Gia Seo talks about what she wears when she goes out.
5 Women on What They Wear When They “Go Out”
05.23.18

I would argue that there is no subsection of personal style more alluring — and more challenging — than deciding what to wear out at night. Aesthetically speaking, the experience provides tantalizing opportunities to try on various fashion personas that wouldn’t make sense in the light of day (i.e., “me” but dipped in a truckload of sparkle). But functionally speaking, it forces me to confront the very real practicalities of outfitting myself for an evening of what often includes moving from place to place, dancing, climbing in and out of transportation and drink sloshing. On top of that, the category of clothing typically associated with “going out” is quite narrow.

As much as I enjoy tackling this enigma in theory, I’m also frequently stumped by it. How am supposed to flex the creative muscles of my individual style within these constraints? What are my options? I need ideas, people! Ergo, in the interest of beefing up on inspiration for the summer months ahead, I asked five women to model their favorite “going out” looks and talk to me about their respective approaches. Check out their outfits and answers below and meet me in the comments with your thoughts on this topic ASAP.


Gia Seo

Gia is a stylist and creative consultant.

How would you describe your going-out style?

My going out style and my daytime style share one common denominator: comfort! If you look uncomfortable, you won’t feel your best, and others will feel that energy coming off of you. Layers are a big differentiating factor, though. During the day, I enjoy layering up — especially when it comes to textures and clothing with different weights. My going out style is easier: fewer layers, more visibility. I know I’m going to be out for a long night, so I usually wear sneakers or a practical heel. At the end of the day, I look my best when my feet feel their best.

Where do you look for going-out style inspiration?

Exciting for me, perhaps sad for you: I find a lot of inspiration in Halloween costumes. My collection of costumes is exploding in my closet as I type this. Last year, I found the most amazing red and black pinstriped suit from a costume titled “Pimp Daddy,” and although I am ethically opposed to the implications of that job description, the suit was too good to pass up. I often wear the full suit when I’m going out, or I mix and match it with other pieces for a more casual feel.

What’s on your going-out clothes wish list right now?

Currently, I am dying for all Prada puffer everything. The neon pink puffer A-line vest, the neon green puffer clutch — anything from Fall 2018, really. Also, I collect vintage Gaultier and love wearing any number of his mesh stretch graphic-print dresses during the summer. They breathe really well in New York humidity.

Do skincare and makeup play a role in your overall going-out look?

I’m not a huge beauty person. Usually, I cleanse with Bioderma micellar water or Lancôme foam cleanser, then I apply a Clarins moisturizer and top everything off with lash curl Benefit mascara, boy brow from Glossier and a matte magenta lip from Tarte. If I am feeling extra spicy, I’ll layer on a pink or orange lip liner from Kat Von D onto my eyelids (sometimes both!).

Where are your favorite places to go out at night?

Okay, I love Bembe because they have phenomenal music. It’s a small space, so you get really cozy with all the people around you who are equally excited about the music. I love going to concerts, especially if they are in really weird areas of New York — not your typical Terminal 5-type venue. Lastly, I love Cheeky Sandwiches for a late-night snack. In my humble opinion, you will not find better New Orleans-style fried chicken sandwiches anywhere else. Plus it’s on Hester Street, so it’s close to all your late-night drinking spots.

Best song to listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?

Personally, I listen to the Now 14 CD for all my going out hits. What can I say? I love a good blast from the past. 😉

Kelly Augustine

Kelly is an influencer and brand consultant.

How would you describe your going-out style?

My going-out style is always a cross between glamour and casual. However, comfort is my priority — I never compromise on that, which is why I’m almost always wearing jeans. Ultimately, I want to make sure I’m able to dance and get home on the train afterward — comfortably. Unlike my daytime outfits, though, my going-out looks usually include tops that are sexy or loud.

Where do you look for going-out style inspiration?

Rihanna is my go-to for going-out inspo. Her looks are always the perfect mix of casual and provocative. I love when she does lingerie with denim!

What’s on your going-out clothes wish list right now?

I want more lingerie pieces that double as outfits (yes Savage X Fenty, I’m looking at you). That and bodysuits. Do you know how hard it is to find a bodysuit in my size that allows me to wear a bra?!

Do skincare and makeup play a role in your overall going-out look?

A strong lip is always a must for my going-out look. I live and breathe Milani’s Amore Matte Lip Creme in Devotion — it’s a deep bold red that fills my lips perfectly and doesn’t budge through drinks, kisses on the cheek and sweat on the dance floor. I also make sure to put on mascara. My favorite for the past few months has been the Gigi Hadid Fiber Mascara for Maybelline; it stretches my eyelashes to infinity. I can be wearing something as simple as a black bodysuit and jeans and still feel great about my look if my lip and lashes are right!

Where are your favorite places to go out at night?

I like to keep things intimate these days, so I try to go to restaurants that have a nice vibe and bars with great live music. I’m an uptown girl, so Harlem is where I’m usually at. Red Rooster has incredible live music nights and dope DJs, Gin Fizz is always a vibe, 67 Orange makes killer drinks and Harlem Nights is a chill dive bar scene. I also really love visiting my friends — we have had many nights where we go to someone’s house, order take-out, crack open a bottle of wine and put on a good movie.

Best song to listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?

I have a playlist of girl power anthems that (obviously) include Beyoncé, Rihanna and SZA for whenever I’m hitting “da club.” If I’m headed to a friend’s house, I’ll mellow out to Masego Radio on Spotify. If I’m going to a live show, I’ll just play music from them to brush up on my chops so I can sing along.


Whitney Bauck

Whitney is an assistant editor at Fashionista.

Aoui pants, roommate’s shirt — similar here, DIY Home Depot belt, DSTLD jacket, Dr. Martens shoes, Lauren Klassen and DIY earrings

How would you describe your going-out style? 

When I’m going dancing, which is my favorite reason to be anywhere that’s not my bed on a Friday night, I go for shoes that are a) super comfortable and b) not going to be ruined by other people sloshing drinks or stepping on them. I try to either bring a really small bag or a fanny pack so I can be hands-free. A dark club is a fun excuse to show a little more skin than I would during the day, but if I’m wearing a high-necked sports bra as a top or a backless leotard, I’ll usually pair it with something more anti-male-gaze-y like baggy jeans and dad shoes. My favorite going-out pal describes my club vibe as “soft punk” or “flirty punk,” which I can live with.

Where else do you look for going-out style inspiration?

Oof, I honestly don’t know. I usually just raid my own closet and sometimes my roommate’s, and then consult my best friend Jack if I have last-minute indecision about anything.

What’s on your going-out clothes wish list right now?

I want this Christopher Raeburn dress made out of tulle and parachute material so much it hurts. I’m a big sustainable/ethical fashion enthusiast, but so many brands that fall into that category make really femme LA blogger looks — which is great, but not necessarily my thing all the time. Christopher Raeburn is a very welcome exception. This dress would be so cool styled with basketball shorts and high-top sneakers.

Do skincare and makeup play a role in your overall going-out look?

I love the idea of being someone who goes all out for an evening beat, but I’m often too rushed or too lazy. That said, I do try to amp up what I’m already wearing if I have time — I’ll add more highlighter than usual to my cheek and brow bones, dab on a little lip color and layer on an extra coat of mascara (my favorite is this one from Sephora). Probably once a year I’ll wear false eyelashes and feel like the most dramatic diva in the room even if other people barely notice.

Where are your favorite places to go out at night?

Club Glam parties are honestly my main excuse for going out in the typical sense of the phrase these days. Otherwise, I’m usually trying to convince my friends to go to the Gowanus location of Ample Hills for ice cream like a nine-year-old or loitering at Pho Vietnam in Chinatown, where I’m a semi-permanent fixture.

Best song to listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?

There are so many bops on Janelle Monae’s latest album — “Screwed” is a good place to start.


Kim Johnson

Kim is the community manager at Glossier.

Vintage pants — similar here, and shirt from Front General Store, vintage Dolce & Gabbana shoes

How would you describe your going-out style?

Everyone who knows me knows that I wear the same seven outfits on a day-to-day basis. My going-out style is no different — I’m a Taurus, I like consistency. My POV on going-out style is that I would never wear something that feels like a departure from what I’m comfortable in and what feels like “me.” That means I mostly wear pants (and my butt needs to look gudt); loose black and white T-shirts or tank tops because I sweat (sorry it’s true) so I need ventilation; lots of lip gloss; gold hoops/dangly earrings and either heels or my Air Force 1s (heels are obviously not “comfortable” in the traditional sense, but I feel like I look good in them so it’s comfort of the heart). Basically, my going-out style is me on a Tuesday, but sexier. 

Where do you look for going-out style inspiration?

My style inspiration in life continues to come from my friends Brennan Kilbane and Lissie Chappell, and always, always, always Joan Clayton (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) on Girlfriends.

What’s on your going-out clothes wish list right now? 

More three-inch Manolo Blahnik pumps from The RealReal, a pair of Nike Vapormaxesthis drapey Jacquemus topthese (in a dream world only) Saint Laurent sandals for summer and one of these beautiful slip dresses from Miraqi vintage on Instagram. I know, I’m sick. 

Do skincare and makeup play a role in your overall going-out look?

Skincare/makeup is such an important part of my going out look. Maybe even the most important, because I like to wear a lot of the same things I wear during the day when I go out at night, so I feel like my face needs to be 100% on point. I like a very, very dewy/kind of sweaty face look when I go out. I already have oily skin, so I guess I just let my face do its thing. A few of my favorite nighttime products are the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Duo applied with a big fluffy brush (I only use the bronze-y shade), lots of Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone and Topaz, the most beautiful Chanel eyeshadow (the shade New Moon) and lots of either Glossier Lip Gloss or Marc Jacobs lip gloss in French Tickler (or both!). 

Where are your favorite places to go out at night?

I live in Bed-Stuy, so I tend to do most of my socializing/eating/going out there or close by. Some of my favorite places are Cafe Erzulie, where I just had my birthday, Lover’s Rock and Hart’s or Eva Jean’s when I’m just getting drinks. I also like Kinfolk 90 (baby Kinfolk) in Williamsburg. 

Best song to listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?

Anything by Kamaiyah sets the right mood, I think. Also, I’ve been listening to Junglepussy’s new album, JP3. It’s so good. It only came out a few days ago but it will very likely be playing on my Sonos this weekend. 


Gina Lin

Gina is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

How would you describe your going-out style? 

I would describe my going-out style as vintage meets streetwear. I tend to prioritize comfort when choosing a going-out outfit because I LOVE to dance. I consider myself a pretty good dancer. If I don’t feel comfortable, I will change. My daytime look is simpler — usually sneakers with a dress or a statement top with vintage jeans. I love a good bag; I usually wear a fanny pack when I go out since it’s the safest and cutest option.

Where do you look for going-out style inspiration?

This might sound a bit strange, but I am often inspired by my childhood. My mom bought me my first pair of mom jeans when I was six years old and I absolutely hated them, I thought I looked like a boy. Fast forward to today, mom jeans are all I wear. Also, as a kid, my grandmother would put butterfly clips in my hair. I’ve started wearing them again lately, and they’ve actually become a huge trend. Trends always come back around, so I think about what I was wearing when I was 12 and riff off of that. I also look for inspiration from friends and Instagram. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts are @samimiro@taliaabella, @danielleguizio@devonleecarslon and @justinemaebiticon.

What’s on your going-out clothes wish list right now?

1. Lime green lace skirt from the new Fenty x Savage collection

2. Jumpsuit from Orseund Iris

3. Satin corset from Danielle Guizio

4. Kith biker shorts

5. Reformation dress

6. Red and pink Shrimps bag

Do skincare and makeup play a role in your overall going-out look?

I like to have a fresh, clean face before applying makeup. The night before I’m planning to go out, I’ll usually put on a face mask. I use Glossier’s Moon Mask and Super Glow (vitamin C) serum for a natural, dewy glow. My going-out makeup consists of a dramatic cat eye, a bold eyeshadow (usually orange or red), nude lips, blush and A LOT of highlighter. Other products in my going out skincare/makeup roster include: Milky Jelly, Lush tea tree toner, Purity face moisturizer, BECCA mattifying primer, lip color from BUXOM in sinful cinnamon, Cloud Paint blush in Haze and Fenty highlighter.

Where are your favorite places to go out at night?

My first favorite restaurant is Wo Hop. It’s super casual and intimate with amazing, affordable food. It’s open late so my friends and I usually meet there to have dinner. My go-to bar is Max Fish. I was first introduced to it by my best friend Marisa after I moved to the Lower East Side. It’s really close to me and I love it. They play throwback R&B hip-hop in addition to more current music. There’s graffiti all over the walls and a pool table in the back. Downstairs is where the party’s at, though — that’s where they have a DJ and a dance floor. All the patrons are super friendly and always dancing. When I’m going out, I need a place with good music and a dance floor.

Best song to listen to when you’re getting ready to go out?

The best song to listen to before going out is ANYTHING by Missy Elliott. I play “Work It” every time I get ready. It’s kind of embarrassing!

Photos by Bridget Badore

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