Every girl owns (or at least she should own) the perfect little black dress.  But wearing the same hot little number cocktail party after cocktail party can leave a girl feeling bored with what once was a no brainer.  Not even swapping accessories can change things.  Like a rubik’s cube, there are only so many combinations.  This is when you must channel your inner Macgyver and start rigging up new and inventive cocktail combinations.

Besides the LBD (little black dress for the slow pokes), another staple piece is a black pencil skirt.  You may be thinking to yourself, “That’s a little too Betty Draper for me.”  Well, let me tell you, the pencil skirt has stuck around for a reason.  Fitted properly, a pencil skirt can make even the most waifish gal look more Beyonce and less Olive Oil.  To offset the conservative pencil skirt, I paired it with a cropped bandeau top (this little guy happened to be a DVF sample and would benefit greatly from some time spent at a seamstress).  Classic black pumps, top notch top knot, and a sequined jacket completed this unconventional, but totally cocktail appropriate attire.

Before creating this look yourself, remember to use some common sense: 1. Will this look good on you? If you could benefit from a few more sit ups, hold off until you’re bare belly brazen. 2. Where are you planning to wear it?  A funeral or wedding is probably not the right time for this.  Save it for a more appropriate occasion.

1. Cosabella Marni Strapless Plunge Bra, $132.50, 2. Diane von Furstenberg Panel Marta Techno Jersey High Waist Pencil Skirt, $210, 3. Tuleste Market Layered Ball & Chain Necklace, $150, 4. Harrison Morgan Black Sequin Bolero, $220, 5. Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 Patent Pumps, $595