Mix It Up: 6 Tips for Picking Cocktail Party Dresses
Since cocktail parties can be casual, semi-formal, or formal, selecting the right dress is key. To fit right in at cocktail hour, you will want a dress that’s fashionable, flattering, and just your style! Here are 6 tips for picking cocktail dresses that best suit you and the events that you are attending.
1. Check the dress code.
Don’t be shy about asking your hostess for the dress code. Showing up at a formal cocktail party in a casual cocktail dress is not the end of the world, but let’s face it, being overdressed might be better than being underdressed. An early afternoon cocktail party typically calls for a casual to semi-formal look, while evening events tend to be more formal. For an informal occasion, opt for simple cuts and accessories. Save the elaborate appliques and sparkling sequins for fancier cocktail parties. A little black dress can be easily dressed up or down with the right accessories for casual or formal dinners. Day or night, you will want to pick a cocktail dress that is appropriate for the formality of the event.
2. Consider the event.
If your cocktail party has a particular theme or venue, you’ll want your dress to match! Attending a holiday cocktail hour calls for a party dress with sparkling accents in festive colors. A cocktail dress with a tropical print, on the other hand, fits right in for casual or outdoor dinners at a favorite destination or on a cruise. Choose a sleek desk-to-dinner dress for a business cocktail party that requires a chic look with ample coverage.
3. Budget for your whole look.
When you consider jewelry, shoes, and a clutch as part of your cocktail ensemble, it is easier to select a cocktail party dress that fits your budget. A budget-friendly cocktail dress that flatters and makes you feel great is worth a million, so find a stylish look with a price that makes you smile, too.
4. Choose a length and fit that flatters.
Cocktail dress hemlines typically rest from just above the knee to just below the knee. Since your height and body type will affect the length and fit of a cocktail dress, make sure you measure yourself for the best possible fit! Be sure to reference any size guides before you make a purchase because even the most beautiful cocktail dress won’t flatter your figure, if it doesn’t fit just right. When shopping for a dress, fit is everything!
5. Pick your style.
You want a party dress that reflects your personality and plays up to your features. Cocktail party dress styles range from form-fitting and sleek to fit-and-flare and shift designs. Prefer coverage? High necklines, sleeves, or knee-length skirts are great for striking a modest tone. When drama is your scene, plunging v-necklines, strapless cuts, or open backs are the way to go for an alluring effect. For a versatile look, cocktail dresses with removable jackets or shawls provide a fashionable layered look. Choose the your favorite style that flatters for a combination that wows!
6. Consider colors and fabrics.
These features play a big part in the overall look and feel of a cocktail dress. Metallic cocktail dresses made from sumptuous velvets, gleaming taffetas, and other luxurious fabrics in warm hues and rich jewel tones with textures, sequins and bright embellishments are ideal for cocktail parties held in colder months (think holiday festivities), while cocktail dresses in pastels and prints in light-weight fabrics like silks, chiffons, and lace are great for a cocktail hours held in warmer seasons.
Relax in a casual cocktail dress, inspire in a semi-formal cocktail dress, or stun in a fashion-forward jumpsuit or two-piece dress for a cocktail party. Whatever the occasion, time of day, or season, choose a cocktail dress for your style and comfort level.