The key to the new Le Smoking suit? It doesn't have to be a real suit set at all — find plush blazers and trousers in oversized, cropped cuts in varying shades of black. As long as you're mixing textures, too, you can get away with different black hues. Pair with a sleek clutch and strappy stilettos.
Just because your look is super-polished doesn't mean your hair has to be. A slightly messy, undone 'do keeps your look from being too fussy or uptight, and instead adds a bit of edge. Try pairing your gown with a loosely pinned updo and a few wispy flyaways, or some textured waves to modernize your look. Just don't go too crazy with it: You don't want to look like you got caught in a wind tunnel on the way to the party, or resemble a walk of shame before the night has even begun.
During the colder months, you might not even want to take your jacket off indoors — and that's alright! Perfect for party hopping (New Years Eve, anyone?), this look only works if you're not toting around winter gloves, a hat, and chunky scarves.
Black tie, as the name implies, isn't really big on color, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little bit of Technicolor fun. Vibrant lipsticks, jewel-toned liners, bright pops of blush, and Crayola-colored mascara are all rad ways to add some youth and energy to your party look. Just don't use them all at once, or you lose the sophistication and start veering off into teeny-bopper territory. Pick one out-of-the-box accent and keep the rest of your look natural and low-key.
A belt might seem too casual for an evening gown, but if you've got something that fits a little frumpy, or is an inch too long, just cinch your waist with a belt. The key is to find a belt in a pristine leather, velvet, or metal material — anything that's not going to look too casual.