Call me extra, but I like to sift through sales and secondhand shops to find party pieces. Does my shopping habit take into account that we’re still living in a pandemic? No. Do I have any gala invitations in my inbox? No. Will that stop me from buying a full-length Dion Lee gown? Also no. For me, shopping is about crafting a wardrobe with one-of-a-kind pieces I can wear for years to come. Plus, the thrill of being able to whip out the perfect outfit for any party dress code is unmatched. Of course, I realize how rationalizing the need to have a feather dress on hand puts me in the slightly unrealistic territory, but I’m here to tell you it’s not just voyeurism.
Having an assortment of casual party pieces can not only prepare you for a future where we can go back to gathering IRL more frequently (fingers crossed), but it’s also a way to inject a little shine into your daily life (which is necessary when circumstances are dreary). So in that vein, I’ve taken it upon myself to round up some of the most versatile party-ready staples and given tips on how to dress them down for everyday wear. These 18 casual party outfit ideas will make embracing your most extra self easier.