Getty ImagesFabian Palencia / EyeEm
A pro shopping tip: Once you find the perfect party dress, invest and never look back. A great style can take you from cocktail to black-tie soirée and intimate dinner date to wee-hours-of-the-morning dance party. Even if a silhouette or cut doesn’t appear super versatile at first glance, you can extend its range via the right accessories—fragrance included.
As you get ready for holiday drinks and dinners, recast your go-to little black dress in cherry red. It’s equal parts whimsical and sultry, elegant and playful, and we’re officially calling it a neutral hue (albeit a bold one).
After you’ve accessorized with shoes and jewelry, look to your fragrance wardrobe. Switching up your perfume can make a big impact on how a look is perceived, along with getting you into an occasion-specific mindset.
Below, two ways we’ll be styling an unapologetically bold red dress this season.
The romantic, uptown version:
For the lover of Old Hollywood glamour, rich textures, and luxe shine, this look is for you. Take advantage of a gorgeous, shoulder-hugging neckline with a classic, statement-making necklace that glitters from all angles. Keep your earrings slightly oversized (more is always more when it comes to the holidays) but skip gems to let the necklace shine.
Add a pair of timeless pumps, a box bag, and a fuzzy topper that will keep you warm throughout rounds of cocktail events and sit-down dinners. The final magic touch? A spray of Carolina Herrera Good Girl Légère that ups the alluring vibe with a mix of jasmine, sweet tonka, and dulce de leche.
Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum Légère, $117
Worn with: Carolina Herrera Dress, $3,290, net-a-porter.com; Jemma Wynne Diamond Choker, $26,250, jemmawynne.com; Manolo Blahnik Pumps, $695, farfetch.com; Mark Cross Bag, $4,495, markcross.com; Raey Coat, $1,310, matchesfashion.com; Marni Earrings, $390, modaoperandi.com
The edgy, downtown version:
Lean into the rock-and-roll vibe with your accessories, relying on the elegance of the dress for all the formality you need. Start with a killer pair of booties accented with some sparkle to make them louder than standard stilettos. Continue in the same vein with a pair of spiked earrings or a coiled ring that have a tough edge, but don’t skimp on shine.
Add a bit of pattern with an animal print, and drape the leather jacket you live in over your shoulders (the more beat-up, the better). Finish with a fragrance that uses rich almond and tonka bean. Leave the bottle by the door for a right-before-you-leave spritz on the wrists and nape of the neck; its curvaceous shoe design is pretty enough to double as decor.
Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum, $117
Worn with: same Carolina Herrera Dress; Eva Fehren Earrings, $17,825, evafehren.com; Aquazzura Booties, $1,595, shopbop.com; Hunting Season Clutch, $950, modaoperandi.com; Acne Jacket, $1,550, matchesfashion.com; Lynn Ban Ring, matchesfashion.com