Fail-Safe Outfit Formulas For Tricky Dress Codes

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There are a few events that never fail to leave us in a state of panic over what to wear. Think: weddings, job interviews, meeting your significant other’s parents. While you know you look cute, there’s something about a daunting entry on your calendar that just seems to make you feel otherwise. That’s why we’ve assembled outfit formulas that’ll have you knocking it out of the park with ease. Here’s everything you need for all those hard-to-dress-for dates coming up this fall.

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Dress Codes, Decoded

If there was ever a time to whip out your favorite pair of jeans, it's now. To avoid being over- (or under-) dressed, stick to tailored classics: Straight-leg denim in a medium to dark wash and a statement top in neutral tones. Allow your accessories to give you that little kick of color without going over the top.

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Pierce Mini Leather Crossbody Bag

$1,480

J.W. Anderson

XL Curved Chaos Earrings

$235

Jennifer Fisher

Green Hedda Velvet Heel Sandal

$339

Whistles

FRAME Le Original Cropped high-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans

$250

Net-A-Porter

Organza Ruffle Top

$375

Rebecca Taylor

Show them you're the right girl for the job with a throw-on-and-go dress that you don't have to fuss with. A good rule of thumb is to opt for a classic look, though that doesn't mean it has to be boring! Built-in ties or draping is a surefire way to master a head-turning vibe. Finish off with polished accessories such as a ladylike bag and pumps in a contrasting albeit complementary hue.

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Lizzie Fortunato Sun-Washed Earrings

$220

Need Supply Co.

Manolo Blahnik BB 70 Pumps

$595

Farfetch

City Bag with Knots and Leather Detail

$50

Zara

Altuzarra Belted Shirt Dress

$1,495

Farfetch

With a clean midi-dress silhouette, you have every excuse in the world to opt for a bright and bold color like red. Tonal heels and geometric accessories ensure an eye-catching look.

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Level Earrings

$45

Need Supply Co.

Metallic Handle Clutch

$30

Mango

Stuart Weitzman NudistSong Satin Sandals

$425

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Solace London Palmira Cutout Ruched Silk Crepe de Chine Midi Dress

$800

Net-A-Porter

Master that casual-cool vibe with tailored pants and a statement top—a little more dressed up than denim, but not too fancy. Go for a youthful silhouette on top.

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Chain Link Earrings

$30

Massimo Dutti

Velvet Soirée Bag

$248

Diane von Furstenberg

Elsie Suede Pumps

$245

J. Crew

Elizabeth & James Cropped Satin Pants

$365

Net-A-Porter

Galvan Tiered Bell Sleeve White Satin Top

$725

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