The rules for after five dressing surely have changed, but what exactly do you need in your closet in order to be ready for any dressy occasion?
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- Trim black pants. You can wear them with a black top or any statement blouse for a party-ready look. The pants should be relatively slim (though not necessarily skinny) and hit just at the ankle in the event you want to show off your shoes.
- Statement shoes. This is the fast and easy way to dress up a little black dress or any all-black ensemble. Look for a metallic or bright pair, such as cobalt stilettos or silver sandals with a stacked heel and baubles for extra flair.
- The party dress. If you have a last-minute invite somewhere with people you seldom see or haven't seen the dress before, you need that one showstopping party dress that will make you feel like a million bucks the minute you zip it up. Big ruffles, peplum waists, a mini hemline or exposed zippers all say I'm here to par-taaay. Choose black if the design is especially busy, but feel free to choose your party dress in magenta or yellow for a major fashion moment.
- Chandelier earrings. These come and go according to fashion, but for any evening event, they're always on point. If you're a blond, jet black chandelier earrings always look the part and those with dark or red hair will look fabulous with emerald green or bright blue chandelier-style earrings.
- The clutch. You need a clutch in black, silver, gold, bronze or pewter. No one except a socialite needs one in every color, but most of us can benefit from black and one metallic (whichever shade we wear most often). We love mini audiere clutches, which look great with a blouse and pants or the most chic of cocktail dresses.