A guide to choosing a night-out outfit

I don’t think there’s a bigger first world problem than not knowing what to wear for a night out, leaving yourself sat on your bed half naked regretting even agreeing to go out. That being said, there are a set of guidelines I try to use before I get ready, in order to keep myself less stressed and dressed.

No. 1 Think of the situation. 

If you’re going to a bar with a few friends for a catch-up and a laugh, you may want to dress a bit differently to how you would if you were going to a nightclub. In a bar, you’re most likely going to be sat down and comfortable, so shoes with a bit of a heel wouldn’t be as painful as if you were on your feet dancing. If you know you’re going to a nightclub afterwards, you may want to take more of a comfortable approach when it comes to footwear.

No.2 How would you want to look?

If you’re going to be getting a lot of pictures taken throughout the night, (as embarrassing as they may be to discover the next morning), or if you’d just like to dress your best that night, then think about how you could see yourself dressing. If you could see yourself in a t-shirt and skirt combo, then look through your t-shirts and skirts and try to experiment with different combinations. A lot of the time I hear people say something along the lines of ‘I need a top to go with my trousers’, when majority of the time they will already have something in their wardrobe that would go with that item, they just haven’t thought about it. If you look through your wardrobe and put together a top and bottoms but you’re still unsure, then don’t skip this next point…

No.3 Don’t forget about accessories! 

Accessories are the elements that really can tie a look together. You could put on a necklace and a belt and it will look like you’ve made more of an effort than you actually have, and it will really draw attention to your whole outfit. For instance, if you’re outfit is very simple in itself, I’d say it’s a good idea to go with a statement shoe and a bold pair of earrings or a necklace. Having that extra something from both head to toe can really balance out the look, especially considering most people are either going to notice your head first or your feet first.

No.4 Experiment a little.

If you’re still struggling at this point, try to avoid thinking of an outfit as just a ‘top and bottoms’ concept. Sometimes it can be hard to get ideas out of a broad subject when compared to a specific one, so you may want to try working an outfit around something smaller like your shoes or your jewellery. For instance, if you pick out a specific pair of heels, then would jeans look good with it? What about a skirt? If you can’t think of anything, change the area you’re concentrating on until you find something that works.

No.5 Dress in what you’d feel best in.

A lot of the time when a group has plans to go out, especially a group of girls, they will often ask each other what they’re all thinking of wearing as both a guideline and a comfort barrier. If you know it’s a smart casual thing and a few of your friends are wearing jeans, you might feel a bit more comfortable in wanting to wear jeans. However, if a few of your friends are wearing nice figure hugging dresses, that doesn’t mean that you have to. You can make a pair of trousers or a jumpsuit or a skirt look just as nice as a dress, and if you have more confidence in wearing a jumpsuit than a dress, then why wear a dress? A night out should be fun and make you feel happy, in both yourself and in how you look. If you’re wearing something because you want to, not because everyone else is wearing it, then your self confidence will really pull through and that’s the best kind of thing you can have on a night out. So if you’re looking for a bit of help or inspiration, I’d say ask a friend what they’re thinking of wearing or try and help each other out, but don’t feel like you have to wear anything because they are.

Some extra tips:

  • Try pairing items that aren’t together on the body, e.g tops and shoes or jeans and jackets. This can broaden the idea of the outfit so you can get a better picture of how it would look overall.
  • Check Instagram for inspiration, the featured page is great for this!
  • Don’t overthink it, you’ll probably have many other nights out and many other potential times to wear something that looks great on you.
  • Try to balance out ‘flattering and comfortable’. Combine a fitted top with an a-line skirt for that perfect medium of smart casual.

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