We all have it — a signature outfit formula we pull out on the regular when GNO rolls around. It’s flawless, foolproof and, most importantly, easy (bonafide bosses don’t have time to mess around). But, as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, and when your LBD starts to venture on the side of blasé, you’re going to need a backup to get you through the night in style. A dose of #OOTD inspo should do the trick, and much to your advantage, it’s Fashion Week, meaning there’s no shortage of enviable ensembles to go around (and fashionable parties to attend, obvi). You may not be running in circles with the fashion elite, but you can certainly act the part with these 15 Instababe-approved outfits that are ready to take the night by storm.
1. Jumpsuit + Stilettos: One word: FIERCE. Step into the club, wine bar — whatever — like what with an attitude-packed jumpsuit that effortlessly blends sophistication and sass. Sleek accessories (with a stud or two mixed in for good measure) and strappy stilettos are all you need to send the style factor off the Richter scale.
2. Bohemian Maxi Dress + Clutch: So much yas. For an after-hours look that’s equal parts comfy and cool, enlist the help of a free-wheelin’ maxi dress. Pair a plunge neckline with a stack of dainty layering necklaces, then throw in a set of block heels for good measure to light up the night with your impeccable style. Don’t even think about leaving that statement clutch at home.
3. Belted Wide Leg Denim + Sheer Top: Do like French girls do, or in this case the Italians, and ditch overdone attire (buhbye bodycons and stilettos) for a look that reads both fashion forward and laid-back cool. Do the late night denim thing by teaming dramatic wide leg jeans with a sheer blouse and mismatched baubles for an outfit worthy of any dancing queen.
4. Pleated Mini Dress + Metallic Pumps: Flawless doesn’t have to mean fussy, and Monica Awe-Etuk’s flirtatious frock is proof. We can’t decide what we love more — the playful burgundy pleats, leggy silhouette or silver kicks that pull the whole look together.
5. Slinky Slip Dress + Loafers: Calling all lazy girls! This one’s for you. As easy as throwing on your Sunday-not-so-best, and likely just as comfortable, this two-second ensemble is guaranteed to set you apart from a sea of LBDs and frilly frocks.
6. Bell Sleeves + A-Line Dress: Bring the drama in a way that won’t make your friends question calling you up for your weekly GNO with bodacious bell sleeves that will have the whole room looking your way. Layer the scene-stealing blouse under a folksy A-line frock and team with a messy bun and velvet lace-up heels for craft cocktails at your fave local spot.
7. Mesh Dress + Mules: You don’t do average, period. Make jaws drop when you sashay into the room by ditching expected after-hours essentials in favor of bold color and athleisure accents a la Tamu McPherson. Grab a mesh skirt and layer it under a scandalous mini dress in a palette of vibrant hues for a cutting-edge look that will take you from dinner at that hot new joint to breaking it down on the dance floor.
8. One-Shoulder Dress + Ballet Pumps: Pandora Sykes definitely makes a case for the whole less-is-more thing, teaming a ditsy floral dress with minimalist accessories and a pair of punchy purple steppers. Take style cues from the London-based writer and stylist for the next elegant outing on your agenda and build your look around one statement accessory to create a balanced ensemble that’s eye-catching, but not over the top.
9. Shimmery Tunic + Wide Leg Trousers: If the thought of donning a dress for a swanky soiree sends you into panic mode, stop and sigh a breath of relief: This go-with-the-flow combo is here to save the day. Glitzy fabric and sophisticated silhouettes combine for a fabulously fancy and fuss-free look that just might become your new signature sartorial move.
10. Shift Dress + Sneakers: If Caroline Issa can admit to the merits of sneakers for a fashionable occasion, you know it’s a style move you need to give a go. Be it a night of bar hopping with your besties or a low-key jazz performance at a local hole in the wall, this irresistibly effortless #OOTD will always see you through. Score extra bonus points for chandelier earrings and a structured duster coat.
11. Lace-Trimmed Slip Dress + Cross-Body Bag: Flirt it up at your BFF’s birthday fete or bachelorette with a silk slip trimmed in sultry lace. To keep the look firmly grounded in modern muse territory, counterbalance the ladylike look with streamlined silver accents, pointed-toe heels and an architectural cross-body bag with plenty of room for all your out-on-the-town swag.
12. Updated LBD + Lariat Necklace: Rooftop soirees and exclusive events (you’ve got connections) call for an ensemble with endless cool girl ‘tude, and this one-sleeve dress makes a mean contender. Teamed with statement sneakers and a layer of modern lariat necklaces, you’ll have no problem scooting through security — because anyone with this much style and sass must be VIP.
13. Turtleneck + Metallic Dress + Ankle Boots: Form and function go hand in hand in this quicksilver ensemble that was practically made for GNO shenanigans. Cool fall nights call for cozy layers — even when you’re planning on painting the town red — but that doesn’t mean you have to head out the door in oversized knits. Layer a slim-fit turtleneck under a metallic mini dress that has ready-to-partay vibes built right in, then step into a pair of embellished ankle boots — fall’s favorite accessory. The only thing missing? A shimmery smokey eye to solidify your mystique.
14. Ruffled Blouse + High-Waisted Trousers: “Oh, this old thing?” you’ll say as you sidle up to the bar, chandelier earrings shimmering in the light. When all else fails, toss on a black blouse and trousers, a timeless combo that’s about as foolproof as you can get. To keep things interesting, opt for of-the-moment embellishments, like perforated ruffles and velvet Mary Jane heels that exude Alexa Chung cool.
15. Statement Sleeves + Skirts: Never underestimate the power of a good statement sleeve — seriously. Beyond providing a much-needed break from button downs and lacy blouses, they make the perfect partner to textured mini skirts — a play on proportion, if you will. One we just can’t get enough of. Bonus points for menswear-inspired stompers and bold buckle details.
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