15 Nov 2018

From “Desk To Dinner”

From Desk To Dinner on vickiarcher.com

How do we do this?

How do we transform our day look into an evening one without too much fuss? Since fashion rules are pretty much what we make up ourselves I believe in wearing what we want where we want. If I feel like getting dressed up for a day at VAHQ, which is in my home, then I do and I often wear my favourite LBD with a casual pair of shoes/sneakers and a blazer. This same dress could have taken a twirl the night before somewhere far more glamorous.

But I sometimes forget and get stuck in the “that’s for the day and that’s for the night” way of thinking.

Wearing velvet and lace or silks and sequins are no longer limited to the evening. It’s simply a question of dressing down or dressing up, depending on the hour of the day. Too often our classic and more formal dresses sit unloved in our wardrobes waiting patiently for the right occasion. Forget that; beautiful fashion is to be worn, to adorn and to be shown off. I am tired of “saving for later” – no way, not anymore.

I am going to re-purpose my best; open the doors of the long forgotten corner wardrobe and play down my dressed up.

From Desk To Dinner on vickiarcher.com

How do we do it? 

Want to.  We have to re-think how we can wear our pieces and make them more flexible for more events. Why does a little cocktail number have to be worn at night? They don’t and it is up to us to creatively navigate our wardrobes.

Be creative. A new dress for a special night out doesn’t mean it is a one time wearing or cannot see the light of day again. I am guilty of this with a mindset locked into fashion inflexibility. Not any longer, my attitude is changing.

Accessorise around the clock. Swap the shoes, change the earrings and add a blazer over the top; reverse for an evening out. A pair of chandelier style earrings and a pretty shoe can elevate an outfit to new levels.

Note to self: Don’t be afraid to mix wardrobe essentials and remember to pair the tailored with the pretty.

From Desk To Dinner on vickiarcher.com

From desk to dinner?

Time so often runs out and I find myself never having enough. My “what to wear” planning starts out strong but invariably fails because I lack the puff at the end of the day to pull it off. Rather than start afresh, when I’m weary and creatively challenged after 5, starting strong with the majority of the outfit in place means a quick getaway and more time to relax and unwind. Rather than having to rethink the whole outfit, switching up my shoes, bags and accessories is the answer.

I’m getting more wear out of my best and I’m stressing less about wearing more. Winning.

My last trick in the dash from “desk to dinner” is red lipstick. Always.

I’m putting together some ideas from Nordstrom, they are the best when it comes to having it all. Wear the fabulous dress with the classic button-up blazer; let’s swap our sneakers for some pretty mules when the sun goes down. Add some bling and some colourful accessories to our most classic dress and watch it switch mood.

Party season is seconds away and we have no time to waste ;) xv

From “Desk To Dinner”

start here

maggie illusion sheath ||  lafayette milano dress  ||  abbie velvet  ||  alexander wang midi  ||  eliza j bell sleeve   ||  roksanda flutter sleeve

top it off 

1901 wool blazer  ||  frame velvet blazer  ||  equipment wool blazer  ||  current elliott houndstooth blazer

running late for a dinner date 

leopard calf hair booties  ||  anya bow mule  ||  grenelle bootie ||  hangisi pump

don’t dally, dingle dangle

alexis bittar long teardrops  ||  tortoiseshell hoops  ||  kendra scott chandeliers  ||  jenny packham chandeliers

Thank you Nordstrom for partnering with, “From Desk To Dinner”.

images, mario testino, guy aroch, craig mcdean, sebastian kim, mariano vivanco, regan cameron

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Taste of France

Velvet or silk for day, yes, of course. Lace, it depends–as long as it isn’t sheer or frilly, but that’s because my personal style leans toward classic. I draw the line at sequins. The bedazzled trend (on sweaters and tops, jackets, workout clothes, jeans) leaves me cold. A sequin dress for day seems too much. If everything is for anytime, then what’s left for really special occasions?
OTOH, swapping out post earrings for chandelier versions, or changing from flats into heels, as you suggest, is a different story–easy adjustments that can turn a professional outfit into a party one.

Tara dillard

Often I’m dolled-up for casual dinner out, Beloved in his cargo shorts or jeans with nice collared shirt. Why ? It’s fun, life is short, and totally adoring this first year of my first DVF wrap dress. Amongst other fancier specimens. Jewelry too.

For a good meal, take me out. We eat out a lot. Born in 1960, parents raised me to never have skills to caretake a man or house, education & career the sole focus.

Oops, I need to cook for myself, and adore a curated home/garden. Beloved got the memo upfront !

Several dinner outfits bought from your links, makeup too. Thank you for your curated advice. No time to figure this stuff out myself.

Garden & Be Well, Tara

Linda B

Like Tara, I am often dressed up for a date night with my casual hubby! It’s so funny. We don’t care. . .

I am scheming about that Lafayette Milano dress. It would be perfect for me in every way. . . Trouble is, I am going to retire in a matter of months. Trying not to buy any dressier/work clothes for now. Hmm…..


Can you give guidance on choosing Red lipstick? I find it harsh and unforgiving. With naturally less than white teeth it seems aging. Is there a secret to finding the right shade? Is armani your favorite brand?

Helene Marie

Ahh, it’s SO refreshing to read From Desk to Dinner, to swing open the wardrobe and dare to switch mood, especially with the colder season and holidays upon us! My favorite is ‘tailored with pretty’, and red lips, always! Please, I’d love to hear the rumor squashed that leopard is waning. And I must ask, would a 58 YO be able to wear the Maggie Illusion sheath, even at 120 lbs?


I like that response Vicki and went back to look at that dress (the Maggie Illusion). I have something similar with long sleeves, in a gorgeous pearl grey (though it is 15 years old) and had the opportunity really dress up recently. At the last minute I chickened out (I’m older than 58) as I had a last-minute panic thought of “mutton dressed as lamb”…… Now I wish I had worn it. You are a great confidence-builder!


Thank you Jeanette.
I understand there is a balance between wearing what is stylish and what is erring on the side of not… I want to wear what reflects who I am in my way… without looking silly or like somebody else. That’s why I often say, “classic with a twist”.. that’s where I think “better, not younger’ comes in too.
A classic dress like the sheath can be worn by any age… it’s how we accessorise.

And yes, to self-confidence… I think if I could do any one thing with this website it is to work on this.. for all of us :)


When I was still working – and regularly attending international conferences that could last 8 days – I had to plan my wardrobe very carefully. I would be on the go from early morning shower, checking conference papers, preliminary breakfast meetings at around 7.00 or 7.30 to all day meetings and plenary sessions in enormous buildings often requiring much running around, then to evening receptions and dinners, in places like the Elysee Palace in Paris or a Royal Palace in Copenhagen or an archaeoligical museum in Istanbul. There was no time for a complete change of clothes. I’d just swap my flats for heels, business handbag for evening bag, jewellery, refresh lipstick, powder and perfume and then dash down the corridor. We wouldn’t normally get back to the hotels till after midnight when I’d begin work on conference papers for the next day. Usually would get about 5 hours sleep, if lucky. But in those days I ran on the adrenaline and excitement of it. Nowadays it would kill me. But I didn’t wear black everyday. I had a choice of designer jackets in colours like fuchsia pink, red, emerald green, etc that I wore with black trousers, white button down shirts and the right coloured designer silk scarves – Versace, Chanel, Gucc, Hermes etc bought at Harrods Heathriw or other airport dutyfrees. Of course I also had a black jacket too. No time for dresses. Those wives who accompanied their delegate husbands to evening things tended to wear glam cocktail dresses but the delegation members had no chance to do the same. Anyway we had to look businesslike and in my bright coloured jackets anyone who was looking for me could find me instantly in the sea of black and navy.


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