The busiest social season is upon us, which means flights to book, registries to scour, and plenty of opportunities to slip into cocktail attire—but let wardrobe choices be the least stressful part of planning. We’ve rounded up an all-star selection of ensembles that represent a fresh approach to party style and guarantee that you’ll be cool, comfortable, and collecting compliments at whatever fêtes you attend this summer.
We love Azeeza’s flirty, feminine take on the LBD, which uses a perfectly executed play on volume to create the most flattering and comfortable cocktail dress of the season. The shoulder-baring mini-dress has voluminous ruffled tiers that keep the silhouette from feeling overly sexy despite the exposed skin. Enhance the long leg effect of the dress by pairing with sky-high stilettos.
When it comes to streamlined, easy-to-wear silhouettes, look no further than Nomia. Asymmetry is executed with utter precision, making this one-shoulder dress a sharp, modern option for a wedding or party. The rust color will look great with gold accessories like a cuff for the exposed arm.
THE NIPPED-IN TUNIC
This season, the versatile and ever-comfortable tunic has been elevated, thanks to designers paying special attention to fabric and fit. This Isabel Marant dress has pintuck-pleated sides, offering feminine shape to the relaxed silhouette. The silk georgette is light enough to breath but structured enough to hold the shape, and the Moroccan-inspired print will stand out in a sea of solids.
WHITE LACE GOWN
For non-wedding celebrations, there’s something so novel and even a little irreverent about wearing not just white, but a white gown. To avoid looking like a bride, opt for minimal styling and natural makeup, so you can let the exquisite details of your frock—in the case of this Brock Collection beauty, beautiful voile with lace overlay—and the purity of the white speak for themselves. (Note: R/R Studio makes an equally stunning white gown).
Altuzarra has mastered clothes that are refined but bold, subtle yet sexy—as perfectly demonstrated in this skirt and top ensemble. Separates feel so fresh for evening, and we love the way this look combines the structure and strength of the suede skirt with the light femininity of the silk top. For added drama, a side seam slit with eye-catching gold buttons can be buttoned (or un-buttoned) to your preference.
THE ELEVATED SLIP DRESS
As nineties minimalism continues to influence fashion, the slip dress has seen many reincarnations. While we love the effortless minimalism of the style, sophisticated updates make it feel a little more refined. Gary Graham‘s cream silk georgette version features a sweeping floor-length skirt crafted of cascading raw-edge chiffon and organza ruffles—an understated showstopper.
There’s something so quietly seductive about a confident woman in masculine tailoring. For creative reinterpretations of tuxedos, menswear-inspired line Pallas has many great options, like this double-breasted tuxedo dress. Edun also has a mix of both separates and dresses that mix a borrowed-from-the-boys vibe with feminine touches like a pink palette or ruffle details.