Every woman has at least one cocktail dress in her closet. However, many
women make outfit mistakes and dress inappropriately without realizing it.
There are rules for every dress code, and the rules for cocktail dresses
are no less strict than for any other attire.
Table of Contents
When to Wear a Cocktail Dress
To better understand what make a perfect cocktail dress, you need to know
what type of occasions call for such an outfit:
- Office parties. These events allow you to wear semi-formal, attractive
clothing that is completely different from what you would normally wear at
- Weddings. Pick a cocktail dress of the correct formality. If the dresscode is not mentioned on the invitation, consider the setting and time of day.
- Dinner parties. A short cocktail dress in particular is ideal for a dinner party.
For other types of events, something other than a cocktail dress is usually
better. For instance, at a gala or prom night, you want something more
formal. For a girls’ night out, you want something sexy and designed for
Avoid Anything Revealing
A cocktail dress should never have a revealing neckline or hemline. You
should feel comfortable wearing the dress around people like your boss,
coworkers, and kids’ teachers.
Choose the Right Length
Whereas minis are a top choice, if you’d prefer something longer,
knee-length is also fine. At the longest, a cocktail dress can reach to
your shins — it should never be floor-length. The only exception is if you
opt for an elegant jumpsuit instead of a skirt.
Sleeves, on the other hand, can be of any length and type. Long-sleeve
cocktail dresses provide a sophisticated look, off-the-shoulder appears
daring, and halter necks and strappy dresses are particularly chic.
Explore Color Options
The classic color for cocktail dresses is black, but red and gold are also
popular options. If you want to try something experimental, look for tones
like white, navy blue, or even emerald green.
Pair with the Right Shoes and Undergarments
You must wear heels with a cocktail dress at a formal event — stilettos,
block heels, and kittens are all fine. In a more casual setting, flats can
work, but they need to be elegant.
The right undergarments are equally important. Check yourself from all
angles to make sure that nothing is visible under the dress.
Your look will be incomplete without the correct accessories. Start by
considering your purse. Whereas a clutch is best, a mini shoulder bag is
also fine. Oversize bags, however, are a huge faux pas.
Keep jewelry a minimum. Choose just one statement piece you love, to
draw attention to this single accessory. For instance, if you choose a
favorite necklace, wear few rings and just simple earrings and a bracelet.
To look perfect on your next evening out, bear all the above in mind.
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