How to go from the office look to the club look in less that thirty minutes

Friday is the perfect party night. You want to release all the stress of the week and dance into the weekend. Ideally, you want to get home from work, climb into the shower and only then start thinking about what to wear for the night. You want to have time to pick out the perfect outfit and even take a break to appreciate that the long week is finally over.

However, sometimes you just don’t have the time to go home first. You have a late deadline or you’re expected to join for after-work drinks. Or perhaps your friends want to start early or you live far from the office and the commute takes up all the free time you have. That’s when you need to know how to go from the professional look you go for during the day to the ready-to-party look you want for your Friday night fun. Confused as to how that’s possible? Here’s how to do it.

In the morning, it’s all about light makeup and plain, neat hair

You want to keep your makeup light and neutral in the morning. No overly thick eyelashes, no eyeshadow, absolutely no eyeliner unless necessary and not too much blush. You should apply a thin layer of foundation, a bit of mascara and just enough blush so you don’t look like you walked out the morgue. Why would you choose to abandon your usual makeup routine in favour of a simplistic and more natural look? Because you want to be able to apply makeup later in the day without having to worry about smudged eyeliner, caked-on foundation and having to wash off daytime eyeshadow so you can use your sparkly nighttime eyeshadow. At the end of the day, when you’re doing your pre-clubbing makeup in the office bathroom, you’ll be glad you made it easy for yourself.    

If you’re one of those people who wakes up with beautiful, non-frizzy hair that’s either dead straight, wavy in the best way or curled to perfection, you won’t need much help in the hair department. But if you’re one of the many, many women who need to put at least a bit of work into their hairstyle for the day, listen up. The most important thing you can do at this point is keep it simple. You don’t want to tie your hair up in the morning if you want to wear it straight and loose that night, you’ll inevitably end up with visible kinks and a few wayward hairs. The best thing you can do is wear your hair down in a simple fashion. The, before you leave work, you can manipulate your hair into any style you want it, simply by using clips and the hair products you can fit in your handbag. Unfortunately, this is not the night where you have the time to straighten or curl your hair to perfection. You have to make do with what you have. And if you’re happy to have your hair in the same style you went to work with, all the better.

Pick an outfit that’s basic, but stylish, and can be easily dressed up

If you work in a more casual office where jeans are worn by the majority of your colleagues, this will be easy for you. Simply wear your favourite pair of perfectly-fitted jeans (you know, the ones that make your butt look great and never require you to adjust the waistband) and a simple top that doesn’t reveal too much cleavage, but also doesn’t cover every bit of skin you have. You want a top that can be worn comfortably inside a hot and sweaty club, so make sure the material isn’t too thick. Don’t be afraid of jackets, a nice blazer will make you look like you’re all about work. During the day, the simplicity of your outfit will look neat and professional. And when you leave the office, you can add those dangly earrings or a flashy necklace, take off the blazer and put on a more club-worthy jacket (until it gets too hot for you to handle, of course).

However, things may become more complicated if you work in a more formal environment and wear pantsuits, modest skirts or office-appropriate dresses during the day. Your best option, in this case, is to choose either fitted skinny black pants, a knee-length pencil skirt or a dress that can go from client meeting to the bar with just a few simple adjustments. Avoid pale colours like baby blue or pastel when it comes to anything below the waist because, let’s face it, it’s not 2002 anymore. Black is best as it’s versatile and can easily be both daywear and nightwear. And when it comes to tops, it’s the same as if you’re wearing jeans: simple style with thin material that can be dressed up with just a few accessories.

Have all the extras you need to refresh before you hit the town

Let’s be honest, the worst part about going from work to a party is that you don’t have the opportunity to take a shower or even wash your face properly. So, the best thing you can do is pack a few items that fit comfortably in your handbag. For starters, you need to moisturise. It’s best to use a moisturiser with aloe vera. Besides the faint, yet delightful, fragrance of aloe that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling fresh, it also has a variety of skincare benefits (seriously, look up the benefits of aloe in beauty products). You’ll also definitely want some wet wipes, especially if it’s been a hot day. Whether you’ve been running from meeting to meeting all day or have simply sat at your desk and barely moved, you’re likely to have some body odour. Do a quick wipe under the armpits and then add a 24-hour deodorant so you’re still protected at the club. Other than that, all you need is your trusted makeup bag and favourite perfume.

See? It’s not that difficult to go from professional woman to party girl without going home to change or shower.