There is room for a little flash and sparkle in cocktail attire, but it's best to practice restraint.
Cocktail Couture for Women
The best way to figure out what to wear is to dress according to what you expect the host to wear. Attending a high-end wedding? Then wear a gown. One of the murkier dress codes, men are given the option of either wearing a tuxedo or a dark suit and a tie.
Because men are given the option of dressing in a more casual manner, the dress code is more open for women too, who can wear anything from a long dress to a cocktail number. Think of it like this: An ankle-grazing dress and statement jewelry for women and a black suit with a bow tie for men. Men, for instance, should feel free to wear a black shirt or a red bow tie—something other than the cookie-cutter penguin suit.
Women are similarly encouraged to take their look less seriously. Think of creative black tie as trendy black tie. For instance, with a dress code that calls for Texas Black Tie, a man would be dressed appropriately in a tuxedo, bolo tie, and cowboy boots, and a woman could wear a gown and a cowboy hat. A formal-but-trendy gown for women and a tuxedo with a black shirt for men. Classy Girls Wear Pearls.
For guys, this dress code calls for a dark suit with a tie. For women, short dresses that are party-ready. A dress code that tends to pop up on invitations around the holidays, festive attire is similar to cocktail attire, but with a holiday bent—say a sparkly sequin dress or a red satin skirt.
A sequin party dress for women and a suit and holiday-themed tie for men. Real Simple states that suits are acceptable, though they should be "tailored and dressy rather than businesslike. Suits promoted as mother-of-the-bride outfits can work well as cocktail apparel, as they typically have softer lines and more dressy touches than suits designed for work. You don't have to wear a dress or suit for occasions that call for cocktail attire.
Separates can work just as well, and you may find this the best route to get a perfect fit and to customize your style. When choosing a top to wear for a cocktail occasion, look for elegant touches that separate the piece from business or casual tops.
Real Simple indicates that "tops with special details" paired with appropriate skirts and slacks can be great choices for cocktail occasions.
Look for fitted or tunic styles with details like beading or lace and sexy shoulder cut-outs when shopping for special occasion blouses. As with dresses, skirt lengths can range from a few inches above the knee to just below it.
Look for a style that complements the top you select. You can also opt to pair dressy pants with your selected top, being sure to select a dressy style appropriate for the occasion. Palazzo slacks made from a flowing fabric like chiffon are a great style that pairs well with many dressy tops appropriate for cocktail occasion, though any flowing, wide-leg trousers can work for cocktail events. If you're wearing a long tunic, you could also opt for dressy skinny pants in a coordinating shade.
Sep 08, · Cocktail attire is usually described as less formal than formal attire, but not too casual. Similar to but usually slightly less formal than semi-formal attire, it typically means a dark suit or slacks and a sport coat for men, and a cocktail dress or nice blouse and skirt for women. From white-tie to cocktail attire, the gray area regarding what's acceptable to wear to these formal events is sizable. Today, we are here to talk all things cocktail-party attire. Today, we are here to talk all things cocktail-party attire. Interestingly, most women understand the attire required for such an event due to the aptly named, short cocktail dress (often black), whereas men generally do not have a clue as to what attire they should wear to a cocktail party.