cocktail attire

Cocktail Attire: How to Dress to Impress for a Cocktail Party

  • November 22, 2018
  • By Admin: Our Big Fun Party
  • Comment: 0

Whether it’s a holiday celebration or a benefit for a cause you care about, there are few things that you enjoy more than a cocktail party.

You love mingling with new people, exchanging witty banter, and those little puff pastries that always seem to make an appearance on a platter. Most of all, you love having the chance to dress up!

Sometimes, however, it can feel like you’ve emptied out your entire closet and still haven’t found the right cocktail attire.

Let’s face it: it can be tough to know what to wear to a cocktail party. This post is here to help you nail dressing for cocktails.

Know the Basic Rules of Cocktail Attire

The good news is that, especially in today’s world, you have much more flexibility when it comes to the definition of “cocktail attire” than in the past. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely “anything goes.” To avoid showing up over and under-dressed, there are a few basic rules you’ll need to follow.

First of all, remember that the invitation is your best friend. You’ll need to think about what’s cocktail-appropriate for the specific occasion–and most of all, the location.

If you’re heading to a mix-and-mingle office event at a local watering hole, that LBD with the plunging neckline might not be your best bet. However, if it’s a cocktail party celebrating a friend’s engagement at a fabulous, luxury venue?

You can feel free to take fashion risks and make your cocktail attire a bit on the fancier side.

Also, make sure you pay attention to the time the cocktail party begins. The later in the evening that it starts, the dressier you can be.

Finally, when in doubt, think about your host when planning your cocktail party outfit.

If you know that is more of a “jeans and a suit jacket” type of guy, wear something along those lines. But if they’re the type to take any opportunity to dress to the nines? Plan accordingly–and get out your blingiest accessories.

Don’t Neglect Comfort

When you’re thinking about what to wear to a cocktail party, we know that your first instinct is to throw comfort out of the window in favor of your best looks.

And while you might make heads turn in your direction with your spike heels or “just a bit too small” pair of slacks? By the second hour of the cocktail party, we can guarantee that you’ll wish you’d worn something else.

You don’t want to have to go home early because of a busted seam or blistered feet.

If it’s been a while since you’ve worn a specific piece, try it on at least a week before the party. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to take it to the tailor for an alteration if need be.

If you’re wearing heels or new dress shoes, consider throwing in some inserts and insoles for maximum comfort. This is especially important if you know that you’ll likely get out on the dance floor over the course of the evening!

Good Grooming is Key

Remember that getting cocktail party attire right doesn’t mean focusing only on what you’re wearing.

It also means taking the time to ensure that you look as suave and stunning as possible when it comes to grooming. Plus, booking a blowout or a shave with your favorite barber beforehand will just help you to feel more confident.

For ladies, when it comes to makeup, a cocktail party is an awesome time to experiment with a bolder lip or a more daring eyeshadow color.

For the gentlemen, add subtle details to an outfit like a pocket square or (if your personality allows you to pull it off) even an ascot.

One rule for both ladies and gentlemen: don’t overdo it when it comes to perfume or cologne. You want people to notice you from across a crowded room because of the way you look, not because you’re stinking of the latest scent.

When in Doubt, Just Ask

We get it: dressing for cocktails can be complicated.

You want to follow all the rules, dress to ensure that you don’t upstage anyone, and have a little bit of fun in the process.

The party’s host exists for a reason: they’re there to answer all of your questions, including how to dress, to make sure that you feel comfortable and fabulous all night long.

If you just can’t make a decision, text a few pictures of your potential cocktail outfits to the host and ask for their opinion.

Better yet?

Why not ask them to join you for a day of shopping, so that both of you can find the perfect outfit?

Turn Heads in Your Cocktail Attire with These Tips

If you follow the rules and suggestions for cocktail attire in this post, we’re certain that you’ll get attention for all of the right reasons.

Remember to dress for the location, the occasion, and according to the host’s usual taste. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help if you’re not sure about what to wear.

Above all, don’t be afraid to have fun with your outfit. Dressing for cocktails doesn’t come with as many rules as full-blown formal attire–so take advantage of it!

Mix textures, prints, and don’t be afraid to go bold when it comes to your accessories.

Now, it’s time to pack your handbag, pick out the perfect cologne, and get ready to have a perfect night out.