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We're only one day into Spring, but it feels like party season is already in full swing. Suddenly, your time is no longer your own because you're expected to make an appearance at some kind of social engagement every night of the week. (First world problems, right?)
The key to dressing for a soon-to-be-drunk crowd is dark colors, patterns, or a combination of the two. While few garments will tolerate being doused with a glass of red wine, an errant drop won't ruin these looks, or your night out.
Of course, the real problem at these events is deciding what to wear. All black, all the time is boring, but wearing white to a cocktail party—or a foodie event like next week's Taste of the Nation—is just asking for trouble. No, what you need is an eye-catching ensemble that won't show the boozy spills and food stains that are bound to happen when 500 people start drinking for a good cause.
- Cocktail look or the amazing technicolor dream dress? You decide. The A-line skirt means that you can actually nibble at a party, and the print shouldn't betray you if you spill your greyhound. $698 at
- Clover Canyon's wildly-printed neoprene numbers won't show spills, and they're ultra-flattering. This Floral Maze style is no exception. $268 at
- Kate Spade's geometric-patterned silk dress is bright and sassy and fun; ideal for covering your trip-ups when you're also feeling bright and sassy and fun. $398 at
- This Shona Joy high-low number works on so many levels. The purple background can mask red wine splashes, the pattern is inviting, and the racerback design will show off your gorgeous shoulders. $146 at
- Why spend a week's salary on a knit dress when you can buy this sexy blue look for less than you spend on brunch? $29.80 at
- Not into prints, but think plain black is boring? The embellished shoulders of this LBD add a certain je ne sais quoi to a party look. $199 at Amour Vert, online.
- If you like black, but hate dresses, try this Veronica Beard tuxedo jumpsuit. Seriously, is there anything more chic than a perfectly-executed jumpsuit? $795 at
- Accidents happen, and sometimes a waiter drops a platter of pesto chicken on the front of your dress. If the charming print of this dress doesn't distract partygoers from that unfortunate mishap, the gorgeous backless feature will. $126 at
- The wrap dress is the unsung hero of the weekday work-to-party transition. The floral motif on this one works well for spring. $178 at
- The best thing about wearing a gold sequin dress —other than the sheer delight of gold sparkles— is that sequins are relatively stain resistant. $150 at