In college my “going out” uniform consisted of a tight, short black cotton knit skirt and a rotation of black tops. Occasionally, if I was feeling wild, I would throw on an enormous rhinestone statement necklace. I cringe internally when I think back upon this outfit, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because it was the exact same thing everyone else was wearing.
One of the best things that has happened to my wardrobe in the last five years is my increasingly loose interpretation of what constitutes a “going out” outfit. Truth be told, the answer I consistently arrive at is…whatever the heck I want. For me, that typically means a version of what I wear during the day amped up with pinches of glam in the form of sparkly accessories and fun shoes.
Elizabeth (a.k.a. Man Repeller’s Market Assistant extraordinaire) enjoys a similarly flexible approach to the world of “going out” ensembles and volunteered to demonstrate exactly what “whatever the heck” looks like inside her nighttime brain. Peep her outfit ideas below (featuring hero pieces under $50!!!!), as well as some tips for tapping into this sartorial state of mind when it’s 7:30 p.m. on a Friday and still light out and the evening is your oyster.
1. Jump Into a Jumpsuit
I don’t know about you, but oftentimes by the time I shower and put on some makeup and eat a snack and lie on my bed to look at Instagram super quickly and drink a kombucha vodka cocktail in my underwear while listening to the latest Selena Gomez single, I end up not having much time to get dressed before going out. The solution to this short-on-time outfit planning conundrum? A jumpsuit!
“Even though it’s only one item of clothing, it makes enough of a statement that you don’t need much else to complete the look,” Elizabeth told me, which I concurred with immediately upon viewing the resulting ensemble. She accessorized the jumpsuit with a button-down around the waist (a classic Eliz styling flourish if I ever saw one), yellow espadrilles (to keep things summery) and a Baggu phone bag (for optimal credit card safeguarding).
2. Pull on a Polo
When you think of polo shirts I bet you don’t also think of dropping low on the dance floor at 2 a.m, and that’s precisely why I’m thrilled Elizabeth included one in her going out aesthetic extravaganza. It embodies the “whatever the heck you want” sentiment quite perfectly, proving that one woman’s camp counselor dress code is another woman’s DFMO garb of choice.
3. Do It Up in a Dress
This final look has singlehandedly convinced me that every night I’m not wearing Swedish Hasbeens is a missed opportunity. Not only do they administer a dose of sweet contrast to what would otherwise be a relatively conventional-in-a-good-way dress, but they also look comfortable enough for dancing, running to catch a subway train, squatting in bathroom stalls whilst engaging in friendly gossip with your friend who is washing her hands and trudging up to the fourth floor of your walk-up apartment after smiling with your teeth under a disco ball.