I feel as though the art of dressing up professionally for a work function or classy cocktail party has been lost on this generation of millennials. Sure you have to be conscious of what you wear, and yes, you don’t want to look like you raided your mom’s closet for something drab and dowdy. You can’t wear the dress you once rocked out at the bar on the weekend with your college roommates camouflaged with a professional work blazer and conservative heels. That neckline will most likely be too plunging, the hem is going to be a few inches (or more!) too short, and who knows about all of the adorable, but non-appropriate cut outs or embellishments. But then again, you don’t want to feel so covered up that you look like your grandmother heading to a Sunday church service either. Depending on your work environment, or the type of cocktail party event you are attending, there are various ranges and options you have – think of it as a sliding scale. If you are going to a benefit dinner for a politician, you better keep it a little more buttoned up and polished, but if you are going to a friend’s engagement party or a new art gallery opening where your boyfriend is showing off his new collection of graffiti-inspired pieces, then you have a little bit more room to show off your personality and style. I think this look leans a little more towards the latter with the embellished blazer and heels, but could easily be more structured with your classic black suit jacket and a nice patent black pump. The dress is the centerpiece, and with its abstract Rorschach-inspired pattern, you can dress it up or down depending on the environment. Jewelry or lack thereof can also help to enhance your style, or keep things prim and proper. Think pearls for the political events (how regal!), and something a little edgier, maybe out of a gunmetal silver for your more relaxed cocktail events. Keep in mind your setting and company, and always have a great staple dress that’s appropriate and can span the gap from conservative to self-expressionism.