Evening looks, no matter what your age, really depend on the event and the company you'll be keeping. Dinner and drinks with your college roommates calls for an entirely different look than say an evening of salsa dancing with your hot new boyfriend.
And a night on the town is still the perfect occasion to choose racier items, such as animal prints or a sheer blouse with just enough lace work to keep you from being arrested. But be careful not to overdo it. The head-to-toe vixen look might be OK for a 26-year-old, but the look can be less appealing on a 36-year-old.
For women in their 30s, it's really about balancing sophistication with sexiness. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. If the top you're wearing shows off a little décolleté, skip the miniskirt and go for a pair of wide-legged trousers. If you want to show a little leg, make sure everything's covered up on top. And don't worry, looking sophisticated doesn't have to mean looking old. If you're wearing a formal gown, keep your lush locks down. Or finish a sleek, sophisticated ensemble with a fun, flirty ponytail. In other words, try pairing something youthful with your grown-up look.
When it comes to accessories for an evening out, the only way to get it wrong is to forget about them. Of course, that doesn't mean you should load yourself down with sparkles, but one perfect piece -- a great pair of earrings, a statement necklace or a funky cuff -- can really complete your look. And try to keep things in harmony. Balance sturdy fabrics with bold accessories, but keep it dainty for anything whispery like silk or chiffon.
Now that your clothing is covered, it's time to talk hair and make-up.