Even at a formal event, you still need to be able to check the time, shield your eyes from the sun (depending on the location) and tote a few extra beauty products that probably won’t fit in that bite-size minaudière you should be carrying with your fancy frock. But that doesn’t mean you should ruin an elegant outfit with casual accessories for the sake of practicality. In fact, there are countless ways to don a functional evening-out ensemble without looking like you got dressed in the dark. So before strapping on that beat-up leather watch that doesn’t belong anywhere near cocktail hour or forgoing a glitzy clutch for an oversize tote—simply because you’re too lazy to edit your in-bag essentials—read on to find out which add-ons you should and shouldn’t wear with a party dress.
Click through for tips on how to accessorize—like a pro—for the party.
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc.com
1. Don't Wear Sporty Sunglasses
Why: Mirrored lenses and thick-framed sunglasses in vibrant hues detract from your outfit. And nobody wants that.
Instead: Shield your eyes from the sun with a style that is both sleek and neutral in color (think black, tortoise or cream). This half-framed pair is perfect because they fuse timeless glamour with a pinch of on-trend quirk.
2. Don't Carry A Kitschy iPhone Case
Why: We love playfully printed cell-phone accessories as much as the next girl but there's something about being photographed holding a neon iPhone against an elegant gown that doesn't sit well with us.
Instead: Dress your tech in something a little more understated for the night. Both luxe and eye-catching without making a scene, this textured iPhone case is the perfect complement to your evening ensemble. So if you're caught texting in the background of a snapshot, you won't feel embarrassed. Bring on those accidental photobombs!
3. Don't Bring An Oversize Tote
Why: A giant tote or satchel is clumsy, inconvenient and totally inappropriate to bring to both cocktail and black-tie events. If you have to bring an overnight bag, leave it in the car.
Instead: Travel light. If you can't edit your essentials down to five items, we recommend carrying a convertible purse. This splurge-worthy must from Christian Louboutin transitions from a cross body to a clutch to a mini tote that still works with dressy attire. Genius.
4. Don't Wear A Chunky Watch
Why: We're all for menswear watches during the week but worn-in leather bands and chunky timepieces can dress down even the fanciest frocks.
Instead: Opt for a gold, silver or rose-gold bracelet version that looks like a piece of jewelry. A bangle style like this one looks great stacked with other baubles, so it won't crash your existing arm party.
5. Don't Leave The Party Barefoot
Why: Switching your heels to a pair of beat-up ballet flats (or worse, going barefoot) after hours of dancing isn't exactly ladylike. Even if your feet are killing you.
Instead: Forgo sky-high sandals for a polished pair of flats. An elegant style like these lace-ups are made for long nights and even longer dance marathons.