Set to Party

6 Golden rules for getting ready for a night out

Set to Party

Words: Jabulile Dlamini-Qwesha | Photographer: Jonathan Kope | Stylist: Kelly Fung

Sometimes - okay, most of the time - getting ready for a night out with friends is the best part of the night. And it’s not just about the clothes, but the bonding time (if you’ve made it a group thing) and all the self-care that gets you in the mood to have a good time.

The perfect scenario is always the turnt up pamper party where you and your friends are playing your favourite jams, exfoliating and your cups runneth over with self-love and all the affirmations.

With your flutes filled with bubbles, Feeling Myself by Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé or Cardi’s Bodak Yellow on loop, here is a guide for how to get set...

The Romantic

Don’t plan your outfit days ahead. Wait until the morning of or the evening before to take inventory of your wardrobe, ponder on some options and make your picks based on how you feel when it’s time to get yourself together. Consider the whole design: your attitude and how your body physically feels. Is it a day where you’re feeling heavy and a bit bloated or is it one where you have a spring in your step and your skin is glowing? With that in mind, go for the pieces you’ll feel most confident in. (This rule doesn’t go for themed parties, pls.)

Do put your outfit together from the bottom up. How much time will you spend on your feet, and how much confidence are you working with at base level? Use your answers to inform your shoe choices. There’s nothing worse than wearing shoes you thought you had the power to pull off, only to find that you don’t – make your calculations precisely.

The Babe

Do moisturise and put your underwear on in front of a full-length mirror, after your shower. It sounds arbitrary (to those who don’t already do it), but you get a good look at your body and a direct sense of which parts you feel most comfortable accentuating on that day. Yes, you know which body parts you appreciate more than others, but that changes slightly every day and you should keep up with that. Understanding that pattern might inform your whole approach to shopping and make your wardrobe work for you, instead of you putting in more effort to make it work.

Do start with your makeup before getting dressed, more so before popping the pre-drinks bottle - an unsteady hand or compromised vision when filling in your eyebrows and blending foundation is an actual curse. More importantly, makeup is one of the best ways to communicate your mood; how you apply it is directly influenced by how you’re feeling at that time – no matter what you had planned. You won’t wear a bold lip if you know you don’t have the attitude to carry it, you’re less likely to go with “barely there” look when you’re not feeling radiant. So, getting that done first leads you to making better decisions when it comes to the crucial details of your outfit. This is how you ensure that you create a cohesive look.

The Creative

Don’t ask your friends to show you what they’re wearing, so you can decide what to wear. You’re not a drum majorette ensemble, there is no need for your outfits to match. Also, trust your gut and know that you’ll look like your best self. If you do ask, let it be because you’re excitedly anticipating their slay and not to compare.

And speaking of pre-drinks, we left living for the nights that we can’t remember (even with people we won’t forget) in 2010… like Drake, keep them light and don’t over do it. Ideally, you shouldn’t even be tipsy after a pregame session; what you want is to get to the giggly point – where social anxiety is a myth – before the booze goes to your head. Think two glasses of brut rose or moscato and save the tipsiness for when you’re at the destination.

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