Cocktail Attire Beyond the Cocktail Dress

Kristen Nichols

Why yes, when an invite reads “cocktail attire”, it’s a safe bet to break out your little black dress. And I have time and time again—after all, it’s a surefire option that always works. But last week when I was getting ready for a dinner party at home, I took a glance at my trusty black dress and have to admit that I wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I wanted to wear something a little more unexpected and a little more fun. That’s when I thought to myself: A jumpsuit would do nicely tonight. Or maybe even some tailored satin pants with a cool, structured top.

I ended up leaving that LBD in my closet—instead slipping into a crisp white jumpsuit with a pair of heels. And guess what? It felt so much more special than my standard outfit formula. Now, I won't be putting my black dresses into permanent retirement but think I'll be giving these other pieces a try for now. If you’re also yearning for something a little different for your next night out, you might want to try mixing it up as well. Below, I’m outlining four closet essentials for a fresh take on cocktail attire.

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