There is no shortage of interesting-looking bottoms on offer in stores. Whether it's a pair of pants or a skirt in a sheeny satin, a metallic brocade, taffeta or something in sequins like these pants from outnet.com the best way to create a look for cocktails that won't appear overly fussed and trussed is to keep things simple on top. Of course, this is when the ubiquitous crisp white shirt comes in handy for a high and low mix but I like the casual drape of a dead classic cashmere V-neck or turtle neck worn with a statement bottom and some serious-looking faux gems. Try a set of cuffs one on each wrist like Ann Taylor's Swarovski crystal-encrusted eye catchers and a pair of dazzlers at your lobes like this pair by Lee Angel. Or fill in a low v-neck with a statement necklace. I will leave my Gaucho hat and sunglasses at home however.
One of the best strategies for cocktail dressing is to deploy the heavy artillery on the top balanced by something very simple on the bottom. Anything that I can pair with a pair of black pants is on my list. Tuxedo jackets are always a chic option but this season it's a cropped trophy piece of a jacket that looks really new. Something embellished and layered over a sheer blouse looks especially of-the-moment. The look doesn't have to cost a fortune. I've seen options in many price ranges including this embroidered black velvet number from H&M for $49.99. High and low ladies.