Shopping·12 min read

What To Wear When You’re Going “Out” Out

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Shopbop, Madewell, Reformation, Saks Fifth Avenue
September 6, 2023

Products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Oh, and if something's out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) at time of publication.

So you’re going “out” out. Brave of you. You’ll need an outfit that potentially goes into the wee hours. Something you’ll feel comfortable in while you dance, navigate crowds, and maybe chat with attractive strangers (here’s hoping?). 

We’ve found everything from one-and-done outfits that get you out the door ASAP (even if you were still in your robe 15 minutes ago) to versatile bodysuits that you can wear to brunch the next morning. Hold for applause.

Psst…for more recs to wear to work, when going out, and while at home, check out Fashion You’ll Actually Wear Week, our destination for affordable, stylish, and practical clothes.


A sheer top we already have in our cart…

We’re not going to lie, the moment we saw this top (and at this price), we added it to our fall wish lists. It’s completely sheer with two ties at the front to help you show off a bralette underneath. We love that simply pairing this with jeans and a pair of heels is a whole outfit. ($79, Shopbop)

Buy it

A sweater tube top you’ll wear more than you might think…

A strapless sweater top is an unexpected wardrobe essential for the cooler seasons. This top has a mini sweetheart neckline and is fitted throughout, making it easy to tuck into trousers, jeans, or a skirt. Grab the red to stay on-trend for this season. ($98, Reformation)

Buy it
Saks Fifth Avenue

A leather skirt you’ll wear for years…

Speaking of skirts to tuck a top into, this one is at the top of our wishlist. It looks as buttery smooth as real leather, and the front slit is just plain fun. Wear it with the strapless top above, an oversized button-down, or a simple tee. The possibilities are endless. ($108, Saks Fifth Avenue)

Buy it

A denim maxi skirt to get in on the trend…

We never thought we’d see the day, but denim maxi skirts are back in a big way this fall. This one from Madewell checks all of our boxes: It’s mid-rise in a medium wash and features a playful front slit to show a little leg. We also love that it comes in sizes 23–33. Psst…use code SKIMM20 for 20% off your order. ($98, Madewell)

Buy it

A faux-leather bomber for cool-girl vibes…

This bomber has all the details to make you feel like an off-duty model, from the oversized fit to the of-the-moment collar. It looks unreasonably cool with just a T-shirt and jeans, but looks just as good layered over a mini dress when you’re hitting the town. ($249, Shopbop)

Buy it

A two-piece set with ‘90s movie villain energy…

This set makes us want to marry an older man who owns a vineyard and show his daughter who’s boss when she gets home from summer camp. Please tell us you get this reference. It’s a long-sleeve top and skirt in black and white that screams (or gently whispers) “quiet luxury.” The smocking on the back of the top ensures it’ll fit you like a glove. ($248, Reformation)

Buy it

A cropped halter top that pairs nicely with any bottom…

Pull on this top with jeans, a skirt, leather pants, or even cargo pants, and you’ve got yourself an entire look. It’s body-skimming but won’t be constricting if you’re hitting the dance floor. Plus, it wears well without a bra underneath. ($120, Monrow)

Buy it
Forever 21

A corset halter top that looks way more expensive than it is…

Okay, Forever 21, we see you. This top has boning, so it’s incredibly supportive without the need for a bra and looks great paired with cargos and heels, as seen on the model. We love that it has a zipper in the back for easy on and off, and it comes in sizes 0X–4X. ($22.99, Forever 21)

Buy it

A bodycon midi you can dress up or down…

Slip into this ribbed knit midi dress when you need to stay comfortable, whether you know it’s going to be a late night or you’ll be out all day. It pairs just as well with heels or booties as it does with your favorite sneakers. The wide straps ensure it’ll stay put even if you’re throwing your hands in the air like you just don’t care. ($20, Target)

Buy it
Urban Outfitters

A satin maxi skirt that’ll take you from the office to after-work drinks…

Maxi skirts have become our new wear-anywhere staple. It looks so chic with just a T-shirt for the office, and even better with a little cami top for a girls night out. You can wear it low rise or high rise, depending on the size you get. Versatility for the win. ($59, Urban Outfitters)

Buy it
Free People

A bodysuit that works for all bust sizes…

The V-neck on this bodysuit is flattering yet not so low that you’ll worry about a wardrobe malfunction all night. Let a lace bralette peek out for a flirty touch, or try going braless if that’s your thing. It comes in nine colors and is stretchy and soft with a thong bottom that will never give you a visible panty line. ($50, Free People)

Buy it
Good American

A body-skimming turtleneck dress…

There’s something so elegant about a high-necked dress. This one is made of stretchy fabric that hugs your curves with subtle ruching on the sides. The midi length is perfect for going from the office to cocktails when it’s time for happy hour. It comes in two neutral colors and sizes XS–5XL. ($120, Good American)

Buy it

A bright mini dress with a party-ready detail in the back…

If you’re attending a party or have a girls night of dancing ahead of you, may we suggest this apple green number? The high cowl neck beautifully offsets the low back with chain detailing. Plus, the silky fabric is overlaid with a retro, wavy print. So fun. ($178, Revolve)

Buy it
Urban Outfitters

A mini dress with a bow detail in the back…

Satin mini dresses are always a good idea. With a sweetheart neckline, bow in the back, and mini length, this one is classic in all the best ways. When you feel like you have nothing to wear, reach for this beauty that’ll never let you down. It comes in ten colors and even looks good with an oversized blazer on top. ($59, Urban Outfitters)

Buy it
With Jéan

A strapless dress that’ll quickly become your favorite thing to wear…

From an Instagram-darling brand, this dress is *chef’s kiss* for a night out. It’s a strapless mini with on-trend rosettes at the bust and above the thigh-baring slit. Name something more synonymous with going out than a thigh-baring slit. We’ll wait. ($199, With Jéan)

Buy it

A strapless corset top that goes with any pants…

Denim, leather, cargos, you name it, this top looks good with it. Though it has flexible boning for structure, this corset top is comfortable and breathable, even for those with larger chests. It has spandex, so it’s not completely rigid, and a zipper at the back for easy on and off. It comes in several colors and sizes 00–20. ($23.19+, Amazon)

Buy it

A cami bodysuit that’s buttery soft…

For a laidback, casual ’fit, pair this bodysuit with your favorite jeans and heels. The fabric is slightly sculpting but not restricting or uncomfortable. It’s completely seamless, comes in several neutral shades to fit your skin tone, and has a thong back that remains invisible under pants. ($58, Nordstrom)

Buy it

A black one-shoulder bodycon dress…

The details of this dress really make it a stunner, from the one-shoulder neckline to the midi length to the asymmetrical hem. It’s fitted, but not necessarily going-to-the-club fitted, and works well for a cocktail hour or even a special dinner date. It also comes in a few brights for more adventurous dressers. ($62, Lulus)

Buy it

A cami that supports and lifts at the same time…

Comfortable shapewear? We’re in. This cami is underwire-free but still smooths and lifts with bonded support. It tucks easily into jeans or a skirt, comes in adjustable or wide-strap versions, and sizes XS–4X plus 11 colors. ($84, Honeylove)

Buy it

A sophisticated jumpsuit for a one-and-done outfit…

This shoulder-baring jumpsuit has a high neck with a twist that flows elegantly into wide-leg pants. It’s not too tight at the waist, and the fabric is thick enough to not be see-through but still hangs nicely. It comes in black and deep red and sizes 14–24. Just be aware, it runs large so order one size down. Night out, here you come. ($169, Nordstrom)

Buy it

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.