the right reasons when you’re out with your colleagues. At the end of your shift, simply accessorise with rose gold jewellery and switch your flats to strappy heeled court shoes.Maxi dress

Fancy a bit more glam in your outfit? If you don’t fancy wearing the same outfit for both office and party time, work layers into your outfit in the morning and remove them when it’s time to head out for the evening. A striking leopard print dress would look amazing on a night out with work friends — but how do you wear it comfortably for work without it being too ‘out there’? Easy. Just pull on a plain, long-sleeve black tee underneath to make the outfit office-appropriate and wear tights to enhance the outfit transformation! Make sure you pair with black pumps — save the black patent heels for post-5pm…

Not every dress will be office-appropriate and what we wear on a night out may not be suitable for a meeting or business presentation. However, dresses today offer such a huge variety of lengths, colours, necklines and cuts that it’s easy to find the ideal design for both social scenarios. If you like wearing loud-print dresses on nights out, there’s no reason you can’t in the office too — just make sure you opt for midi hemlines and high necklines to make them more suitable for business. Tone the volume of your printed dress down with neutral accessories and a long-sleeve jacket. When it’s time to clock off, put your flats under the desk and go for strappy wedges, a chic clutch, and plenty of jewellery.Office outfit

If you’re going for drinks straight from work, you may not have a lot of time to get ready. No problem — just keep your daytime outfit simple to customise. A maxi hemline and buttoned-up, collared neck is ideal office-ready fashion, both formal and comfortable for important meetings and busy days. But what do you do in the evening? When it’s time for drinks, use a belt to cinch in your waist and create a gorgeous, party-ready silhouette. Then, throw on your tallest pair of heels to get you in the mood for a fun night out. Dress up your look with statement jewellery — think chunky necklaces, bangles, and big hoop earrings — then quickly slick on an extra layer of mascara and eyeliner and you’re good to go for a big night out in minutes.Midi dress

When you think of workplace fashion, a strappy printed dress might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worked into your desk to drinks plans. All you need to do, is cover-up and de-layer when appropriate! Pull on a maxi, waterfall cardigan in a complementary shade to your cami dress so you have the perfect coverage and wear with a pair of loafers to keep your look business-focused. At the end of the day, leave your cardi on the back of your office chair and strap on a pair metallic heels to prepare your look for out-of-office socialising. Make sure you ditch your work bag, too — swap it for a petite, glitter cross-body handbag that complements your shoes and pack only your essentials for the evening.

Do we also have to limit our colour choices when it comes to work to bar outfits? Don’t shy away from rocking you favourite shades both day and night. You can always make an outfit more formal by wearing a tailored blazer and mid-heel court shoes, and even tweaks to your look like wearing your hair in a neat bun can exude a work-ready vibe. Once you’re out-of-office has been switched on, remove your blazer and throw on a pair of block-heel mules or studded suede heeled sandals to give the illusion of beautifully elongated legs. Forget jackets and kimonos — now’s the time to show off that gorgeous colour you’ve been keeping elegantly under wraps all day.

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