For many, parties, dinners, and upscale events are all perfect for pulling out a glamorous ensemble. And while a dress is a fail-safe outfit for the fancier events on your calendar, a lot of women hate wearing dresses. Instead of sulking in an outfit you despise, we found five stylish alternative outfits you can wear instead.
Between its strong presence on the runway, countless celebrity variations, and Hillary Clinton’s collection, it’s safe to say 2016 was the year of the pantsuit. And if you don’t like the frilly connotations that come with dresses, they’re a great alternative for the formal events you have on your calendar.
For an outfit that looks more cool than cubicle-worthy, be sure your top and pants match in color and texture. With several iterations, there’s a pantsuit combination for every occasion. Pair a modest, crewneck jacket with some wide-legged pants for a casual dinner party. But if you’re in need of a sexier ensemble, embrace the plunging blazer and forgo an undershirt. Just don’t forget to reinforce your neckline with some double-sided tape.
2. A skirt
Just because you don’t like dresses doesn’t mean you’re equally averse to skirts. Consider the skirt a dress’s cool, younger cousin. Whether you pair it with a luscious turtleneck, summery tank top, or casual tee, you can style a skirt to your liking so it won’t look too girly or matronly. Plus, there are so many different types of skirts — pencil, mini, A-line, wrap, etc. — there’s bound to be one that flatters your figure and matches your personal style. If you’re in the market for something festive, try your luck with a mid-length A-line skirt — it’ll look great with a sweater and tons of jewelry.
3. A jumpsuit
Wearing a dress is pretty effortless. All you need to do is throw on a pair of shoes, add some accessories if you desire, and you instantly look presentable and incredibly polished. But if you’re not a dress person, jumpsuits offer the same elegance, and you don’t even have to deal with finicky tights. For a jumpsuit you can wear all-year round, we recommend investing in a neutral color like black or navy. Pair your outfit with some statement jewelry and a pair of platform heels — you’ll top the best dressed list at any party.
4. Cropped trousers
Not only are cropped trousers comfortable, they’re office-friendly, so you can wear them to work beforehand without feeling too dressed up. Ideally, your pants should hit nicely at your ankle so you can throw on some fun heels or wear them with your ankle boots. Add a chunky sweater, and you’ll be the coolest woman in the room.
5. Dark jeans
If you’re going to a party that doesn’t require you dress to the nines, go ahead and wear jeans. Showing up to a casual house party in a full-blown pantsuit may be too extravagant; however, you can easily dress jeans up or down to match the party’s vibe. Instead of wearing your favorite blue jeans, we suggest you opt for a pair of black jeans. They’re just as comfortable and flattering, but are slightly more elevated.
Since black jeans are a sartorial blank slate, you can pair them with nearly anything: a silk blouse for your office party, a lace party top for a night out, or some cozy cashmere for an evening in with your significant other. The best part? You can wear your dressier jeans year-round.