When you're dressing for a formal event, ballgowns and cocktail dresses are usually the go-to option. But if you're tired of fussy dresses, you may want to consider wearing a suit to your next special occasion event. While pantsuits may seem like strictly office wear, you can easily dress one up for a sleek, sexy look that's sure to make you stand out at a wedding or other formal event. The key is choosing the right style for your pantsuit and pairing it with pieces that add a little glamour and elegance.
Pay Attention to Style
Choosing the right pantsuit is the easiest way to look dressed up for a formal event. Instead of a suit in wool, tweed, linen or another traditional material, select one made from a more striking fabric. A velvet pantsuit is an ideal option for a winter wedding or other formal occasion. You can also opt for a suit with satin details to mimic a tuxedo – satin lapels and a satin stripe down the sides of the pants creates an elegant look. Styles that feature striking details such as fishtail hem on the jacket also work well for a formal event.
Wear a Statement Top
Whether you’re wearing a fancy velvet suit or the plain black pantsuit that you wear to the office, pairing it the right top can help dress it up for a formal occasion. Instead of a plain blouse or shell, opt for a tank top or camisole with embellishments like sequins or beads. A delicate lace tank or camisole can also work well. If you’re really feeling daring, though, skip the undershirt all together and let your jacket create a plunging neckline – if your jacket gapes open too much, use discrete safety pins to hold it closed.
Go Bold with Jewelry
A few well-chosen pieces of jewelry can help dress up a pantsuit for a formal event. Adding a large brooch to the jacket’s lapel with colorful rhinestones can instantly make your suit look fancier. A dramatic statement necklace also does the trick – try a bib style with rhinestones and pearls or a sexy rhinestone choker. If you’re wearing your hair in an updo, bold earrings like a chandelier style or a large drop style with pearls, diamonds or other gemstones can add a level of glamour to your ensemble.
Add Sexy Shoes
At the office, you can wear your pantsuit with a pair of simple leather pumps or boots in a neutral color for a polished look. At a formal occasion, though, you want to go bolder with your shoes. Satin heels have an elegant, dressed up look. A neutral color like black or gray can work well, but you can go bold by pairing a bright red pair of heels with a black suit or a silver pair with a navy suit. For a sexier look, try a pair of velvet peep toe heels with your suit or add shine with strappy metallic sandals in a silver or gold finish.
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Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
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