My friend Jenn asked on my Facebook what a good choice was to wear to a dinner party at an upscale restaurant... specifically to celebrate her mom's 60th birthday (Happy Birthday Jenn's mom!). Since she still wants to be dressy but not overly dressy, I put together the following board to offer some ideas. Bonus? Every piece is under $50! (Check back tomorrow for the 2nd part of Jenn's question-- how to dress the boyfriend/significant other for the same event!)
Option 1: Find a dress in a great fall color that already has interesting detail (such as draping, a jeweled waist, or both!). If you have a great dress but it's a little plain, buy a jeweled belt to wear around your waist, it'll draw eyes to the smallest part of you. Wear nude heels with the dress to make your legs look a mile long, and simple jewelry. A bold accessory such as the bright yellow purse with the purple dress below is an extra way to take a risk. Worried about being cold? Throw a simple cardigan over the dress. Avoid a more structured jacket so that you look more relaxed.
Option 2: A pencil skirt is always a great option for looking formal. But to make it less so, dress it down with a simple bow blouse and great booties in an amazing color like the purple ones below. Accessories with a bit of an edge (such as this great bold cuff) takes the look down even more.
Option 3: What is better than a pair of wide leg black pants? Pair them with a jewel toned blouse (tuck it in if the volume is too much for you), add a structured bag, simple black diamond earrings and red shoes for extra color. Or, use a tiered tank with a built in necklace/flower detailing. Use a black patent clutch for a bit of edge, and still throw in the red heels for a bit of sex appeal.