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How to dress for real life: What to wear to go out on the town or out to dinner

It's time to come back to reality and we all need to get dressed! You can likely still find some excellent options in your wardrobe or take some of those COVID savings and freshen up the closet a bit. Here are some ideas to help you get in the mood to ditch the sweats and dress to impress...

Last weekend I attended a beautiful, bohemian wedding on a farm in Great Barrington, MA.

The other night I had dinner with two magicians and a comic on the Lower East Side. And this weekend, I was in a podcast studio with three 30-year-old dudes riffing about New York City, aliens, and life in general. On all occasions, my look was more considered than my typical dog walking attire of late.

Because we’re coming back to life and back to reality, and with that reality comes the need to get dressed. Many are struggling, but I’m having the best time shopping in my closet for pieces that feel fresh after a year or more of non-wear. I’m sure you can find some excellent opportunities in your wardrobe or take some of those COVID savings and freshen up the closet a bit.

And if you need some help re-orienting yourself to a life that requires a bit of a dress code, fear not. I’ve got some ideas to help get you in the mood to ditch the sweats and rock something more dress to impress.

Say hello to the caftan


First, if you don’t have a caftan, get one. I’m not talking about Mrs. Roper realness, though if that’s your thing, mazel tov. I love you. I’m speaking of a more refined chic more at home at Soho House than the Regal Beagle. A caftan is just the chicest thing on Earth. Long, short, you name it. In the formal category, this one from Halston (inspired by the Netflix series) is the most and so up my alley for a formal occasion.


If you want something fancy but not so pricey, this silver sequin short caftan-influenced dress from Zara is so good. I love this leopard print one from Ocean + Main for everyday flow, and this dress from Black Crane is so good. I adore their outsized shapes that are very Japanese and extraordinarily wearable. Incidentally, this one from Everlane is excellent for a modern, more minimalist, and affordable take on the muumuu. And for just a hint of Mrs. Roper, this Suzie Kondi gauze number in sunny yellow is perfectly 70s but suited to hot summer days and nights right now.


Second, jewelry is a great way to refresh your style senses. I love gold with a summer tan. I’m a fan of In Cauda Venenum from France for something that feels somewhat old-world/vampire, or go for a vintage Elsa Peretti red lacquer doughnut bangle (worth scouring the internet for a good secondhand option) for a whole other vibe. Oh, and go BIG on those sunglasses. I love these from Gentle Monster. Eye makeup not required (baby steps).

Try the leisurewear look


Third, make leisurewear a little bit louche. I’m loving these fantastic boxer shorts showing up everywhere, paired with a matching top. Like this option from my beloved Frankie Shop, a treasure trove for well-priced looks with European appeal. I’m also a fan of terry cloth, which is appearing everywhere. These. Suzie Kondi’s sets are spendy, but so chic, particularly when paired with a heel. So good. And this cotton dress from Zara reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw in the best of ways. PS- am I the only one craving a terry cloth Juicy Couture dress for over my bathing suit? So very 90s, but still so perfect.

Horses Atelier

Fourth, channel your inner Tom Wolfe and go for full-on monochromatic looks. Whether all white or all bottle green, I’m a fan of singularity. I wore my fuschia pink Horses Atelier jumpsuit with my fuschia satin Paris, TX kitten mule sandals to the dinner with the comedians. It was a fun look, and I felt super put together. I even rocked a fuschia lip, courtesy of Gucci Westman’s lip palette.

And fifth, don’t be afraid to have some damn fun. It’s been a rough stretch. As a recent boho bridesmaid (see wedding above), I truly enjoyed wearing a shade of blush with a golden floral tiara and custom cape complete with a neck full of marabou feathers, courtesy of the mother of the bride. A cape is a game-changer. You haven’t lived until you danced to a disco at dusk with a mountain view and a cape for emphasis. Pure and total magic.

Meg Maven

Oh, and speaking of pure and total magic, I’m proud to have been the inspiration for a fun little unfussy frock created by my favorite local designer, Meg Kinney of Meg. The Maven Dress (named for my own blog/brand) is a lovely, loose, neutral shirt dress that can go everywhere this summer and beyond. From desk to dinner to wherever you need to go. It’s a fabulous look and epitomizes what post-pandemic dress is all about.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Sheri Radel Rosenberghttps://unapologeticstyle.substack.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg is a Philly-born, Brooklyn-based writer who explores style, beauty, culture, and midlife with wit, warmth, and wisdom. Her story includes successful forays in the worlds of trend forecasting, ad agency photo production, ghostwriting, and strategic messaging development for fashion and beauty brands - all while amassing a slip dress collection that would make any Gen Xer proud. At the dawn of social media, Sheri launched her personal blog–which combines her passion for writing with her style obsession–and she hasn’t looked back. As Style Editor for the AGEIST, she’s inspired by the styles of the 70s and the 90s, along with all the beautiful people she sees daily in NYC.


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