By Jesse L. Brooks


Summer has officially hit the Bluegrass! Along with that comes a lot of summer soirées.

Nothing says effortless chic like head-to-toe black and white.

The greatest thing about this color combo is how easy it to dress it up or make it casual. This particular ensemble is about reaching that middle ground. Aiming for elevated elegance, The Row's 'Rabina' skirt is both sophisticated and flattering. The pencil design hugs the body's curves for a form-fitted look, while the classic black coloring is a staple piece for any closet. Pairing it up in style, we opted for a crisp, contemporary silhouette with Roland Mouret's 'Merley' top. Crafted from wool crêpe in a luxurious cream hue, this style features an asymmetrical peplum hem and a golden zipper extending down the back for a sexy finishing note. Bringing a little fancy to our feet, Olgana's bow pumps takes this look to the next level. This shoe is inspired by the classic tuxedo with a sleek T-bar silhouette that's accented with a fixed bow and white ankle trim. Adding a splash of city flair, our bag choice is a real showstopper. Using an Art Deco frame, Whiting & Davis' Skyline Crossbody features the Manhattan sky. Metal mesh panels in different colors are pieced together by hand to create each building and are accented with crystals from Swarovski to depict sparkling city lights. Making a less blingy statement with our jewelry, Kate Spade's graphic drop earrings stay in tune with the color story, while enhancing this entire outfit. Since our look is the epitome of cool and polished, we wanted the makeup to reflect that. A punchy pout with lots of high impact shine by Tom Ford teamed up with some flirty Huda Beauty lashes round things out beautifully. Whether your must attend event is during a Saturday afternoon or a Friday night out, in this 'Black Tie Optional' look you won't be over-or under dressed.