What to Wear to a Cocktail Party

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How to Accessorize a Cocktail Dress

Nanette Lepore 'Midnight' Minidress
Nanette Lepore 'Midnight' Minidress. Courtesy of Nordstrom

If you have found the perfect cocktail dress but aren't sure what to wear with it, here are some terrific suggestions. With these shoes, bags and other accessories you can get glamorous with crystals, jewelry and other glitzy details. Pull up you hair, add a glossy red lipstick and you will be the highlight of the party.

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Add a Pair of Statement Earrings

Photo: Getty/Luca Teuchmann.

Start out with a fabulous pair of drop earrings. Choose earrings that are embellished with diamonds and other gemstones. They will look great with a black cocktail dress.

While statement earrings are designed to do just that, there are some guidelines you can follow to look your best. 

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Make a Statement With a Bold Necklace

Photo: Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin.

If you are wearing a dress with a simple neckline, add a bold statement necklace that uses chunky stones, colorful baubles or bold beads.

Not sure of the right necklace length for you?  Consult this guide for finding the perfect necklace length for you. 

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Stack a Few Evening Bracelets for a Blingier Look

Photo: Getty/Vincent Sandoval.

You don't want to wear too much jewelry. However if you decide to forego the necklace, instead wear a cuff bracelet adorned with diamonds, stones or crystals.

You don't have to go with one bracelet.  Stacking bracelets is a hot trend, even for evening.  Learn how to throw an arm party by taking a look at these tips and photos. 

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Carry a Beautiful Beaded Clutch

Photo: Getty/Vincent Sandoval.

For a cocktail party, you need to carry a great bag. A metallic or beaded clutch is the perfect complement to the rest of your outfit.  A beaded clutch can make a simple black daytime dress look perfect for night.  Check out other ways to accessorize your little black dress here. 

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Put on a Pair of Strappy Heels

Photo: Getty/Barry King.

Now you just need a pair of fabulous shoes. For a summer cocktail party, select high heel sandals in bold bright colors or shiny metallics. For cold weather months, you can select patent or suede peep-toe pumps to go with your cocktail dress.