What to wear to a cocktail party

What to Wear to a Cocktail Party:
The No-LBD Edition

As opposed to a one-and-done dress, building an on-point cocktail look from separates allows for ample creativity opportunities. The four techniques below guarantee a strategically chic, stealthily comfortable, and unexpectedly cool LBD alternative—all the better to party in.

Nº 1. In the Mood

The floral-print skirt—with its dramatic silhouette and rich color palette—sets the stage for romance, but you needn’t go over the top: The blazer’s waist-cinching bow-belt and the heels’ dainty ankle-tie get the message across perfectly.

Nº 2. White Gold

Here, an all-white pairing of culottes and an elegant silk blouse provides a polished yet relatively low-key blank canvas to pile on a bit of glitz in the form of gold-trimmed accessories.

Nº 3. Power Structure

Think of this as a next-level going-out top—it’s a power-move in its own right. To anchor the avant-garde ruffles, keep the rest simple with perfectly tailored trousers, elevated ballet flats, and a classic box clutch, which stays true to the structured, architectural theme of the overall look.

Nº 4. Smarty-Pants

Consider opting for one high-impact statement piece (in this case, metallic sequined evening pants) to make classic, tried-and-true separates like a pristine white blouse, strappy stilettos, evening clutch, and classic diamond jewelry instantly more modern.