Style 911: How Do I Wear Strapless Without Looking Too Dressy?

Dear Frisky Style 911, My shoulder/neckline area is my favorite part of my body, so I really like wearing strapless things. There’s a problem though: I feel waaay over-dressed when I wear strapless clothes on a regular Saturday night out. How can I pull it off without looking like I’m going to the prom?–Lauren R.

Ahh yes, we’ve all been the girl in the too-dressy outfit trying not to look awkward in a bar at one time or another. Trite though this may sound, the first and best way not to look out of place is to appear confident. Standing around all night, shoulders sloped and constantly tugging your tube top up isn’t cute on anyone. That said, even confidence isn’t going to distract enough if you’re wearing a ballerina dress and everyone else is in blue jeans. After the jump, we’ll show you how to go strapless in a put-together, dressy way rather than an out-of-control/over-the-top way.
Choose a strapless top rather than a dress if you’re concerned about it being too much. You can always wear it with a skirt for fancier occasions, but starting with a top gives you more options all around. We love the black and white number on the left if you’re not particularly chesty, but something like the similarly awesome option on the right offers more coverage if you are. [left: $55, Nuj, Style Q; right: $663, Herve Leger,]

Dress it down but keep it classy with a semi-high-waisted, wide leg pant. For a more grown-up look, tailored black bottoms work best. If that’s a tad too dressy, go with a dark wash denim trouser. [left: $90, BCBG, Bluefly; right: $207, Anlo,]

Because your bottoms are substantial, use a similarly major shoe to balance out the wide leg. [$249, L.A.M.B.,]

Stick with a classic material (in this case, black leather), and a fun but not over-frilly shape with your bag. In your strapless bustier and Do Me Heels, you don’t really need a silver sequined clutch with a diamond zipper. [$80, Banana Republic]