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Pauline Juan Dishes Her Advice on Styling Eveningwear for Daytime

It's simpler than you think.
Pauline Juan Dishes Her Advice on Styling Eveningwear for Daytime
It's simpler than you think.

My zodiac sign is Cancer. I guess this makes me predisposed to being moody. It also explains, according to one of the many horoscopes I’ve read throughout the years, why I’m drawn to shimmer and shine and to eveningwear. Truth be told, if you peeked into my wardrobe, you could conclude that I am a vampire—that if my clothes would speak for me, it would speak eloquently about my nightlife. The reality, however, is that most nights I’m at home with my boys, asleep well before midnight so that I can pack in at least eight hours’ worth (I’m on a quest to prove if Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s presciption to anti-aging via a healthy diet and decent shuteye will work wonders on my complexion). My sequins and satin tend to come out during the day, where most of the time they’re part of a jeans-and-tee ensemble. Mixing day and eveningwear is one my most favorite things to do—I really am partial to the look of a satin tuxedo jacket against worn denim jeans or fully sequined capris paired with a slouchy striped sweater; there’s an ambiguity in the mix that’s fresh and surprising.     

Wearing night for day is fairly easy to do. Eveningwear fabrics tend to be high shine, so one trick is to sober them up with decidedly daytime fabrics: denim, khakis, crisp cotton. Another way is to appropriate daytime silhouettes—for example, short-shorts or a varsity jacket—and have them studded with embellishment. Short-shorts look super cute when fully done up with tiny black sequins, and the said varsity jacket would look awesome in shiny black paillettes. Worn with a men’s style V-neck tee, these look totally at home while malling in Power Plant on a Saturday afternoon as well as for some strawberry mojitos well after midnight.


Being able to mix night and day doesn’t mean you can wear day for night or vise versa; when I say this, I’m talking in particular about special-occasion dressing. Wearing a dress at a formal event was once upon a time a mighty fashion faux pas, but the rules of dressing have so relaxed nowadays that you see in Vogue young European bluebloods dressed to a ball in Giambatista Valli or Valentino minis. The pared-down aesthetic of minimalism was a reaction to the excessive ’80s, where everyone was poufed-out and decked-out till kingdom come. You can lose the glitz when donning eveningwear, but in its place comes an unrelenting devotion to tailoring, construction, and fit, that makes wearing a simple, unembellished piece look quite effortless when done right. 

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What I find most perplexing nowadays is the penchant for wearing evening gowns in the middle of the day. Perhaps this is so because we live in an age where the stars on ASAP and The Buzz do their spiels in floor-length couture and dripping with rhinestones galore. Ordinary mortals are not exempt: I’ve been to one-too-many weddings where diamonds and lace were deemed appropriate for mass at 3 p.m. At the yearly State of the Nation Address, some of our honorable representatives (and their wives) went to work as if going to a ball. We’ve seen very little of the terno, our national dress, as of late that we seem to have forgotten that, historically, this was used during the day as well. It takes a sophisticated kind of restraint to wear a day terno; Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez, who, some years ago, wore a Randy Ortiz blue piña terno with a cameo pin and matching earrings, has it in spades. She’s mastered the art of dressing up during the day.


This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Preview Magazine. 

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