Staple Pieces to Take Day to Night

karina wears nordstrom open edit midi skirt and sweater

There’s this common struggle that we all go through while we pack for vacations, plan after-work dinner or drinks, or pick our outfit for an all-day outing. That struggle: planning an outfit that works for multiple occasions. We’ve all been there staring at our closets wondering if we should just pack that extra dress or blouse, or considering what to wear when we don’t have a ton of extra time to switch up our look for the evening. We are with you in the struggle! But, it’s actually pretty easy to keep your packing list simple for vacay or to update your look in 5 minutes. We’ve rounded up a few key staples to set the foundation for your look and are giving you the details on how to take each of these pieces from day to night with a few styling ideas. 

Staple 1: Knit midi dress

A knit midi dress is crucial to have in your wardrobe for basically all seasons since there are so many different styles to choose from. For the summer season specifically, a knit midi with tank sleeves and a soft fabric is our go-to. This is a great staple for any personal style – find this midi in colors from black to hot pink, solids to bold patterns! 

This staple piece is so easy to take day to night with things that you probably already have in your closet. 

For day: We love styling this with flat, simple sandals, a small gold hoop earring, and a cross-body bag for comfortable, easy strolling. Let the dress shine!

For night: Transition a knit midi dress to an evening look with a heeled shoe. You can still keep things comfortable here, we love a block-heeled sandal. Add a silky wrap over your shoulders or a cropped jacket and some layered necklaces and you are set. 

Staple 2: White button up

If you don’t have a white button-up yet, get one ASAP girl! A white button-up is such a staple item for its versatility and ease of style. We love white button-ups for the times when we want to look like we’ve put a ton of effort into our outfit, but it actually took 5 minutes. It’s up to you what kind of style you want here, but we prefer an unstructured, oversized button-up for a relaxed look.

This staple piece can be taken day to night with a surprisingly simple action… buttoning and unbuttoning. 

For day: Wear your button-up unbuttoned over a simple tank top and cut-off shorts. Styling the top unbuttoned keeps you cool throughout a hot summer day, bonus points if you roll up the sleeves. 

For night: Button up your top (only around the button above halfway) and tuck one side into your favorite pants, while leaving one side out. With the top being blousy and low-cut in the front, add a lacey or metallic tank or bralette underneath to add a little something extra.

Staple 3: Light wash denim shorts

This item is so simple and easy to style! Once you find a well-fitting pair of denim shorts, you really can wear them for most occasions. Obviously, denim shorts won’t work for something more dressy. But if your outings are casual, don’t sleep on grabbing your comfy denim shorts. Our favorite denim shorts have a slightly relaxed fit but aren’t too baggy, are a little bit longer but aren’t too long, and are high-waisted.

For day: Our biggest advice to style denim shorts for the day is to style them however you’d like. Denim shorts are one of those pieces that you really can’t go wrong with. We love adding a flowy top or a slightly cropped tank with our denim shorts.

For night: This is when it can get a little tricky, but don’t give up on your denim just yet. Pair your light-wash denim shorts with a slinky bodysuit and an oversized blazer to dress things up. Complete the look with a heeled sandal or a pair of kitten heels, a statement clutch, and an earring or necklace stack. 

Staple 4: Oversized blazer

Another piece that everyone needs in their closet… an oversized blazer. If you’re not a blazer person because they feel too formal, or you can’t get the office vibe out of your head, we get it. Depending on the outfit, blazers *can* feel a little stuffy if not styled correctly. But the biggest thing to remember when it comes to blazers is it’s all about the fit! A tailored, more structured blazer is a great piece but can feel a little too professional if your style feels casual. That’s why we love an oversized blazer as an easy addition to any outfit. 

For day: Try a blazer over a pair of comfortable biker shorts and a graphic tee! This instantly will make your athleisure look more elevated and put together. Don’t forget a leather fanny pack and your fave sneaks. 

For night: An easy go-to is to throw this over a pair of 90’s fit jeans, but our fave way to style a blazer for evening is over a dress. We’re not talking anything too fancy, but something simple that you feel confident in. Because the blazer is already oversized, try a dress that’s more form-fitting to balance out the look. Add a pair of heels, a rattan purse, and some statement earrings.

What are your favorite summer staple pieces? Let us know in the comments!

Xo, KSD Team