Deciding how to dress for a cocktail party can be challenging. The day before, there were clear rules. Women wore knee-length skirts with gloves, for example. But modern life has become more casual, and has taken the cocktail party style for the ride.
This evolution from formal to casual has opened up a range of acceptable cocktail party attire. In fact, you can wear a variety of outfits to a semi-formal party. So much so that you need an idea of what you want before you start shopping. Without some guidance, you’re headed for a frustrating and possibly expensive experience.
Read on for the five steps to creating the perfect cocktail outfit, as well as five pieces that will inspire you to shop.
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5 steps dress for a cocktail party
1. Start with the right piece
The primary garment of your wardrobe sets the tone. To put it bluntly, the right tone for a cocktail party is two parts arranged, one part friendly, and one part mysterious. Cocktail parties are meant to be mixed, so you want to create a welcoming, “know me” vibe – without being too arrogant or too needy.
The $ 160 dress of the ethnographer perfectly demonstrates this idea. It invites interesting and practical conversations from strangers. All you need to add is a smile so it’s more friendly than scary.
If you take a wrong step with your initial outfit, you will have trouble pulling the whole thing. Jeans, for example, are an obvious no-no. You show up after jeans and those who bought the $ 300 dress for the occasion will feel disrespected.
Also stay away from bodycon and bandage dresses, mini skirts and cutouts or revealing hemlines.
What pieces work for a cocktail party? The right dress for a cocktail party may not be all one dress. Midi dresses and semi-formal baby doll outfits match the bill, but so do jumpsuits and dresses, wide leg pants. You can also give a skirt if you choose the top wisely. (Whatever the fit of the skirt, go opposite the top. A flowing skirt goes with a fitted top. A tight skirt goes with a loose top.)
To narrow down your preferences, think about color. Experiment with color. The bright colors stand out against the sea of LBDs. Turquoise, Orange, Baby Blue are all acceptable color choices. Even if you dare, white is an option.
The Eliza J jumpsuit below is a great example of experimenting with color. (Also, it’s only $ 54 on Nordstrom Rack!)
Of course, you can always wear black if you are not sure. If you go that route, plan to add color or texture to your accessories.
2. Check your hemline and neckline
Imagine being shown at a cocktail party and realizing that your neckline is too deep or your hemline too short. Awkward. You must mix with men, but most women will walk behind you. Sad but true.
Avoid that scene by double checking the hemline and neckline before you buy that dress. Try to think about it objectively – which is hard to admit when you find a dress that looks amazing on you. Put aside how hot you are for a second and evaluate how much that part is expressing. If you have more than an inch of cleavage or upper thighs, you can continue shopping.
When in doubt, go for a medium length piece. It’s exquisite and always points for a cocktail party. The navy dress below is an example – sexy and classy at the same time You can get this piece at VeriShop for 148.
3. Add shoes
A delicate strappy sandal is a favorite choice for a cocktail party. You can also wear a closed toe pump if your pedi needs some love. If you don’t care for long heels, a cat’s heel works too.
You can definitely wear a black or silver shoe. But nude or clean strapped shoes will make your hair look hairless. The bottom shoe from DSW is super versatile and costs $ 99.
Ankle boots, long boots, OTK boots and sandals with thick straps are not good options for a cocktail party. Really, any shoe that has any bit of chunkiness is probably too casual for the occasion.
4. Accessorize (light)
Often, you don’t need more than two accessories, at most three. A your clutch. Use that piece to balance your color palette. If you are wearing LDB, carry a bright clutch. If you wear navy, a silver clutch will look gorgeous. If you are wearing brightly colored clothing, reach for a neutral clutch. You get the idea.
If you do not want to invest in a bright red handbag, use only once, use textures instead of colors to add interest. Beads or sequins will do the trick. You can get the Nina Keiko Clutch below at কে 55 in Belk
Other than that, keep the accessories confined to one or two pieces of jewelry. A pair of diamond studs may suffice. You can add a delicate bracelet if you have just finished your nails. Or a necklace might be the right choice if you are wearing your hair up.
5. Choose your undies wisely
Wear your cocktail party attire around the house and close the wardrobe defects. Practice sitting, standing, using the bathroom, and so on. Find out where your bunch of clothes are, sticks, hanging strangely, whatever. Then fix the problem with the right underwear.
A snag shapewear piece often solves these problems – and creates smooth, sexy lines so that your cocktail party outfit hangs perfectly. Buy a few options from the store with good return policy so you can check them out before the big party.
If shapewear doesn’t solve the problem, take your clothing to a tailor and get professional help. This is usually a cheap update that is affordable.