You’ve just received an invitation for a cocktail party and you’re head over heels excited for the event, but then you wonder: what’s the appropriate cocktail attire for women? What’s a gal supposed to wear to such a fun and somewhat classy occasion? For your upcoming cocktail party, we’ve come up with the dos and don’ts to ensure you’re looking on-trend and party-ready.
Rules for Cocktail Attire for Women:
Rule #1: NO DENIM. Denim is a BIG no-no at a cocktail party. Even if it is a rather informal type of party, you still won’t get by wearing your favorite skinny jeans. Informal or not, cocktail parties require a dressier getup to match the occasion.
Rule #2: Nothing too flashy. You don’t want to go overboard with your attire or you will stick out like a sore thumb. Cocktail parties don’t call for wild accessories or over-the-top ball gowns, so make sure you’re not going too strong with your attire or accessories.
Rule #3: NO FLIP FLOPS. Cocktail parties are way, way too fancy for flip flops. Flip flops could be considered insulting at a party like this, and I’m almost certain there is no pair of flip flops that are going to match up with your cute dress anyways, so avoid this at ALL costs.
Option 1: Little Black Dress
Fancy date night? Chic downtown party with your gal pals? A little black is every girl’s best friend and go-to when it comes to more elegant occasions where you need to look stunning without being too glamorous. You can’t go wrong pulling out your LBD for a cocktail party: it suits the occasion while also ensuring you look top-notch in a very flattering getup. Pair it with a nice set of pumps or heels, and you can even toss in a single key accessory to spruce it up a tad. A nice silver watch, a beautiful, thicker sized necklace, or even just a sophisticated ring will do the trick. Style your hair with some big, sexy curls to complete your cocktail look.
Option 2: Colorful Mini Dress
If you want something a bit more colorful for your cocktail getup, opt for a mini dress in a gorgeous feminine shade like light pink of a soft blue. Brighter, more spunkier colors (NOT pastel!) is a great option for cocktail wear as it still holds plenty of elegance, just with a bit more cheer. Colorful mini dresses are ideal for summer night cocktail parties when dreary colors are an absolute no-no. Just make sure your mini dress is NOT too short; you should be able to put your hands down by your sides, your fingers reaching the ends of your dress. Wearing some too short may appear tack y and classless, and those types of dresses should be reserved for club nights with your gal pals. It’s also important not too over-accessorize when you choose a mini dress, and don’t wear heels that are too high. A set of shorter, thicker heels will do the trick, but remember: no flip flops.
Option 3: Midi Dress
While cocktail dresses tend to be on the shorter side of the length scheme, you can get by wearing a fancy midi dress if you don’t want to show off too much leg. Midi dresses may not be the most popular choice for cocktail parties, but wearing a body-hugging midi that reaches just below the knee is a very fancy way to be sophisticated and sexy. Keep it simple with a dress that is all one color, or choose a dress with a bit more flare like jewels or lacework. Pair it with some nice heels and a little bejeweled bag and you’re ready for the party.
Option 4: Suit
A suit is NOT the conventional choice for a cocktail party, but it is quickly growing in popularity! With the right suit, you can create an effortlessly chic and sophisticated style that’s anything but businesslike; and that’s just the KEY: do NOT wear a suit that you’d wear to the office. You need something a bit more on the classy side, something with embellishments or something made out of silk or velvet. Skirt suits are also a GREAT idea! Make sure you pair your party suit with a nice pair of heels and amplify your look with some nice accessories for a glamorous finish.
Option 5: Jumpsuit
Jumpsuits may be your go to in fall when the weather is getting chillier and you don’t want to show off your legs, but the right one-piece can also be the perfect choice for a cocktail party. One-pieces with lace on the top and flowy pants below is a great look, or something completely made out of lace with tiny cutouts can also rock the party. You can quickly toss on a nice blazer and a cross-body bag to complete your jumpsuit look exquisitely.
When in doubt, check the invitation out!
If you’re not sure what kind of outfit to wear to the cocktail party, look at the invitation and gage how fancy it is. If they’ve sent out an unbelievably gorgeous cocktail invitation that’s oozing with sophistication and class, you’ll want to opt for a more fancy style such as the trademark cocktail mini dress or a three-piece suit. On the other hand, if the invitation is bit more on the casual side, they may be throwing a more relaxed party where a trendy jumpsuit or colorful mini can do the trick. Always remember this: it is better to overdress than underdress, but you certainly don’t want to go over-the-top; so keep your ball gowns at home, ladies.
Ask the host!
Still unsure after checking the invitation? Well, you can’t go wrong with asking the host. Simply ask them how fancy attire should be to attend the cocktail party. Don’t be embarrassed to ask- after all, it’s their party and I’m sure they won’t want anyone sticking out like a sore thumb and feeling uncomfortable by their outfit choice.
Have you ever been to a cocktail party? What did you wear?