Although the phrase may seem mysterious when you see it on an invitation, “after five attire” is actually another way to say “semi-formal.” To dress appropriately for after five events, you’ll simply take your work-day style up a notch in formality. This can mean anything from a stylish satin suit to a cute cocktail dress. The right choice for you is all about your own personal fashion preferences.
The Basics of After Five Attire
When it comes to semi-formal dressing, women have a lot of fun choices. You want to be dressy, but you aren’t required to wear a long or formal dress. You can’t go wrong with any of the following outfits or accessories:
- Sleek evening suit
- Simple black dress
- Knee-length semi-formal dress
- Black or metallic pencil skirt with a striking top
- Flowing, wide-legged pants and a sparkly shell
- Metallic accessories
- Evening jewelry
Three Great After Five Looks
You probably already have many of the basic building blocks of these three after five looks right in your own closet. All you need to do is add a few accessories or purchase one or two key pieces.
Little Black Dress with Sparkling Accessories
In dressing for an after five event, you’re always a winner when you wear a little black dress. Keep these guidelines in mind to make sure your look is perfect:
- Look for a dress made of a formal fabric, such as velvet, satin, or chiffon. These fabrics ensure your dress isn’t confused for basic office attire.
- Choose a cut that isn’t too revealing. If your dress is cut low in the neckline, make sure it isn’t too short. Conversely, if you’re wearing a shorter hemline, be sure the dress has a high neck or even long sleeves.
- Pair your black dress with heels to keep it looking formal. Plain black pumps work fine, or you can glam it up with metallic shoes or a pop of color.
- Add a few tasteful accessories. A rhinestone headband or a sparkling bracelet can keep your look fun and light. Remember to limit yourself to just one or two statement pieces to keep from looking overdone.
- Carry a cute clutch in black, a bright color, or a metallic shade.
Glittering Top with Dressy Black Pants or Skirt
A little sparkle can take your look from office wear to oh-la-la. Swap out your regular button-down or shell for a stunning sparkly number, and pair it with your favorite black dress pants or skirt. Keep these tips in mind to make this look work for you:
- The focal point of this look is the sparkly top, so make sure you love yours. Choose something with your favorite neckline or in a color that looks great on you.
- If you’re not really a skirt kind of girl, you can rock this look in a pair of wide-legged crepe dress pants or black satin cigarette pants.
- A black satin pencil skirt or a full chiffon skirt would also look beautiful.
- To keep this look tasteful, only one piece should be tight. If your top is slim fitting, choose a full skirt or wide-legged pants. If you’re wearing slim pants or a tight skirt, keep the top blouse and loose.
- Since your top has a lot of visual power, stick to simple accessories like chain necklaces, satin clutches, and cute black heels.
Colorful Dress with Simple Accessories
Even though black is a great choice when it comes to after five attire, it’s not the only beautiful option. You can really show off your own personal style when you wear a cocktail dress in your favorite bright color. Remember these guidelines to ensure your look fits your event:
- Choose a color that looks beautiful on you, not just on the rack. Know your best colors, and then try on dresses that will make you shine.
- Look for fabric that has some sheen, but stay away from too much sparkle. The color of your dress will be the focus of your look, so you don’t want to detract from that with sequins and beads.
- Find a dress with details and a fit that flatters you. You know the best necklines and silhouettes for your body.
- Keep accessories simple. Stick to one or two pieces of jewelry, a black or metallic clutch, and a nice pair of heels. Don’t try to match your shoes to the color of your dress, or you will risk looking like a bridesmaid.
Turn Heads at Your Next Event
When it comes to after five attire, you can’t go wrong with a great dress or pair of slacks and a little sparkle. From cocktail parties and wedding receptions to gallery openings and nights at the dance club, you’ll turn heads at your after five event.