Cocktail DressesLifestyle

We Just Decoded The Cocktail Dress Code For You

Got an invitation to a cocktail party but have no clue what to wear? Your frustration is justified. Finding a dress for a cocktail party is always a dilemma because of the confusion about nature of the event. A cocktail party is an event that lies somewhere between casual and formal on the spectrum of parties. You have to be sophisticated but you cannot overdo it too.

But what really is a cocktail dress?

woman sitting on chair in between two men
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A cocktail party is something that is formal (not fancy though) yet something you can let yourself loose in. Whenever someone hears the words cocktail party, the first attire that comes into their mind is a little black dress. But trends in fashion have evolved in the past few years and now you have much more options than just an LBD.

Ladies party cocktail dress

No clues about how to dress for a cocktail party? No worries! Here we have the basics of cocktail party attire deconstructed for you.

Dress type

woman wearing black and white long sleeved derss
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A mini dress or midi is usually appropriate for any cocktail party event. Nowadays, pantsuits are also acceptable but it might be a little too formal for the occasion. You can also wear trousers but not jeans. Refrain from long, floor-length gown since it is an inappropriate dress for a cocktail party.

When it comes to choosing a dress for a cocktail, you should take care of your body shape to accentuate your best physical features. If you have a petite derriere, go for a skirt or dress with flair. For those with broad shoulders, go for a wide-legged cocktail suit. If you have an oversized hourglass figure, choose loose-fitting clothes and flashy accessories to divert the attention from your curves. An A-line skirt is an appropriate choice for a pear-shaped body.


woman wearing gold chain bib necklace
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Don’t overdo it though! Choose one piece of statement jewelry, a standout accessory. It could either be quirky earrings, a chunky necklace, or a studded bracelet whatever goes along your attire. Don’t wear all these at once if you want to avoid looking like a joker.


black and white woman shoes stiletto
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Always go for heels whenever you are attending a formal event. Heels provide an extra lift to your toes and also your personality. Choose anything; stilettos, kitten heels, or block heels, depending upon the style of your dress. Shoes or sneakers are a big NO.

Cover up, maybe

accessory clothes clothing fashion
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This is only when you are attending a late night event and don’t want to die of freezing cold temperatures. Don’t wear a coat at a cocktail party. Carry a stole or formal jacket with you.

Carry a Clutch

person holding quilted black leather clutch bag
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Please keep your shoulder bags and slouch tote bags at home when going to a cocktail party. Carry a sleek, elegant clutch for a more sophisticated and sharp look.

Mens cocktail party dress

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Times have changed. Men too have plenty of options to spruce up their attire. Want to look dapper at your next event? Here are a few suggestions for how to dress for a cocktail party:

  • Leave the tuxedo at home. Go for a dark shade suit but not black.
  • A white shirt is the safest option for the event. You can opt for muted colors too. Just stay away from floral prints or something flashy.
  • Compliment your look with a necktie or bow tie in subtle prints.
  • Choose calf length socks for the event, the ones that match with your tie. Don’t go sockless.
  • Wear a pocket square.
  • Black shoes, such as oxfords, with a leather sole, suffice the occasion.
  • Get a haircut and lose that stubble. If you have a beard, keep it prim and proper.

The most important element that will compliment your look for the evening is self-confidence. No matter how well you dress, your look is incomplete without a little bit of swag.


Featured Image Courtesy: Shona Joy



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