Natalie on a date night with her two girls tagging along. Natalie is wearing a Cotton Traders navy blazer and jersey maxi dress

Daywear to Date Night [AD]

There was a time when going out for drinks after work meant heading out of the office and straight into the pub. These days though, a little more thought is required. Work attire tends to be something relatively smart, but the evenings call for a little more colour. I love the mix-and-match style of Cotton Traders’ collections. They’re ideal for a swift switch from day to date – even if our dates look a little different these days.

The staple item: A navy blazer

I am loving the blazer look at the moment, particularly in terms of its versatility. Whether you’re pairing it with jeans for the pub or something smart for work or a date night, a blazer adds something to the look.

This Cotton Traders Textured Jersy Unlined Blazer is made from stretchy fabric. It’s even described on the website as a “day to night essential”. Its princess seams ensure a flattering look and the lack of lining make it lightweight and ideal for spring. I also love the fact it is washable. Mine has been through the wash a couple of times and hasn’t lost its form at all.

This is the one item that I’m keeping in my quick change from daywear to date night.

Natalie standing outside wearing a daywear to date night navy blazer and Cotton Traders blouse

A date night dress

As you will see from the photo, a date night looks a little different these days to the way it was in the past. It would be very unusual for my husband and I to make it to the theatre without these two tagging along. But that doesn’t change the fact that a trip to the theatre means dressing up a bit, changing out of my work attire and putting on a dress.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I’ve recently started working with an online personal trainer. I’m hitting the weights three times a week and counting calories. Whilst weight loss isn’t my aim, I’m hoping that a byproduct will be toning up a bit. Until I get to that point, a long-sleeved dress like this hides all manner of insecurities – particularly when paired with a flattering blazer.

In the quick change from daywear to date night, the Jersey Print Maxi Dress wins the race. Its pull-on and go style allows plenty of extra time to spend on touching up hair and makeup.

Natalie on a date night with her two girls tagging along. Natalie is wearing a Cotton Traders navy blazer and jersey maxi dress

The daywear blouse

I have been wearing my smart navy Cotton Traders trousers to work for a few months now and they’re still going strong. Likewise my floral boots. But when I want to look really smart, I’m a traditionalist and I think a blouse and blazer finish off the look.

This Print Longline Blouse is my go-to meeting attire when I have to smarten up. As with the maxi-dress, the sleeves provide a bit of extra body confidence. So, I can concentrate on being good at my job, not worrying about the way my arms look. Like the blazer, this holds its shape when washed and will be seeing me through meetings for years to come.

Natalie standing outside wearing a Cotton Traders blouse

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