Haute and Dangerous: The Day to Night Essential List

So you’ve got spin class at the crack of dawn with barely enough time to gulp down a venti skinny soy latte with three shots of espresso before it’s time to dash to your 9:00 meeting. The rest of your day is a blur. Come 4:30 you’re sitting at your desk fantasizing about your couch and the all-new episode of Dance Moms Miami when you get a text from that girlfriend with a glitzy PR job. “Wanna come to a thing with me? Dress up –SisQuo‘s gonna be there!” What? What’s he been doing? Better yet, what are you gonna do… about what you’re gonna wear?

In a world where we have too much to do with not enough time (or caffeine), what’s a stylish girl to do trying to make that transition between crispy cool day and spicy hot night? Get your shopping lists ready, because here are the essential pieces you need to make the transition between day and night look effortlessly chic:

Master the smokey eye

What’s this nonsense with the smokey eye? Why is everyone so obsessed with it? Three reasons:

  1. It looks good on everyone
  2. You can use any colors, not just blacks and charcoals (the orignals). Use browns, greens, and my personal favorite… purples!
  3. It’s all about layerings. This is the reason the smokey eye is essential for the day to night look. It all comes down to layers, so you simply build over your daytime make up to make your look a bit more dramatic. And once you nail down the basics, it’s very, very hard to screw it up (the key is to blend your face off).

So next time you’re in Sephora, grab some brushes and some fun colors (I personally recommend their nifty kits, which have all the colors and break it down into super simple steps), watch a few tutorials, then lock yourself in the bathroom for the night with a bunch of eye makeup remover and practice until you’re a pro.

A great blazer

The perfect blazer is essential because once you find the right one, it covers all manner of sins. Perfectly tailored to every curve in a breathable fabric (and a great color — you don’t always have to do black!), the right jacket will take you from career cool in the day and give you that sophisticated, mysterious look at night (paired with that seductive smokey eye you mastered last weekend while watching a Golden Girls marathon and drinking an entire box of Franzia), while covering up any “problem areas” you might think you have. Oh, and it tends to get a bit chilly at night, so there goes that problem too!

The one thing about blazers is that they’re a lot like jeans and boys. You have to try a whole bunch before you find the right one for you. If you tend to carry your weight in your stomach (apple shaped) you might opt for something cut a little longer and not as fitted (boyfriend blazer), but make sure it hits you right at your waist, otherwise you’ll look like your swimming in it. Also make sure it fits through the arms and shoulders or the jig is up. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a really great, high quality blazer, and sink a bit more into some tailoring because a great blazer is something you’ll be able to wear forever.

Statement Jewelry

“With a fierce necklace there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”


While I can’t prove he said that, it doesn’t make it any less true. Nothing kicks professional (coughboringcoughcough) clothes into high gear like a nice piece of statement jewelry. Some chunky bangles say “I’m a boho kind of girl, but I’m still able to hold down a job!” Some elegant, dangly earrings say, “I’m a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed!” (Yeah, earrings quote Ludacris. I was surprised, too.) A bold collar necklace says, “I’m smart, but also sexy… and expensive,” while a completely over-the-top cocktail ring says, “I’m good with my hands… now talk to my face!”

Note: You typically only need one piece of statement jewelry per outfit, unless you’re embracing the Samantha Jones aesthetic, in which case you can probably pull it off.

A Bold Lip

It’s called a bold lip because you have to have a bold (read: confident) personality to pull it off. But when you find the right shade and know how to apply it without getting it all over your face and pristine monochromatic white outfit, there are very few things more beautiful.

A word to the wise: unless you want to look like a *ahem* lady of the night, choose dramatic eyes or dramatic lips, not both.

Great Shoes

Why do I have to explain this one?

Invest in that bag you’ve been wanting

No, seriously. It’s not too expensive and you deserve it. A high quality bag with the capacity to hold lots and lots of stuff that you just absolutely adore is always worth it because you’ll use it for everything, forever. Where else are you going to put all these new day to night essentials?

Oh, and check out my Day to Night Springpad for more ideas….

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