modeling black tie optional

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Cocktail Attire
Translation: A little black dress with a deliciously modern twist—like an off-the-shoulder neckline, shorter length. "I can take classic black from day to night," says New York publicist Desiree Gruber. Of her husband, actor Kyle MacLachlan she says, "He likes sexy—I like a little black dress, he likes the littler black dress."

Variations: Since black reads as more formal than navy or camel, it's the best base if you're coming from work. 

AKA: "Fun cocktail attire," "simply fabulous," "gorgeous garb," "dress to kill."