Tip # 1: Try a pair of metallic pants this season.
An LBD is certainly a foolproof option for festive gatherings, but why not spice things up a bit and opt for a pair of metallic pants instead? For guidance on wearing the eye-catching piece, look no further than Charlotte Gainsbourg. The actress was spotted outside a hotel in New York earlier this month wearing a slouchy, belted pair of shimmering Balenciaga trousers (similar to these Georgette Argentee Pants ($1435) in silver) with a silky black top. We commend Gainsbourg for taking a risk and looking great while doing so! If you like her pants as much as we do, we suggest buying Topshop's Pewter Metallic Ankle Grazers ($80), Alice + Olivia's Slim Stacey Pants ($297), or ASOS Revive's Revive's Palazzo Pants ($113) in Gold Metallic Jacquard to make a bold entrance at your next party!
Tip #2: Give your look a luxe finish with a fur stole.
If you've been looking for the perfect way to switch up your nine-to-five wardrobe or simply want to liven up your evening look, the key is to add a faux fur stole, as Shala Monroque recently showed us. Monroque assembled a front-row worthy ensemble at Valentino's Ready to Wear S/S 12 show during Paris Fashion week earlier this month, which she achieved by accessorizing her silky Prada blouse and Miu Miu skirt with a Miu Miu belt, which she cleverly styled as a scarf. The furry accent adds just the right amount of luxury, making the overall look a memorable one indeed! Try adding Topshop's Honey Faux Fur Tuck Stole ($40) or New York & Company's Faux Fur Scarf ($37), which comes in both Black and Medium Brown, and if you want a little color don't be afraid to try Ana Konder's Faux Fur Twisted Scarf ($40) in Red Fox!
Tip #3: Wear a zipper-front dress for a subtly sexy look.
While we certainly love a high-glam outfit, we find we're often fans of the less-is-more approach to dressing. After all, even the smallest detail can go along way, as demonstrated by Naomi Watts. The actress was photographed backstage at the Calvin Klein Collection S/S 12 show in New York last month, wearing a head-to-toe look by said fashion house. We love the frock's zipper-front detail, which gives the otherwise understated piece a hint of sexiness. To get Watts' subtly sultry look, we suggest Kathy Van Zeeland's Short Dress ($135), Malo's Short Dress ($149) and for those seeking a pop of color, GF Ferre's Short Dress ($250).
Tip #4: Keep your bag in the spotlight with an all-noir outfit.
With so many fabulous handbags available this season, why not keep them the focal point of your look? Gwyneth Paltrow did exactly that at a Fashion's Night Out after-party at the Coach store in London last month when she wore her Coach Classic Small Leather Shoulder Bag ($300) with a Stella McCartney jumpsuit from the Resort 12 Collection. The minimalist, all-noir outfit draws attention to the sleek carrier, making it the focal point of the outfit. To get Paltrow's polished look, we recommend pairing Halton Heritage's Halter Neck Jumpsuit ($294) with Milly's Watermelon Leather Shoulder Bag ($325) or Marc Jacobs' NOHO Green Leather Shoulder Bag ($679) with the Wide-Leg Silk-Satin Jumpsuit ($450) by Theyskens' Theory.
Tip #5: Elevate a white dress with snake-print boots.
If there's anything we adore more than a little black dress it's its exact opposite-the little white dress! To make this year-round staple an on-point look for fall, follow in Caroline Sieber's footsteps and add a pair of intriguing snake-print boots. While roaming London Fashion Week last month, Sieber was spotted wearing a Valentino coat with a vintage Rochas white dress and Valentino's Genuine Python Tall Boots ($2,395). The addition of the below-the-knee snake-print boots speaks to Sieber's fashion-forward and subtly edgy sensibilities, while adding visual interest to the minimalist look. To take your white frock to the next level a la Sieber try either MARE's High-Heeled Boots ($160) or Luciano Padovan's High-Heeled Boots ($255), or go for a pair of ankle boots, like Tony Mora's Ankle Boots ($290), for a more casual option.
Tip # 6: Dress up a white t-shirt with a wrap skirt.
We can't praise the white t-shirt enough; it's one of the most versatile pieces of clothing if you ask us! But while we're fond of pairing the beloved wardrobe staple with other casual items, we prefer teaming it with dressier options for a fresh take on evening wear. For an example of this stellar styling trick, look to the ensemble that model Constance Jablonski put together for the Givenchy after-party in Paris earlier this month. She cleverly added a sophisticated wrap skirt, a clutch, and black heels, which resulted in a chic-yet-easygoing outfit that's perfect for any occasion! The best part? You definitely don't have to be a model to pull off this easy-to-execute tip! Simply start with a white tee, like T by Alexander Wang's Slub Classic Muscle Tee ($86) or Fresh Laundry's Sleeveless T-Shirt ($145), and add a wrap skirt, such as Elizabeth and James' Tachi Silk-Satin Wrap Skirt ($260) or Cynthia Steffe's Paulette Knit Skirt ($145), for a Jablonski-inspired ensemble in no time!
Tip # 7: Balance a lively print with basic black accents.
We never shy away from bold prints, but styling these pieces can sometimes be tricky. Since a standout pattern deserves to take center stage, we suggest tempering it with all-black pieces a la Elizabeth Olsen. The actress attended a Nylon and A|X Armani Exchange private dinner earlier this month in a pitch-perfect ensemble, which consisted of an Acne T-shirt, Erdem floral skirt, Carven heels, Chanel necklace and bracelet, and rings by JewelMint and Chanel. We're especially mad about her high-waisted pencil skirt, which is a sophisticated choice for workdays and after-dark fetes alike. Plus, Olsen's smart decision to opt for noir accents ensured that all eyes were on the vivid print. If you love her look as much as we do, consider snagging Blue Bones Vintage's Party Of Five Skirt ($28), Free People's Flora High Waist Pencil Skirt ($78), or Erdem's Ruth Printed Pencil Skirt ($565). Then, simply add basic black pieces, such as ASOS' The Roll T-Shirt ($11) and BCBGeneration's Jodie Pumps ($89), to keep the lively pattern in focus.
Tip # 8: Style a '40s-inspired coat as a top.
Thanks in no small part to Miu Miu's F/W 11 collection, we've fallen hard for 1940s-inspired silhouettes this season. So, it's not surprising that we instantly fell in love with Dasha Zhukova's fantastic retro coat. The stylesetter/philanthropist/art aficionado was snapped at the Louis Vuitton S/S 12 show earlier this month wearing a red topper from said house's F/W 11 collection with simple finishing touches, including a black mini skirt, petite purse, and ballet flats. We appreciate how she cleverly styled the coat as a top, which works well in not-quite-winter weather. If you're similarly enchanted, we recommend picking up Topshop's Petite Oxblood Short Coat ($170), Sonia by Sonia Rykiel's Merino Wool Jacket ($600), or Diane von Furstenberg's Mid Dietrich Peacoat ($495) for a chic outfit a la Zhukova. -Erin Fitzpatrick and Johnni Macke
Photos of Caroline Sieber, Dasha Zhukova, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Shala Monroque, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Charlotte Gainsbour, courtesy of Pacific Coast News; Photos of Naomi Watts and Constance Jablonski, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency, Photo of Elizabeth Olsen, courtesy of Jamie McCarthy at WireImage.