By Tiffanie Wen
A lady on the go doesn’t have time to run home between engagements for a costume change. Luckily in today’s world of great basics and standout accessories, she doesn’t have to. To learn how to take a look from day to night with just a few moves and light add-ons, we turned to Julia H. Rhee, co-founder of the San Francisco-based sustainable fashion styling firm Retrofit Republic, whose clients typically dress for an entire day’s worth of events—from meetings and errands to after-work functions and socializing.
Rhee recommends starting with a clean daytime look and chic accessories, such as a small handbag or simple bangles, which easily transition into other activities later on. She also says neutral basics are the key to a convertible wardrobe. “Investing in closet staples like a form-fitting black jacket, black pants and white button down will pay off in dividends for diverse outfits,” she says.
To glam up a daytime look for night, Rhee suggests adding a bold pop of color with lipstick and shoes with height—whether they be ankle- or calf-length boots, stilettos or wedges. Playing with textures, such as adding silk, chiffon or feathered elements to an ensemble can also take a look from the office to happy hour.
Rhee emphasizes that the external look is less important than how it makes the wearer feel: “Signature style should always be an extension of one’s personality, lifestyle and values. It’s going to look different for everyone—and we should always strive that our outer aesthetic reflects how we feel on the inside.”