How To Get Ready In A Flash For A Night Out

Do you have a go-to dress in your closet? An easy makeup and hair routine? Jewelry and a bag you can grab-and-go?

You should!

A few weeks ago my friend Sherri asked me to attend a Hand In Paw fundraising event that would involve cocktails, dinner and super-cute dogs. Um, yes please!

One of the Hand In Paws therapy dogs

One of the Hand In Paw therapy dogs

I was really happy to attend and Sherri and I had a great time! I had never seen a live auction in-person before, and it was exciting!


Luckily the night was also made enjoyable in that I knew exactly what I was going to wear.

I had a couple conversations with Sherri about what to wear, but I knew I had at least two cocktail dresses in my closet I could pull out and wear without needing to buy anything new, worry about undergarments or fear I would be uncomfortable all night.

Here’s what I wore:

ASOS Curve dress {similar here, here and here}

ASOS Curve dress

This ASOS Curve dress was purchased for my bachelorette party last year, but I have two other dresses that I can always grab when needed. One is also black with silver thread detail, and another is red:

Both ASOS Curve dresses, at a friend's wedding (left) and Valentine's Day dinner (right)

ASOS Curve dresses, at a friend’s wedding (left) and Valentine’s Day dinner (right)

I recommend when you look for a dress, while black is an easy choice, any color can work as long as you think seasonally. Also think about the fabric. I could easily wear any of these dresses with a shrug, wrap or cardi and tights in the winter, too.

Here are some great Little Black Dress options from ASOS Curve that range from $27 to $63:

asos collage

Clockwise from top left: Swing dress, $35; Peplum dress, $27; Pencil dress, $45;  Obi wrap dress, $63

As for the fit, I like anything A-line for my shape, and I think it looks flattering on most shapes and sizes. The straighter styles above are also great because the clean lines that nip in at the waist work on most body types. I also like to choose dresses that aren’t strapless, as much as possible, so I can wear a regular bra and a pair of Spanx. Easy!

The great thing about the LBD is you can add a pop of color with your shoes. On Saturday night, my shoes were simple Easy Spirit sandals because I wanted to take care of my back and not wear high, high heels. I would even venture to say that flats are OK! As long as they go well with your dress.

Check out Alexa Chung with these funny kitten flats — totally works with her personality!


As for makeup, I went simple: Stila brown eyeliner ($18), Mac’s bronze shimmery eyeshadow ($16), Maybelline Great Lash black mascara ($7), Mac Studio Fix powder ($27), Mac powder blush ($22) and the perfect shade of lipstick for nighttime for me, raspberry — Clinique’s A Different Grape ($19).


You could definitely take this up a notch with a smokier eye, more eyeliner or even fake eyelashes. And red lipstick is always a classic!

As for hair, I went simple with a blown-dry style, but I did wear a little more product than I would on a normal work day. I used my favorite Bumble & Bumble Dryspun for more volume and hairspray for staying power.

If you like a little more effort with your hair, try finding a style you can create quickly. Practice a week or a couple days ahead of time, that way you can recreate it easily. I love throwing up both sides of my hair with two or three bobby pins. Boom, it’s out of my face and looks polished.

pinned back

As for jewelry, have a necklace or earrings that will work well with any of your go-to dresses — then add on smaller pieces around that necklace or earrings. The necklace I wore Saturday night was a gift — here’s a similar one from Swarovski:

And don’t forget a simple clutch that can carry lipstick, your phone, credit cards & ID.

That’s it! You’re ready to go!

Do you have a go-to dress? What is your routine to get ready for a night out?

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