The rise of the modern woman killed traditional “day-to-night” clothing

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, then you’re probably familiar with versatile clothing that retailers described as “day-to-night.” As its name suggests, this was clothing designed to be suitable for both work and happy hour. It was something that was deemed as professional, yet was cool enough to wear to drinks and date night. Even though this term still exists today, the evolution of professional dress and social lives has had an effect on the desk-to-dinner style trends that once reigned in department stores.

In the last decade, women have dialed down their traditional workwear, so this advertorial concept completely shifted. Gone are the days where fashion editors wore heels to work every day. Now, dad sneakers and mom jeans are more acceptable in the workplace than ever before.

Furthermore, as women dominate the workforce and move away from wearing traditional business attire, we’re seeing that they’re dressing in a way that’s borderline street-style by integrating trendy pieces, such as platform boots, with office-appropriate pieces, like pantsuits. This eliminates the outdated concept of day-to-night clothing entirely.

“In an effort to create a more laid-back atmosphere, companies have ditched the 'pantyhose' rule and allowed for a more casual and comfortable look. This, in turn, has made it easier for women to transition their looks from daytime office to nighttime, says stylist Molly Carrey. “Bodysuits are all the rage right now because they can easily be paired with anything from skirts to denim to wide-leg pants. A simple black bodysuit and high-waisted pants can effortlessly work for meetings or martinis.

Biker shorts, too, are designed for the woman who exercises in the A.M., throws on a blazer to work during the day, and puts on booties at night.

Jumpsuits are another example of what CFDA member and fashion designer Regina Kravitz considers the perfect “flex-styled” clothing. She says that women who flex their lives even more nowadays (as partners, mothers, and workers) can benefit from a wardrobe that caters to their disparate needs. Plus, these functional pieces are designed for the modern woman who is possibly less tolerant of uncomfortable clothing in the same way that she’s less tolerant of toxic workplace masculinity.

Of course, it all really depends on your industry’s dress code. “There is no such thing as ‘casual Friday’ anymore, as every day is casual Friday in may work places. Unless you’re working in a strict law office, financial firm, or corporate business headquarters, most likely you are able to wear jeans on a regular basis,”explains Andrea Seemayer, founder and CEO of A.Lynn Designs. The same goes for date night, too.

“Just last weekend I stopped into the famed Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for a cocktail, and 90% of the guests were in denim and some even in baseball caps. The overall dress code, nationwide, is much more casual than it was 10 years ago…even five years ago! It is much simpler to create day-to-night looks now, being that you do not have to change much to cater to either event, she adds.

Switching from flats to heels is an age-old trick that won’t let up anytime soon. But hey, at least, we’re wearing sneakers in the workplace.

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