A black-tie invitation may no longer restrict wardrobes to a traditional tuxedo or evening gown, but it does request the pleasure of having guests dress with a festive flair. This season’s best evening wear elegantly obliges, offering a black-and-white blend of classic formality and modern edge. Canali’s white-wool dinner jacket with a satin lapel ($1,950) and John Lobb’s sleek patent-leather evening loafers with grosgrain trim ($980) make a persuasive case for a simple palette combined with luminous details. Canali, 212.752.3131, www.canali.it; John Lobb, 212.888.9797, www.johnlobb.com —Jill Newman
A standout piece is essential to creating a signature style. The woman who dons a pair of Verdura’s unique yet complementary Maltese Cross cuffs, a design that was originally created for Coco Chanel in the 1930s, makes a memorable impression. These latest versions present a bold contrast: Both feature black and white diamonds and pearls, but one is fashioned from mammoth ivory ($58,500), the other from black jade ($56,500). Draped over the shoulders, J. Mendel’s long-haired white-mink stole ($9,800) adds plush panache to any evening ensemble. Verdura, 212.758.3388, www.verdura.com; J. Mendel, 800.563.6335, www.jmendel.com —J.N.
A basic black dress makes a beautiful backdrop for a splash of sparkling diamonds and gold. Two pieces that bring a sense of the sensational to any gathering are Graff’s flower-motif diamond chandelier earrings (32.52 carats combined, price upon request) and Dior Timepieces’ Dior VIII gold-and-ceramic watch with baguette diamonds ($62,000). Another showstopper is the Crow’s Nest Dream Feather ring ($19,800, available at Stone & Strand), which spans the length of the finger in black and white diamonds. For him, a regal touch of gold can be found in Bulgari’s silk necktie with gold-coin emblem ($285) and in Monique Pean’s black-agate cuff links set in gold and diamonds ($12,540, available at Barneys). Graff, 212.355.9292, www.graffdiamonds.com; Dior Timepieces, 866.675.2078, www.dior.com; Stone & Strand, 855.775.3935, www.stoneandstrand.com; Bulgari, 800.285.4274, www.bulgari.com; Barneys, www.barneys.com —J.N.