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Mad for monochrome, but not matchy-matchy looks? Layer pieces with different textures.
Pair Zara's elegantly edgy puff-sleeve dress with refined accessories in a similar color, like Bruno Magli's patent leather-capped stilettos (lordandtaylor.com) and American Apparel's reversible leather belt. A Bauble Bar necklace and Swarovski crystal earrings from Three Jane in deeper tones lend extra sophistication.
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Give Neutrals a Pop
Electrify ivory, taupe, black, or gray frocks with a high-watt color.
Let them wear white! Rhyme & Echo's flirty "Zoe" dress ($79, piper lime.com) looks great with flameorange Marissa Webb "Willa" pointy pumps and Vince Camuto's clutch. A bracelet with a vintage vibe from House of Lavande makes it fun and feminine.
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Accent With Color
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Use Black as a Backdrop
No need to embellish the scene-stealing neckline of the Hitherto for Bhldn "Audrey" dress. Instead, a clutch like Jenny Packham's "Acacia Nouvelle" will push this LBD into formal territory. And black is the ideal backdrop for a jewel tone. Clip on these Deco jade earrings from Kenneth Jay Lane, along with a knockout cocktail ring from Tacori.
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Don't Ignore Prints
Solids are smashing, but don't ignore the fine print. Zimmermann's "Rising Floral Fly" dress is au courant (shopbop.com), and Ivanka Trump Handbags' "Travel Organizer" clutch is posh and practical (amazon.com). Add texture via Jean-Michel Cazabat's suede "Ella" pumps (646-669-8508) and color with these Asscher-cut drop earrings from Gioielli by Nikki Baker.
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Mix It Up
Select a group of colors (we chose blue-green, blush, lilac, and lemon), then let your friends decide how to mingle them.
Flatter a pal in a ruffled organza peplum dress by Donna Morgan and she'll send the thank-you note. Kotur's "Espey" minaudiere shows that blue and bright yellow are buds. And Isharya's bold "Gemini" earrings and Ben Amunn's "Punch Deco" bracelet (charmandchain.com) complete this vivid picture.
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Go For a Summery Style
Helios & Luna's "Lemonade" dress with asymmetrical tulip skirt shows off curves (800-800-5878). Made in loads of colors, American Apparel's leather belt offers options galore. Add Zara's pink stone necklace and Nancy Gonzalez's crocodile box clutch to illustrate that it's only her bag that's square.
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Dress your bridesmaids in a range of styles and shades. To keep things interesting, add in a neutral, like gray.
From left to right:
Saja's airy chiffon number has a forgiving fit.
If you're wearing a tea-length dress -- or even a mini -- send your maids down the aisle in Simple Silhouettes' floor-grazing Rosebay, a grown-up version of the sundress; it's shown with Monet's Trend Color necklace.
The grosgrain Grove by 57 Grand is actually one piece (the blousy effect is created with a clever pintuck) and has handy pockets.
A one-shoulder silk shantung wonder, the Single by AriaDress nips in at the waist, then kicks out in an A-line that hits just below the knee. Slip on cute sandals, like the heart-covered "Lourdes" by Kate Spade.
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Add a Finishing Touch
These finishing touches are as versatile as they come. Tone down a bright dress with a goes-with-anything neutral accessory, amp up a pale frock with a splash of color, or deliver a dose of playful sparkle to any look.
1. Avance Decamp slingback shoe (grupomenbur.com).
2. Kotur Morley sueded snakeskin minaudiere (Neiman Marcus, 888-888-4757).
3. Libby Edelman Kendra flat with satin bow.
4. Charles by Charles David Frilly peep-toe shoe (310-277-4448).
5. Coye Nokes Jacqueline embossed python pump.
6. Giuseppe Zanotti Design patent-leather yellow sandal.
7. Menbur Tweety satin bag.
8. Loeffler Randall crisscross mesh stiletto.
9. Pour La Victoire Lavena sandal.
10 and 11. Franchi Joan woven minaudiere and Bella sequin clutch (both 718-375-2000).
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