5 Clothing Items Every Woman Needs to Nail Professional Happy Hours

woman going to happy hour

FGB Illustration via CreativeMarket

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Leah Thomas866
July 24, 2024 at 5:48AM UTC

The classic professional woman struggle: you're going from the office to the bar, and you need to transform a look from workplace chic to networking casual. We’ve all been there, so we’re here to help. We’ve outlined five different items that every woman needs to transition to a networking event with ease.

1. A jumpsuit.

According to fashion blogger Dorothy Halley-Frame, every girl needs a good jumpsuit that will fare well in the office and in her favorite happy hour location. Halley-Frame believes the jumpsuit has been revolutionized, and gone from being taboo in the office to totally acceptable. 

“A lot of go-to brands for workwear have added more and more office-worthy jumpsuits to their collections over the years, and slowly I’m seeing a shift in what we deem suitable for the office,” she wrote on her blog. “As we’re given more freedom when it comes to what we wear to work, I’ve noticed women’s confidence increase when it comes to deciding what to wear each morning.”

2. An elevated graphic t-shirt to wear under a suit jacket or blazer.

“I’ve always been a fan of wearing slightly fancy t-shirts under suits whenever possible, provided they’re easy to launder,” wrote fashion blog Corporette. “I particularly like that a sleeved bottom layer means that my suit blazer can go longer without being laundered,” 

The level of casual or professional you choose for your tee should depend on your typical workplace office attire. But, folding a graphic tee in your purse for that after-work bar time can be easy and convenient as well!

3. A poncho.

Ponchos are professional enough for the office, yet fun and trendy enough to feel comfortable having a cocktail with workplace connections. And fashion blogger Anh Sundstrom agrees. 

“I had forgotten how unbelievably comfortable a soft cashmere poncho could be,” she wrote on her blog 9to5chic. “I'm pairing it with a pair of trousers that have been worn dozens of times over the years.”

4. A pop of color.

Whether it’s a bold tank under your work blazer or a bright pink lip, adding a pop of color to your typical workplace attire can turn your outfit from office casual to rooftop chic. 

“If your workdays are anything like mine, you’re likely not going home to change before happy hour, so your style needs to include a few quick-change tricks to accommodate calendars with multiple personalities,” wrote blogger Mary Orton. Orton suggested “By removing the blazer and changing my lip color to a martini-ready red, I’ll have managed to make myself revelry-ready in mere moments.”

5. A well-fitted suit. 

While suits may remind you of the office, a perfectly tailored one can be as casual as it is professional. And you can remove the jacket before heading to happy hour to reveal your favorite casual tank or add a patterned pair of heels.

“There is nothing better than a classic suit. It’s empowering,” said Olivia Jeanette, a workplace fashion blogger. “They are also extremely versatile and can be worn in many instances. It also provides you the ability to incorporate the jacket into your wardrobe for after hours, giving you a professional and chic look all rolled into one. You can easily incorporate other bolder colors for your shirts and heels.”

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