The gym requires gym clothes, big presentations necessitate your Business Boss skirt, and your after-hours activities — you know, bar hopping, Tinder meet-cutes, dance offs — call for a uniform that lets you not only present your most attractive, confident self, but provide the ability to shimmy freely, laugh unselfconsciously, and run around comfortably. The perfect going-out look is truly performance wear in that it combines function, fashion, and sass in equal measure. And, when you've got the wrong one on, it can make your whole night a bust — there’s no bigger buzzkill than sore feet and a dress that pinches, or that nagging feeling that you’re in costume.
Because it's such a tricky category, your going-out wardrobe is most likely the culmination of years of trial and error, and you’re probably unwilling to upend all that research. But, if you haven’t shaken things up in awhile, it might be time to think about ways you can express a new side of you, without feeling like not
you. To help you reconsider your long-held dressing beliefs, we found five party-loving women at Refinery29 — each deeply entrenched in her own signature look — and asked them to confront the styles they think they can't wear. In the process, we introduced them to new opportunities to make their social butterflying a lot more satisfying, and we hope we've inspired you to try on some new wings, too.
Photographed by Lauren Perlstein; Styled by Emily Holland; Hair by Casey Geren; Makeup by Rachel Wood