Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg, the designers behind Area, define their offering as “occasionwear.” As I sat on a marbled bench in an atrium on Wall Street and took in the parade of rhinestone accents, iridescent fabrics, fringed ponchos, cropped blazers and sculpted bra tops, it occurred to me that Area’s interpretation of occasionwear does something quite radical, presenting outfits that demand an occasion instead of the other way around.
The looks aren’t just looks, they’re Full Looks, capital F, capital L. They have a preconceived identity, one that requires little additional shaping beyond conforming to the body that inhabits it. They beg not only to be worn, but also to be enjoyed — displayed on a tabletop under the glint of a disco ball and danced in until time fuzzes with the awareness that this is a memory in the making. In other words, they are the ultimate “going out” outfits, ready made to scoop you up off your sofa and out into the night with the particular kind of energy that really fun styling tends to muster.
I was taking mental notes the whole time, jotting down ideas about how I might harness some of that energy with the contents of my own wardrobe for an evening when I have no plans except putting on clothes and letting them decide the rest. Keep scrolling for five “going out” outfit ideas inspired by Area’s latest.
1. Chunkify Your Favorite Mini Skirt
Pairing a chunky cable-knit sweater with a satin, rhinestone-trimmed mini skirt is genius for many reasons, all of which boil down to the art of contrast. There is a double layer of genius involved here, though, because the art of contrast is often difficult to articulate when it comes to “going out” ensembles given their tendency to err on the side of obviousness. Not so in Area land! It’s all about the surprise combination, and just like peanut butter and pickles, this one is strangely delicious.
2. Pair a Button-Down With Your Baddest Party Pants
While a white button-down shirt is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of “going out” tops, that’s precisely what makes it so perfect, especially when deployed alongside a pair of very serious party pants, silver boots and a skinny belt (cut-out letters advertising the proclamation “apocalypse soon” optional but entirely welcome). I also think this combo would look cool with a black turtleneck layered underneath on a chillier day, but TBD.
3. Layer a Hoodie Under an Anorak and Call Yourself a Visionary (Which You Are)
I’ve been in the market for an anorak-style jacket for a long time, and this outfit has further incited my desire to find the perfect one — which I now know can conceivably moonlight as a dress for “going out” outfit purposes, layered over a hoodie sweatshirt and paired with my most statement-y statement boots. An ideal concoction for frolicking about town in transitional weather if I ever saw one.
4. Reinvent the Mini Dress by Means of Your Sock Drawer
A short, form-fitting dress is not groundbreaking stuff in the realm of casual evening fodder, but deployed alongside white socks tucked into pointy-toe heels and accented with a duo of rhinestone anklets, it transforms into something revelatory. Such is the magic of great styling: when basic items you already have in your closet (save for rhinestone anklets — which you can purchase on Amazon to the tune of $9.99 here) are arranged in such a way that they shift your understanding.
5. Frost Your Tracksuit Like the Best Cake Artist in Town
Wearing a tracksuit is a great idea for nights that require an elusive combination of comfort and pizzazz, but put your emphasis on the leisure instead of the ath by zipping up the top portion almost all the way and encircling it with a sparkly necklace of your choice. Top things off with a pair of patterned pumps that offset the outfit’s sportiness with a solid dose of ladylike, et voila.
What did you think of the collection? “Going out” outfit note-taking aside, I’m eager to discuss.
Photos via Vogue Runway.