Exactly what to keep in your office (or car) for last-minute plans.
If you've ever turned down last-minute plans—a drinks date or dinner out—because you were stuck at work without anything to wear, consider keeping a few key pieces on hand for these precise social emergencies: Think an evening clutch, a dressy jacket, a party dress, and (of course) killer heels. These are the exact items you'll need to be at the ready, always.
Sure you may have battled the morning commute in a practical puffer, but for nights out on the town, you'll want something sleeker and more mysterious—like this chic wool trench coat. It goes with just about anything and can cover for a multitude of officewear sins with its semi-matte finish and dramatic tie belt. $275, stories.com
Here's something you can roll up and store in your bottom desk drawer for last-minute clubbing emergencies: this jumpsuit, in a forgivingly stretchy skort style—all shiny, short-sleeved, and ready to party at a moment's notice. Wear with printed tights and heels—or ankle booties—for maximum party girl effect. $39, zara.com
A quick change of shoes at your desk doesn't always have to make you taller. Sometimes, all you need for a last-minute catch-up dinner with friends is a cute pair of flats. With a pointy toe, a shiny golden heel, and delicate ankle straps, this pair will dress up any look. $65, aldoshoes.com
Dressing up an ultra-casual office look—say, a T-shirt and slacks—can be as easy as popping on a serious piece of jewelry. This gold leaf necklace does the trick; it's subtle, dramatic, and yet somehow feels casual and convincing, i.e. It will look well thought-out—not like you've randomly tossed on a statement necklace on top of a crew neck white tee. $58, bananarepublic.com
The cardigan, one of the most under-appreciated garments in modern history, is a wardrobe salve. Wear it over a tank for a casual dinner date al fresco, or go a little cheeky sans tank and buttoned all the way up. The perfect silvery gray shade goes great with early autumn white jeans. $78, bananarepublic.com
For a great first impression or last minute lunch dates, nothing reeks glamour like statement sunglasses. This pair happen to be cool-girl quirky-chic. Sunglasses have the same effect as shoes or a smart coat—they can absolutely make an outfit: Think of them as a statement piece for your face. $200, solstice.com
Unless you're heading out of the office to enter a last minute beauty pageant, you don't want to look like you've tried too hard. These pumps are beautiful (and just dramatic enough), and sexy, sensible, and easy to walk in all at the same time. Bonus, the glamorous green goes with so many of fall's best colors. $268, jcrew.com
This glossy patent clutch works with nearly everything—and is versatile enough to suit so many social situations, from casual catch-up drinks to a black tie gala. Dont forget to make good use of the hands-free wrist strap! $175, karenmillen.com
Roll this chic midi-length knit dress up and stash it in your trunk for a last-minute dinner date or party invite. The no-wrinkle construction and forgiving silhouette requires zero weird underwear maneuvers—plus, the dress is stretchy (eat with abandon!). $69, hm.com
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