When it comes to preparing for an evening out, girls truly do have more fun. The perfect preparation includes a long languid bubble bath, a manicure and blow-dry at a sleek salon, a few sips of champagne and – most importantly of all – the finest selection of women’s going-out dresses to peruse through.
After all, the going-out dress is the uniform of your nocturnal alter ego. It needs to be the kind of head-turning garment that not only makes an entrance but encourages you to shimmy and shake for hours on the dance floor.
Happily, there's no shortage of jaw-dropping designer going-out dresses available, to suit a variety of price points from affordable treats to blowout buys.
It's Wednesday and the weekend feels like it's light years away, so perhaps it's time for a flutter of retail excitement to celebrate overcoming Monday and Tuesday. After all, browsing through the latest unusual going-out dresses online is the ultimate way to spend a quiet half-hour at work. These can be anything from a novelty jumper dress in a luxe material like virgin wool by Moschino to a printed shirt dress in a patchwork of exotic hues by Coach.
While still eye-catching, these types of dresses tend not to be as expensive as their super-embellished counterparts and are, therefore, an ideal way of satisfying a sudden shopping craving. What’s more, their laid-back, gently kooky aesthetic means they serve as women’s going-out dresses but work just as well during the daytime.
The leopard print designs in silk or cashmere from Equipment, for example, are timeless classics that can be dressed up or down. The high neckline and sash-tie belt of the label's shirt dress call to mind the kind of tailored-with-a-twist look favoured by street-style veteran Pandora Sykes.
Friday comes but once a week, so it's worth ensuring it's dazzling. Whether you’re moseying your way to the bar for a few after-work cocktails or heading out for a full night of dancing, black going-out dresses are elegant fail-safes.
Consider a striking spliced design by Maison Margiela featuring a top half fused with a skirt in an entirely different material. A style of this sort makes for the perfect transitional number, particularly when it comes in such a versatile hue. Pair with opaque tights and a Burberry trench coat for your working day then, come evening, switch for sheer stockings and a touch of red lipstick.
For an upscale occasion, a sheer dress by Nina Ricci is even more suitable. A slip from the label in a dark midnight tone with coquettish, peek-a-boo lace panels is the ideal attire for channelling an aesthetic of gothic romance, especially paired with sumptuous velvet shoe boots in vivid mauve.
All those bookmarked webpages and ripped out editorials finally have a purpose – it’s time to purchase. You might want to consider dresses for going out with a hint of sparkle, intricate details and an all-round show-stopping wow factor. For the past few seasons, Creative Director Alessandro Michele of Gucci has ticked all these boxes – and more.
Look to this fashion house for eclectic pieces that encapsulate pure ostentation for evening outfitting. Everyone from Chloë Sevigny and Florence Welch to Saoirse Ronan and Georgia May Jagger has favoured the haberdashery-influenced, vintage aesthetic of the label of late.
And there’s a reason Gucci has been dominating the red carpet; a going-out dress from the brand feels unique to the wearer. Choose from chevron pleated women’s going-out dresses with oversized black bows, ruffled chiffon numbers in sorbet shades or eye-catching embroidered creations emblazoned with the label’s signature swirling snake.
A prominent occasion calls for a heavy investment; something very special, expertly made and perfectly tailored naturally necessitates a larger outpouring of cash.
Monique Lhuillier dresses are nothing short of divine. These garments are the kind of ladies’ going-out dresses that sartorial dreams are made of. This fashion house’s designs are imbued with a sense of fairy-tale drama – think aquamarine mini dresses with peplum hems and delicate appliquéd flowers or calf-length Jackie O-style shifts with saccharine bows and demure round necks.
And as for red going-out dresses? The label has plenty to offer in this fiery shade, from floor-length satin off-the-shoulder numbers to micro-mini lace dresses and sweeping chain-trimmed gowns. Slip into your latest investment and prepare to RSVP yes to everything.