Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Inspiration: Noon & Night Dress

I was flipping through the Anthropologie catalog last weekend when I saw this:

I fell in love with the entire outfit- from the texture and silhouette of the dress to the perfect piping in the shoes and the ceramic steeds hanging on a delicate ribbon. The entire look is perfection. Too bad it's about $1200 for the entire look. What got me thinking, though, was the idea of this "Noon and Night" dress. After all, it's true- this dress is perfectly appropriate for a day at work, followed by a nice dinner out or evening on the town. It's all in the styling. So, I decided to find some other "Noon and Night" dresses to see if I could easily transition them from one to the other. Here's what I came up with: 

First, the original dress styled for both a day at the office and an evening dinner date: 

Noon and Night

I like that the dress is a muted shade of red- it isn't so bright that is will be inappropriate for work, but it's still a great color for a date. The styling changes are very simple. First, the shoes change from a sensible heeled oxford to a patent nude stiletto with a lovely feminine detail of a bow in the back. Next, the chic scarf is replaced by a bold statement necklace. It's eye catching, but not over-the-top. While the scarf is a cool accessory, the necklace is a better date night choice because it not only dresses up the outfit a bit more, but it also allows for the neckline to be a bit more open. Finally, the bags- the noon option is practical, but still stylish. It is also big enough to hold the smaller, leopard-print clutch, which means a super simple transition from one look to the next.

Next, I tried a dress that was a little more challenging: 

Noon and Night 2

At first, this one seems clearly destined for nighttime, but with a prim cropped blazer and flats instead of heels, it can be tamed for the workplace. Remove the jacket and add some stunning accessories including great earrings and tall, but chunky heels and suddenly you're the coolest chick at the bar after hours with your girlfriends. I kept the color palate the same with both styling options because I just adore the idea of an outfit made using shades of grey with just one pop of fabulous color. In this case, deep purple keeps the look mature and sophisticated, whereas bright pink or red would have taken the look to another place entirely. 

Finally, I want to show you how a simple white dress can literally be a blank canvas for switching from noon to night:

Noon & Night 3

As you can see, this simple white dress can easily go from brunch with your girlfriends to a sexy nighttime outfit with just a few accessory changes. It works perfectly with a floral cardigan, tan wedges and a straw tote for a Saturday morning spent running errands or at an early afternoon bridal shower. But if that shower turns into a bachelorette party, all you need is a simple change of accessories. Black is the ideal option not only because of the strong contrast against the white, but because it still allows you to introduce another color and texture into the look. In this case, I chose a rose gold metallic clutch and gold chandelier earrings to finish it off. Super sweet to sexy and glam in just seconds! 

Do you have many situations where you need to transition an outfit from day to night? How do you do it? Is it something you find easy or difficult to do? Leave a a comment and tell me! 

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