Wear + When: Non-Boring Black Tie

Classic black cocktail frocks that won’t put you to sleep

Benefits, benefits, benefits. The Washington social agenda is filled with ways to party down while giving back, so ladies constantly running the circuit need a reliable wardrobe piece to fête-hop. While we love the idea of investing in a great-fitting little black dress to fill that niche, we’d hate to see you settle on something that blends into the sea of women who’ve opted for the same approach. Focus on the details, friends! In case you missed the heads-up on Lanvin for H&M, exaggerated shoulders and over-the-top ruffles are having a moment. Above are two very different takes on the look. Try the first out at this weekend’s Modus Union Parisian Art Salon Party or Champagne Festival, or take the second straight to the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the FotoWeek DC kick-off party.

Like what you see? Here’s where to get it:

14th Street Glam:
French Connection Wendy dress, $148.
Dannijo Mariella earrings, $245.
Rachel Rachel Roy Kimi Pump, $99.

Georgetown Elegance:
Rachel Gilbert Alexandra dress, $695.
Dannijo Coco cuff, $245.
Badgley Mischka Randall D’Orsay pump, $200.

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Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.