Rescue last minute dressing problems with classics

What to wear when you are in a hurry

Every professional woman has faced this situation. You are checking your emails while having breakfast and see that your boss’ secretary had sent you an invitation for an important business meeting with customers after the EOB (end of business). Of course, this meeting doesn’t permit you to go home to change. This means your usual morning routine doesn’t work and the outfit you planed for the day doesn’t work either. You had prepared a Casual Friday look, but the meeting requires a Business Casual work outfit.

No reason to panic when you know the following tricks. They will solve your problem whenever you have a last minute call for a wardrobe change.

over 50 years old woman in classic winter outerwear for the commute from the office to a business dinner
Faux fur coat (similar here) with cashmere silk floral print scarf, red leather gloves, black beret, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, Celine bag, GNW gray tights, and Vince Camuto boots (all own)

Go for instant chic with classics to solve your last minute dressing problem

Go for instant chic in a classic color combination when dressing in a hurry. #styleadvice Click To Tweet

In the above “emergency”,

  • Go for fool proof classic color combinations. Just two colors is best like navy with beige, black and white, navy and gray, tan and winter white, or red and gray.
  • In winter, a skirt and cashmere sweater with a necklace and classic knee-high boots are always a great work outfit combination for a mature woman. Other great options are a wool skirt with a twinset and a statement necklace.
  • In summer, a white button-down shirt with a navy blue, mustard or gray summer wool straight or pencil skirt or a polka dot skirt are eternal classic options for a dinner with clients.
  • In summer, a sheath dress with a cardigan, pumps and a pendant necklace provides instant posh chic and looks professional. See an example of a chic summer meeting with the clients outfit at the link.
  • In winter, a wool sheath dress with a cashmere turtleneck sweater underneath, a pearl necklace and knee-high boots provides an instant posh chic work look that also suits you well when going out for dinner with clients.
  • Be aware that at the restaurant, your bag becomes part of your outfit. Thus, make sure its style goes seamlessly with your outfit also once you take your coat off.
  • In case that the weather requires outerwear, your outerwear is an outfit too in which your clients will see you. Thus, style your outerwear as well. A trench coat with a silk scarf is a no-brainer in spring and fall. In nasty cold winter climate a wool coat in a classic color with a scarf and matching hat or beret gives you an instant great look when wearing boots.
style blogger presenting a winter office outfit idea to wear when dressing at the last minute
Anne Klein cable-knit sweater with Eddie Bauer tweed skirt, GNW gray tights, DIY statement belt, Vince Camuto suede boots, Celine bag, and Paloma Picasso sunglasses (all own)

How I styled a red with gray last minute work outfit

Somehow I love the combination of red and gray. Here I wear an all gray outfit for indoors with just a pop of red. I like the red cashmere turtleneck sweater to be the focus. You can also style this red turtleneck with pants on an extremely cold day.

Pro tip: Have a blazer that goes with everything or an instant meeting outfit at work so you have the right outfit in a last minute business meeting situation. #instantstyle Click To Tweet

How I styled my outerwear

When you have to go for lunch or dinner with your clients, customers or boss, your outerwear becomes a work outfit too. Thus, always style your outerwear and make sure it looks professional/meets the work dress code. Just in case. I wore my black and gray A-line faux fur coat with a black hat, a red floral scarf, red gloves, and a red bag. You see that the bag is large enough to carry some work material and matches with the red sweater when I take my coat off. It conveys the message “I’m willing to take work home.” In other words, “Dress to impress.” When you want to learn more about How to Dress for Success in Midlife you may want to buy my book at the link.

Pro tip: A great option to stand out of the crowd of black, gray and brown winter outerwear is to go for pops of color with your accessories like the scarf, gloves or head cover or even the bag.

I always look in the winter sales for gloves in colors beyond brown and black. I was lucky to find the red leather gloves (see outfit photo), but unfortunately I did not find pink, light gray, orange, or sunflower yellow leather gloves. I am still looking.

Have you had a last minute meeting notice and had to dress for it at the last minute? What are your instant outfits when you have a last minute dressing emergency? Do you have a rescue plan, i.e. something at the office that you can wear when the secretary called too late?

Get the inspiration, support, motivation, and tips to look to your best in life. Get a subscription to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it you can do it too.

Photos: G. Kramm

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

© 2013-2019 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved