Feeling confident is a top priority when attending a special event or party. Elegant yet comfortable, cocktail dresses make you look fabulous and feel confident during events.
The cocktail dress has evolved from Christian Dior's premier dress in the late 1940s to form-fitting dresses that come in sophisticated designs for various occasions. Their short length makes them bold and fun choices for a night out or special event.
Cocktail dresses often come drenched in color. Most are mini-dresses that cinch at the waist to accentuate the waistline and elongate the frame.
With the rising temperatures, summer is the time to get your short and sweet cocktail dress out of the wardrobe. You can wear a cocktail dress to almost all summer events, including engagement parties, weddings, and holiday parties.
This article breaks down the cocktail attire and highlights the best occasions to unleash your new cocktail dress.
What is Cocktail Attire?
Also referred to as semi-formal attire, cocktail attire strikes a balance between casual and formal. Although it is not as formal as the black-tie dress code, it is a bit more flashy and exciting.
For women, the cocktail dress code typically means a knee-length dress that can suit almost any occasion. Men's cocktail attire primarily includes a suit that isn't as formal as a tuxedo.
Summer Cocktail Attire
Summer cocktail attire is elegant yet comfortable. Your favorite dress or two-piece combos probably classify as summer cocktail attire. Jumpsuits are a new trend for cocktail events.
Consider wearing a breezy and chic maxi dress if you get an invite to a summer event with a cocktail dress code. You can also wear a two-piece with a polished pair of pants and a statement top.
Wearing a jumpsuit for cocktail dress code events is a hip and contemporary alternative to dresses. Jumpsuits are comfortable and create an instant outfit. If you decide to jump into the summer cocktail jumpsuit trend, get one with structured fabric like linen or silk.
There are various ways to refresh your classic cocktail outfit and unleash the fashionista in you. Go for bold, vibrant summer colors or prints to spruce up your look. Oversized floral patterns or palm prints ooze a cool summer vibe.
Do you prefer a more subtle print? Then classic sun-washed stripes or gingham are excellent print options.
Summer Events to Wear a Cocktail Dress
Summer and parties are synonymous. If you wear a cocktail dress for a summer event, keep the hemline above the knee to create a leg-lengthening look.
Short sheath and shift dress designs with a looser fit work well for a humid summer evening. A pair of flirty heels and a beaded clutch will help glam your outfit.
Wear cocktail dresses to the following summer events:
Summer Weddings or Engagement Parties
Although weddings and engagement parties are fancy events, they do not require a formal dress code. A cocktail dress is elegant and relaxed, making it a good choice for such semi-formal events.
The rule of thumb when dressing for weddings is never to outshine the bride. Cocktail dresses are sure to stand out but are not too glamorous to steal the attention from the bride. Since they are comfortable, they allow you to let loose and show your dance moves at the wedding reception.
Holiday and Dinner Parties
Dinner and holiday parties are some of the best occasions to wear a cocktail dress. Most dinner parties are casual events that call for a comfortable outfit that allows you to move around freely.
One of the major summer holidays is July 4th. Friends and family gather for backyard barbecues or pool parties during this holiday. Others go to the beach to toast to the summer. Beat the summer heat by wearing a light cocktail dress with some patriotic accessories.
Graduations are a time to celebrate achievements. Make your grand entrance to the party with a cocktail dress.
Most graduation parties are semi-formal events, calling for a short dress. For an outdoor party, try a cocktail dress that falls above the knee. If you need something a bit more formal, a midi dress is a suitable length.
Pair your summer day outfits with a textured tote bag. Add statement accessories such as a clutch during cocktail hour to keep your night-out essentials.
After receiving an invite to attend a social event, understand the theme to pick the appropriate outfit and make a lasting impression. Remember to have fun with your fashion choices.
Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of NewYorkDress.com. NewYorkDress.com, established in 2008, is the #1 online source for Evening and Prom dresses worldwide. As Creative Director, Jonah works to create the ultimate online and in store luxury shopping experience with a focus on service and personalization.