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Your Going Out Dress, All Grown Up

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My designated going out clothes have taken on many forms through the years, most notably during college. There were the crop tops and bodycon skirts when I had finally lost all of my awkward high school weight, naturally followed by the sheer tops and dresses that came with my wave of newfound confidence. It wasn't as much about style as it was how much I liked myself in them.

Now as a post-college, working adult, that factor still ranks highest in importance, just now with added criteria. Namely, how often will I actually wear this?

So when we put this story together, it was not only important that a very real problem was solved — finding going out clothes that also work for everyday — but that our model, Chloe, actually felt good — and felt herself — in them. And judging by the number of selfies she took on set, I think we did a good job. —Tanisha Pina, associate market editor 

Going Out Clothes For Adults
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Story by Tanisha Pina. Photos by Felix Wong.

Knowing how to dress for a night out after a certain age raises a fair share of challenges, especially during the holidays. With office parties, out-of-office parties, New Year's Eve plans, and everything in between, stressing over what to wear is just as much a December tradition as red Starbucks cups.

The hard part is hitting that uncertain balance of sexy and sophisticated — you don’t want to look stuffy, but you also don’t want to look like an Instagram model. But most importantly, you want to make sure you’re not spending money on something that’ll only get a few wears out of (otherwise known as a waste of money.) And you still want to feel like you.

To help you justify that pricey crop top or flashy pair of heels, we’ve rounded up five versatile pieces that work just as well on a dark dance floor as they do at your Monday through Friday gig and Saturday brunch. 

The Item: Edgy Crop Top

Alexander Wang bustier, $198. Shop similar: River Island Longline Bustier, $18.50.

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For a night out: Paskal Polka Dot Top ($265), Topshop Black Jamie Jeans ($75), Aldo Polesia High Heel Sandals ($60), Il Était Un Fil Pouch ($235), BCBG Stone Tassel Earrings ($58).

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For the weekend: Marciano Cosmia Bomber Jacket ($198), Lane Bryant pants, Aldo Mathia Boots ($125), Suncoo Zebra Bucket Bag ($208).

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For a day at work: Marciano Birds of a Feather Blouse ($138), By Malene Birger Metallic Ribbed Knit Skirt ($375).

See the rest of the looks here >>
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Shopping is fun, or at least it should be. But sometimes it can be frustrating, because you can’t find what you need, or because you have to meet your significant other’s parents in a couple hours and you have nothing to wear and you’re already late. And sometimes, shopping is humiliating, because all your cards get declined and you can’t just melt into a puddle like Alex Mac.

Often, we forget that there are people — real live human beings! — whose job it is to make the experience of shopping in a store as successful as possible. When I’m shopping, I almost always brush off sales associates with a casual “just browsing, thanks!” so I talked to several of them who do this for a living to find out what I’ve been missing out on, and how we can all do this thing better.

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Today's Non-Gift Guide Pick for The Holiday Season
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Who: Emily Kaplan
What they do: Assistant Vice President and Head of Contemporary Curated, Sotheby's
What they want: Yoshitomo Nara PupCup, $145

At Sotheby's, we've seen record prices for paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara. Nara's irresistible work depicts a range of angelic and devilish characters paired with wry phrases and rendered in a cutesy, cartoonish aesthetic. (Even Kylie Jenner has a Nara.)

I'm crazy about the Nara PupCup, an editioned sculpture fabricated by the artist and sold by Artware Editions for only $145; it's a great way to acquire a work by Nara at an affordable price. Sotheby's is selling several pieces by Nara in our contemporary art sales that begin today priced around $30,000, so until I find someone to buy me one of those, I'll be very content with my PupCup!

 

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