Girls' Night Out

Nine times out of ten, when you're getting dressed for something, you have to consider what's appropriate and then create an outfit accordingly. But every once in a while, you can ignore the question of whether something is too trend-focused, short, or sheer, and simply go for it. And what's the ideal occasion for such outrageously fun looks? Why a girls' night out, of course! Now, just because you're going to dance your face off and possibly get overserved, that doesn't mean you should dress like a video vixen. As we discuss in our book, What to Wear, Where, your GNO ensemble should include of-the-moment pieces that ultimately make you feel good and look fantastic. Whether you decided to swap your LBD for a wild-print dress or forgo a flirty skirt for a pair of shorts, remember: your outfit should be as just exciting and memorable as the evening itself!

Not surprisingly, we found inspiration for this year's GNO story in Balmain's utterly amazing, high-glam F/W 11 collection. We fell hard for the French fashion house's interpretation of '70s-rocker-meets-downtown-cool, and loved everything from the gold Metallic Nappa Leather Blazer ($9295) to the opulent Embroidered Silk Chiffon Skirt ($11677) to the white high-heeled boots, all of which had a decidedly sexy, tough-girl vibe. With these obsession-worthy pieces in mind, we immediately set out in search of some top-tier items to help you create an equally edgy-yet-fabulous look. So grab your besties and browse today's wonderful picks--which include everything from a killer pair of ankle booties to the most fantastic false eyelashes--and you'll be ready for your next late-night fete with the girls in no time!

Madewell Soft Tiers Tank ($88) in Black Truffle
Chances are your evening will involve plenty of dancing, in which case lightweight and airy clothing is key! Accordingly, with our daring dressers in mind, we selected this semi-sheer tank from Madewell. The loose fit and silky fabric makes for an incredibly comfortable pick, plus, the peek-a-boo layer will infuse your ensemble with a subtly sultry flair--a feature that's sure to garner plenty of attention!

Shu Uemura Farfallina False Eyelashes ($29)
As we mentioned earlier, this girls-only event is the best time to be a little adventurous, which applies to your beauty look as well. Our suggestion? Draw attention to your eyes with gorgeous, luminous lashes. Our secret weapon? Shu Uemura's Farfallina Flash Eyelashes! These easy-to-apply eyelashes have not one, not two, but three layers of brown and black tones providing ultimate volume and a glamorous, show-stopping look!

China Glaze Crackle Glaze Nail Lacquer ($9) in Cracked Medallion
We know that a good manicure is as equally important as putting together a pitch-perfect ensemble, so tracking down an A+ lacquer was absolutely essential! And while you can never go wrong with a sultry red or festive glittery polish, we think China Glaze's Crackle Glazer Lacquer was a fitting choice for today's story. Here's how it works: when layered over a colored polish, this topcoat creates a shatter-like effect that's unique and eye-catching. Our favorite shade is Cracked Medallion, which is perfect in keeping with this season's bronze beauty trend, but of course, we recommend checking out all six metal-inspired shades today.

Mango Sue C Handbag ($90)
When it comes to a GNO, a fussy carrier just won't do, because let's be honest: lugging around a large bag all night long is no fun. That said, we are huge supporters of an across-body style and think this version from Mango fits the bill perfectly! We're particularly smitten with its compact size, which is big enough to hold all your essentials--wallet, phone, and of course, plenty of lip gloss--but small enough that it won't get in the way. Luxe accents, including a gold trim and chain strap, make it a covetable option you won't want to miss.

Elizabeth and James Emery Metallic Linen-Blend Blazer ($425)
If you aren't a sequins gal, but still want to make a shimmering statement out on the dance floor, you must pick up the amazing Emery Metallic Linen-Blend Blazer by Elizabeth and James pronto! The pewter hue gives the classic wardrobe staple a glam-rock twist, while the tailored fit keeps it feeling chic and sophisticated. We'd keep this piece in the spotlight by wearing it with a simple black tank and slim jeans.

Rag & Bone Crawford High-Waisted Stretch-Cotton Shorts ($275)
Though a daring dress is always an appropriate option for a GNO, right now we're crazy for an edgy shorts look instead! The whole office is obsessed with owning this cotton pair from Rag & Bone, thanks to its very flattering high-waisted silhouette and cool zipper pockets, both of which make these shorts the perfect selection for an after-hours party look. Show off your legs at your next GNO by teaming them with a pair of high-rise heels!

Alexander Wang Luisa Heels ($550) in Silver/Light Grey
While a directional black pump is a foolproof footwear choice, a girls' night out calls for a shoe with a little more pizzazz. Cue Alexander Wang's Luisa Heels! These booties are the epitome of sex appeal with an ankle-revealing silhouette and luxurious combo of suede and leather. In addition to the silvery leather front, we love the stark white hue, which is sure to give any outfit a high-impact finish!

Camilla and Marc Atlanta Dress ($790, available in August) in Blue Leopard
If you can't bear the thought of wearing shorts or pants, no need to fret, dear readers, we've got a seriously cute frock for you too! Camilla and Marc's Atlanta Dress is a definite crowd-pleaser, thanks in large part to its playful leopard print and its party-perfect silhouette, which nips in at the waist to give you some shape. Pair it with pointed-toe pumps or ankle booties and a sleek clutch, and you'll be ready for a night on the town in no time!

Ann Taylor Sculptural Cuff ($68) in Gold
When choosing the right accessories to complete your GNO ensemble, it's always a good idea to select one statement piece, like this gold cuff from Ann Taylor. We're head-over-heels for this cuff's minimalist and sleek design, which gives the piece a cool, tough-luxe spirit and bold presence. For a seriously chic downtown-lady ensemble, team it with a girly frock a tank and shorts combo.--Jessica Baker