Cocktail Attire For Women

A cocktail dress is one which is typically worn to such events as Formal/ Black tie, Black Tie Optional affairs, Semi-Formal, After Five occasions, and proms. They are short, and come in a large variety of styles, colors, fabrics, and adornments.

A must have for every lady’s closet is, what is affectionately dubbed the LBD, the little black dress. You can recreate an Audrey Hepburn vintage style for the ultimate in elegance. Audrey usually wore cocktail dresses with a defined waistline, to emphasize her own tiny waistline. Smart fashionistas want to do the same thing. Whatever you consider to be your best feature, draw attention to it when choosing that staple LBD. Follow Hepburn’s lead when choosing accessories. Audrey taste is jewelry was extremely understated. A pair of small pearl earrings, a single strand of pearls, and a small pearl ring will imitate her timeless style. This type of apparel will always be in vogue, and appropriate for any affair which requires a cocktail dress.

If the occasion calls for a little more flirtatious type of cocktail dress, try a one-shoulder bodycon dress. A provocative cocktail dress will be just perfect for an after five cocktail party or a prom. Enhance the frock with a few pieces of eye-catching jewelry. Bow earrings and tassel earrings are being shown for Fall, and would look fabulous with a one shoulder dress.

Peplum dresses have been popular since the Summer/Spring fashion shows this year, and will continue to be trendy this Fall. Numerous cocktail dresses come in this figure-enhancing style, so there should be no difficulty finding one that best suits your own personal taste.

A more sophisticated style can be achieved with a simple sheath cocktail dress, with or without embellishments. A ruffle down one side, or a bit of lace at the neckline will add a touch of femininity. Accent your gorgeous sheath dress with tasteful jewelry, but don’t be afraid to add a touch of color. A ruby or emerald ring, or a statement necklace will transform this simple sheath to a glamorous cocktail dress.

At such events as Formal/ Black tie, Black Tie Optional affairs, Semi-Formal, and After Five occasions, you will want to observe one standard rule of etiquette. It is important to be on time; not early and not late. In attending any of these events, you will want to conduct yourself in a manner of grace and refinement. Good manners never go out of style.

Guide to Cocktail Attire for Women Over Forty

If you are a woman over forty, you may have some apprehension about dressing for events that require cocktail attire. While there are indeed some modifications that you may make to your wardrobe and beauty routine as you age, the basic principals of cocktail party style remain true for women of all ages. A woman attending a cocktail event should look formal without being too formal; casual without being too casual. Essentially, you want to find the happy medium between informal and black tie. While that may sound daunting, it is actually quite simple. Here are some tips for cocktail attire for women over forty.


The little black dress is iconic. The little black dress is a style staple. And the best part? The little black dress will always be appropriate for women of all ages. From sixteen to sixty, the right LBD can get you through every cocktail function you will need to attend for an entire year. All you need is a variety of accessories, shoes and handbags, and you can make endless ensembles from just one little black dress. Women over forty should avoid halter and “spaghetti” strap styles, and instead chose sleeveless or strapless styles, which can easily be accessorized with a lovely scarf or shawl.

Costume Jewelery and Pearls

Leave your diamonds at home for a cocktail party. Diamonds scream “black tie,” and wearing them at a cocktail party screams “trying too hard.” Instead, go for chunky costume jewelery or sensible pearls. These more casual options are better suited for cocktail parties, as they give your outfit a little glitz without detracting from the more casual tone of your ensemble.

Low Heels

Leave those four inch heels to the younger set. For women over forty, they are unnecessary and a little ridiculous. Instead, select a pair of low “kitten heels.” Not only are they much easier to walk in, but they are more age appropriate. Open-toed styles are perfect for outdoor summer events, provided that you have taken the time to get a gorgeous pedicure prior to your big night.

In the end, the style choices that are appropriate for a cocktail party aren’t all that different for women over forty than they are for younger gals. The main difference is that older women should avoid flashy looks, and instead go for styles that are timeless and sophisticated. The little black dress is timeless, but women over forty should accessorize with shawls and glamorous jewelery, instead of stilettos and “bling.”

Cocktail Attire For Plus Size Women

Cocktail parties are usually evening soirees hosted by friends or coworkers which feature classy drinks, appetizers, mood music and socializing. Typical clothing for women attending cocktail parties include evening dresses, slacks and blouses, or skirts. Since these events usually occur at night at a person’s house, plus size women should should follow certain guidelines in choosing their attire.

Cocktail Dresses
Cocktail dresses for plus size women should be dark in color; usually black, purple and navy blue are popular choices. Darker colors also create a slimming effect. Depending on the wearer’s preference, as well as how formal the party is, a short or long dress is appropriate. Use discretion when choosing a dress for work parties.

How To Choose The Best Dress For You
When choosing a dress, the buyer should focus on her best body feature, for example one’s bust or hourglass figure, and choose a dress that draws the most attention to this feature. To create the illusion of height and slimness, a floor-length dress of only one color is best. Generally, large patterns, horizontal stripes, ruffles and voluminous dresses should be avoided because they can make the woman seem larger. To highlight one’s legs, choose a knee-length dress and pair it with nude heels, especially peep toes; this elongates the legs as well.

Choosing The Best Accessories
Again, jewelry and accessories should be chosen to highlight one particular feature. To draw attention to one’s cleavage, choose a plain necklace with a single pendant. Plus size women who want to create an hourglass figure should pair a belt with their cocktail dress. Choose a medium width dress and fasten it a few inches below the bust to create the best figure. Plus size women who want to create a slim face and necklace should choose to wear long, dangling earrings as opposed to studs. Paired with a plunging neckline, this look is very streamlined and elegant. In general, choose only one or two pieces of jewelry. More than this looks sloppy and overwhelming. A woman should also take a small purse or clutch that can easily be carried with one hand. Avoid handbags or large purses as these can inadvertently add a chunky appearance to your figure.

Since cocktail parties are typically classy events, women should observe appropriate manners throughout the evening. Although alcoholic drinks will most likely be served, plus size women should take care to stay within their limit. Since they might also be meeting new people, they should be prepared to make casual conversation with a wide variety of people.

Themed Cocktail Parties
Choosing a dress for a themed cocktail party can be fun. For example, when choosing a dress for a Christmas cocktail party, one can choose a dark red, green, or white dress and pair with sparkling gold or silver jewelry. Spring themed parties call for deep fuchsia, rust colored or blue dresses and floral accessories. For fall cocktail parties, earth tones are best and may include gold, brown and deep auburn.

Cocktail Parties: How to Dress and Act Appropriately

Cocktail parties are a superb way to meet and greet new contacts, whether they be business or social related; however, these parties can be disastrous for your reputation if not attended appropriately. Remember, proper attire and etiquette are absolutely necessary for a good representation of oneself. The following are basic rules, tips, and tricks to being a fashionable and polite cocktail party guest.

How to Handle the RSVP
When dealing with an RSVP, it’s important to consider kindness for the sake of the cocktail host. In order for a cocktail party to go smoothly, hosts need to be as close as they can when it comes to the estimation of how many guests they’ll be entertaining. Do not ignore invitations, as this will automatically set you off on the wrong foot with your party hosts. Send an RSVP quickly and neatly, whether it be by mail or by phone.

Cocktail Attire
Within your invitation, you’ll usually find details about how formal the party will be. Depending on the style of catering, you’ll have to choose appropriate clothing. There are 2 important rules to remember: 1) if the party is a standing buffet, you will be wearing a moderately formal outfit, and 2) if the party is a sitting dinner, you will most definitely be choosing a very formal outfit. Search on the internet for different styles of cocktail dresses at all different formal levels.

Be Prepared
Be prepared to exchange personal information with others at the party. Make sure all of your contacts are organized in your phone for quick and easy use. Consider bringing copies of your personal business card to the event. Don’t bring a bulky address book full of random notes, this will make you appear to be disorganized and tacky. Also, do not be desperate to give out your contact information. Exchange this information only when it seems wanted and appropriate to do so.

Making an Entrance
When arriving to the event, make sure to greet your hosts first. Consider bringing a simple gift; don’t go overboard, as this will make you look like you’re trying too hard.

Eating and Drinking
Don’t be a glutton. Eat sparingly; and remember, you did not come to the cocktail party to have dinner. When socializing with other guests, avoid talking with food in your mouth. Do not pick at your food, and do not waste food.

When it comes to drinking, drink lightly and politely. If you’re consuming an alcoholic beverage, avoid drinking too much. One of the worst mistakes you can make is getting drunk. Even if you feel great and more comfortable socializing while intoxicated, others will be able to notice, and be not impressed with you.

Keep conversations simple and undramatic. The worst thing you can do when it comes to mingling is bring up an in-depth and controversial subject, as other guests may get the wrong impression of you. Don’t get yourself into too many conversations at once. Only start conversations with people that are most important to your business, and what you originally intended to accomplish socially. Also, do not gossip or create drama.

Summer Cocktail Attire for Women

Dressing for the Weather

Summer cocktail attire for women should reflect the season, but also follow the typical standards for cocktail wear. This essentially means that a very light jacket or shrug is all that is necessary to keep warm. Also, fabrics can be lighter and more breathable. Hairstyles, colors and cuts can be a little more youthful and free.

The Cocktail Dress

The staple of any woman’s cocktail attire is the right cocktail dress. Depending on a woman’s comfort zone, in the summer, this can be dresses that fall to just above, at or below the knee. It should never be shorter than that and is preferably never longer. Low cut dresses are probably not appropriate, unless it is a very casual cocktail party. Black always works, but summer colors such as white, light brown and light green work well. An empire waist can be very flattering, but the current youthful summer trend is a cinched or belted waist cocktail dress. Rayon and chiffon are great summer fabrics.

Not a Cocktail Dress

Some women just are not comfortable in a dress. That is okay. A dress short and a blouse works for a cocktail party. Even a jumper pant or short suit can work with the right shoes. The colors and fabrics for pants, shorts or blouses appropriate for summer cocktail parties are the same as for dresses. However, be very careful not to show up in light green pants or something equally as difficult to pull off. A dark brown dress short and a light green blouse . . . maybe.


The number one accessory of any cocktail party is the shoes. Pumps are the absolute go-to for cocktail parties, no matter the season. They are foolproof. Strappier shoes with a smaller heel are also okay for a summer cocktail party. From there, keep jewelry minimal. A single necklace and a pair of earrings or a single bracelet and a pair of earrings is a perfect way to show a little refinement in women’s attire. A simple handbag with only one or two accents and hopefully not a print will top it off.

To sum up summer cocktail attire is easy. It is fun and flirty, but more elegant than what one would wear on a summer day. It is easy to great creative without breaking any rules of etiquette. It is just important to remember that cut, color and fabric should be appropriate.

Holiday Cocktail Attire for Women: What, Why, and How

In today’s world, pretty much anything goes in the realm of fashion. What was once considered taboo is now a “must-have”; styles that were deemed fussy and outdated yesterday are now “vintage” or “hip”. Terms like “casual,” “business casual,” “semi-formal,” “formal” and “comfortable” only serve to further blur the lines of what might be acceptable to wear on a specific occasion — and what would definitely be out of the question. Therefore, it remains a timeless challenge for a woman to stand out in a crowd and still look chic and classy at the same time — especially at more formal functions than, say, a casual get-together with friends or a day at the beach.

Fortunately, certain designs remain timeless as well. The “cocktail dress,” a shapely but simply cut, often knee-length dress, is elegant, ever versatile and always in vogue.

Dressed up with high heels and fine jewelry, dressed down with strappy sandals, or paired with a conservative suit jacket and a silk scarf for the boardroom, the cocktail dress is the easiest and most affordable way to make the transition from day- to evening-wear, and takes you straight from the workplace to the party with glamor and finesse.

This easy versatility is what makes the cocktail dress the go-to style for holiday festivities as well. Adaptable and dependable, the “little black dress” – as with the little silver dress, the little red dress and the little gold dress – is a great option for any holiday gathering, and can be accessorized and adjusted as necessary.

For warm weather climates, opt for fabrics that are light and breezy, such as chiffon or silk, for maximum comfort. A brooch or pin with a holiday theme (such as a sprig of holly or a snowflake) gives your outfit a unique and festive flair. In colder climes, velvet and satin will provide warmth and comfort, as well as eye-catching texture. For an added effect, consider pairing your dress with patterned tights or jeweled stockings, and finish the look with diamonds or a simple gold chain.

Also remember that while bright red and black are the bold, go-to colors to stand out and really make a statement, wine and burgundy reds or deep, dark greens and blues reflect an air of elegance and sophistication.

Shoes, of course, are integral to the overall appearance of an outfit. For a more casual holiday look, consider a sparkly silver or gold flat, with a ribbon or bow embellishment. A more formal approach calls for heels – whether high or low, buckskin or patent leather, keep it somewhat simple. However, don’t just limit yourself to black or brown – the holidays are all about fun or creativity, so if the cocktail dress you decide to wear is all-black, or a dark color such as burgundy or navy blue, don’t be afraid to give your outfit a little “pop” of color from a red, shiny gold or silver heel.

Picking Out the Right Beach Cocktail Dress for Your Beach Cocktail Party

Beach cocktail parties are the best sort of summer party. Whether you are going to a beach cocktail party to meet local singles or for a business meeting, you can choose the right dress to fit the ambience of the evening. Choosing the right beach cocktail dress will help you feel comfortable in the setting and ready to meet the guests. The easiest way to choose the right beach cocktail dress is to have a clear idea of the type of event you are attending for the night. Here are some classic beach cocktail dresses that will mesh well with the particular type of event you have been invited to attend on the beach.

1. Airy Sundress

A fun and breezy sundress is perfect for a cocktail party where you know the atmosphere will be casual. Whether you are going to a cocktail party on the beach to meet local singles or to relax with your girlfriends, a fun sundress will help you let loose. Try choosing a sundress in a solid aqua color to enhance your tan or a floral pattern to enhance your flirty side.

2. Beach Romper

When you know that a beach cocktail party may get a bit on the wild side, a beach romper can be perfect for the evening. If you are attending a more upscale beach cocktail party, then you can add platforms to the romper for a chic and sophisticated look. If you know you may be playing some physical games at the party, then you may want to wear flats or sandals for the party.

3. Little Black Dress

If you know that your beach cocktail party is for your company and is a professional event for networking, then there is nothing wrong with wearing a little black dress. The little black dress is one of those hidden gems that every woman has in her closet and makes her feel great. You don’t have to feel the need to wear bright, tropical patterns if that is not your style. A little black dress can be a very chic choice for a beach cocktail party. You can also pair a little black dress with heels or with gladiator sandals for a sophisticated look.

4. Floor-length empire dress

A floor-length empire dress is a good choice for the woman who wants to feel comfortable and is attending an important cocktail party on the beach for a business. A floor-length empire dress is formal enough to fulfill the dress code requirements for a business cocktail party and comfortable enough to ensure a woman feels confident. The hottest looks for this summer are empire dresses that have a leather belt and are in pastel colors.

5. Strapless coverup

A strapless coverup is something you should save for a very casual beach cocktail party. If you have been on the beach all day and are attending a cocktail party on your vacation or spring break, then you will be fine wearing a strapless coverup in fun neon colors or other bold patterns.

With these five outfit choices, you will dress to impress at your beach cocktail party this summer.

60′s cocktail attire for women

There was a time when swank was the law of the cocktail party. That era was the 1960s, when women’s cocktail attire was tailored to perfection. Cocktail attire is casually formal. It is made to show off a woman’s best assets, to attract admiration, and to add color to the party. During cocktail hour, gender roles are emphasized. Men dress like gentlemen, while women dress like ladies. Everyone makes a statement with their dress.

Ladies’ cocktail wear inspired by 60s styles make the most of colorful and flashy fabrics. Solids are lustrous and richly dyed. Patterned dresses are boldly patterned and have puffed sleeves, bows, and other details that capture the attention of the men in the room. A room full of women bedecked in 60s cocktail dress is a pageant of color and style. The dresses are tailored to accentuate the figure, while still leaving plenty to the imagination. Style is substance at a cocktail party, and ladies who know how to pull it off are the center of attention.

While the dresses are tailored, they are not tight. The fit a lady’s form without constricting. This is because the purpose of a cocktail party is to mix with the other guests. Guests mingle, passing from one conversation to another, comfortable in any situation, standing or sitting. Shoes are formal and flashy, complementing the dress, while being comfortable for the duration of the party. Cocktail shoes are showy, but they accent the rest of the outfit rather than attracting too much attention to the lady’s feet. It is all part of a seamlessly arranged package.

Hemlines hover a little above, or a little below the knee. Shapely legs should be seen, whether standing on stylish heels, or sitting on an ottoman allowing a gentleman to refresh the lady’s drink.

A cocktail party is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Every guest arrives looking their best, dressed to impress. It is a show that comes together when everyone plays their part. Though there is drinking, because what is a cocktail party without alcohol? it is never to excess. Everyone enjoys the exotic and sophisticated drinks the host prepares, but the behavior is always polite, even if it sometimes borders on bawdy.

The 1960s were a time that exemplified assured seduction. It was the jet age, when things were done right, pleasures were indulged, but nothing ever got really out of hand. A cocktail party is all in good fun. When a woman dresses in a state of retro-modern sophistication, she will be the star of the party, and she will have nothing to be ashamed of. By keeping her outfit flashy but tasteful, other guests notice her grace. By accessorizing simply, a gold bracelet, a string of pearls, and a simple broach, she will display exceptional taste without begging for attention. Confidence is a woman’s most attractive attribute.

When dressed well in 60s cocktail attire, women can be assured that they look their best. This style has withstood the test of time. That is why it remains popular today.

Tips on Choosing the Right Wedding Cocktail Attire For Women

If you are not invited to many weddings, choosing the right cocktail attire for a wedding can be a daunting task. With so many different types of dresses to choose from and so many rules to remember, you might need some assistance choosing attire that is appropriate for the event. It is even more challenging to choose the perfect dress when you are not too close to the bride or the groom. You cannot simply pick up the phone and ask the bride to go dress shopping with you when you were invited because you are a distant cousin. If you are attending a cocktail-style wedding, here are some tips to help you find the perfect attire.

Choose an Appropriate Length

You never want to feel uncomfortable when you are attending a wedding. You also do not want to walk in with a prom dress on and get awkward stares from other guests. You should always go with a dress that is close to knee length when you are attending a wedding. The garment should be fitting and should hug your body in all of the right places. If you go for a looser cut, you are giving the event a more casual tone. Most brides choose a cocktail-style reception because they want the event to be formal and sophisticated.

The Color of Your Dress Depends on the Season

The color of the dress you choose is also very important. Once you find a fit that flatters your body, you need to take time to choose the right color that will match your skin tone while still fitting in with the season. If you are attending a fall or winter wedding reception, stick with jewel tones. This could be anywhere from a shimmery orange to a darker green. If the wedding falls in the Spring season, you should go for a softer pastel. In the summer months, you can dare to wear brighter and more vibrant tones. Make sure you never wear white or a hue of white to a wedding. This is seen as one of the ultimate forms of disrespect at a wedding.

Always Accessorize For a Finished Look

Just because you are not the bride does not mean you cannot accessorize your outfit. You should look for a clutch and shoes that will match. You should also look for understated jewelry. Stick with a small necklace or bracelet. You do not need to go to the wedding showered in diamonds. After all, this is not your big day.

There is so much wedding etiquette that understanding everything you should wear and do can feel pretty overwhelming. When you attend a wedding that requires cocktail attire, you are expected to look well-groomed and sophisticated. You are also expected to respect the bride and groom on their special day of becoming one. Make sure you consider the season, the fit, and tone it down on the accessories. If you take all of these tips into consideration, you should be dressed right for the cocktail wedding.

Black and White Summer Cocktail Attire: What Should I Wear?

Dressing “appropriately” for any given occasion can be somewhat difficult, but dressing suitably for a black and white cocktail juncture is particularly tricky, especially in the summer. Understanding the description of the attire, the function of the event, and specific clothing choices that fit within the category of black and white cocktail attire is crucial to be able to “dress to impress” every time. With summer black and white cocktail attire defining each of these aspects is even more important prior to constructing a sensational outfit.

What Is It?

Summer black and white cocktail attire is particularly difficult to define because it can range anywhere from club wear to wedding wear. Staying on the side of classy and attractive is always the best way to go. With that parameter in mind, summer cocktail wear refers to a formal, yet fun and creative style of dress. Some may look at this category of clothing as proper but still trendy and stylish.

What Is the Occasion?

Identifying the actual occasion and its purpose will also help one choose the appropriate style of dress. If the event is a wedding, graduation, or other ceremony, consider going a little more conservative than you might otherwise. Something more conventional and “length-conscious” (longer at the hem or more covering at the bodice) is more appropriate for formal events such as this. Likewise for a work dinner or event, a similar style is fitting. However, if the occasion is a graduation party, a night on the town with friends, or an otherwise informal exchange, choosing a fun cocktail dress of any length and design is fine and fun.

What Should I Wear?

Choosing the right dress or blouse and skirt combo is definitive of an eventful experience no matter where you are headed. Appropriate pieces for weddings or more traditional affairs include a cute maxi dress in any design, color, or style. Consider a knee length strapless or an above-the-knee tank dress. If you are thinking slightly trendier, go for a cute mini and a blousy top or a chic mini dress.

One rule of thumb–Although the dress code may say “black and white” that does not mean you have to strictly stick to a “little black dress” or other monotone outfit. Consider choosing different patterns or prints to play up the interest of the outfit while sticking to the suggested color scheme. A black and white floor or a chunky grayscale geometric patterns offer more excitement within the color block. Or, consider being bolder and choose a creative color such as mauve or electric blue. Doing cocktail attire in a unique color is sure to make you stand out.

Another aspect of dress to think about is accessorizing. It has been said that accessories make cocktail attire. When picking accessories go for audacious and exciting. Think sparkly, large, and over-the-top like rhinestone heels, flowered rings or a chunky belt.

No matter where you are headed or what outfit you have chosen, make sure that it represents your style and fits your body, and you will be sure to impress.