Wrap It Up

“What to wear over an evening or cocktail outfit?” I get this question often. Here are some items with styling suggestions under each entry. If you choose to wear real fur–no judgment, I just didn’t include any in this post. My personal belief is to shop and wear vintage, so as to honor the animal and not encourage new fur production.

Etro, This jacket is what I call, a “piece.” When you pair this with an evening or cocktail attire, it steals the show. Wearing it immediately elevates a monochromatic cream or black outfit. That said, this jacket pairs well with a patterned dress with corresponding colors. Use caution pairing it with a dress that hits to the calf. A longer coat like this can make anyone look stumpy. Proportion is everything.
White House Black Market, This faux fur jewel neck bolero checks all the boxes with its chevron design. Wear this over an evening gown. Careful if your dress is two toned, as it will cut your top half, if the break in color happens below the hem of the jacket.
Johnny Was, Another “piece” to wear over something monochromatic or color blocked. Pull a color from the coat and use that to inform the color to wear underneath.
Nap, If you know your event is outside, this coat marries utility with festivity.
Alice + Olivia, This is a wow jacket, That’s all.
Echo, This bolero is nice and cropped. Wear it with high waisted satin pants or a long dress.
J. McLaughlin, This metallic cropped puffer can absolutely work for evening. Taking an ordinary jacket and fashioning it in an extraordinary fabric, immediately takes it to another level.
Forever 21, This cropped jacket has a collar, use caution if you have a large chest or short neck.
Quillattire, this lace bomber would look great over a lace dress. Specifically that the two laces are different would add interest to the outfit.
Banana Republic, This is a very clever faux fur reversible to down jacket.
Neiman Marcus, Take a loungewear item, like this silk robe to wear it as a coat over a cocktail dress or evening gown. This is an example of what I call “off label” use. That is, taking an item from one category and repurposing it in another. Here, loungewear to evening.
BCBGMAXAZRIA, A common bridal item works well for cocktail or evening wear.
Adiana Iglesias, The beauty of this piece is that the chest crossover starts low so no worries if you have a big chest. The belt can accentuate the waist over a column or sheath dress. Or, forgo the belt all together and wear open.
Apparis, This car length coat is best styled over trousers or a mini dress.
Banana Republic, Sometimes a pop of an unexpected color or fabric can really make an evening outfit special. A red, wool blazer is rebellious. Drape it over your shoulders with intention and everyone sees what a cool idea it is too.
Quillattire, A satin bomber jacket is another way to make a formal dress more contemporary.
Nap , Another idea for evening where you take a utility item and elevate it with a notable fabric. This isn’t your everyday black puffer that you wear commuting to work.
BCBGMAXAZRIA, This fluffy feathered jacket has longer sleeves than many boleros on the market.

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Fancy Pants

As we near towards the time of the year where we are going out or entertaining more, silk or satin pants are a festive option-even when styled casually. Please be warned, satin and silk is not the easiest fabric to keep pristine. Note the washing care instructions just in case. While it is possible to get a stain out, prevention is key. Make sure your body lotion and perfume is absorbed before getting dressed, place your napkin or two, over your lap while dining and wear an apron if you are cooking or handling flowers.

La DoubleJ
Cami NYC
Banana Republic
Image Source: Getty Images: Edward Berthelot
Club Monaco
J. Crew
J. Crew
Photograph: Style Du Monde

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