Let’s talk about cocktail dresses today. We all have heard the term, but do we know what it means?

A cocktail gown or dress is a gown for wearing to cocktail parties, black tie or semi-formal occasions. Its length is typically long, but shorter dresses are also popular. Tea length gowns end just above an ankle, and ballerina length gowns are a bit lower and touch an ankle. Shorter gowns are worn to semi-formal events.


As for the term itself, it was first used by Christian Dior in 1940-s. And before that time, in other periods of history, such dresses were called ‘late afternoon’ and ‘dancing costumes.’

Now let’s explore numerous styles of a cocktail party dress for women and help you choose the best cocktail dress wherever you go.

Cocktail Dresses For Evenings Out

Dress Cocktail Evening – when these 3 words stand together, they mean not only fun but also certain rules. These rules are not strict. Yet, following them is a key to having a flawless reputation as an It Girl.

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So, when attending a party, put on heels. Even though you feel so comfortable in flat shoes, try to avoid wearing them to more formal events.

Pick the appropriate dress line. A formal event requires long party dresses, semi-casual occasions allow knee-length gowns or a bit lower, and casual events tolerate knee-length gowns or a bit higher.

Put on stockings. This item should be either nude or sheer black. Both closed and open-toe shoes will do for an informal or formal occasion. But in case you go open-toe, put on seamless hosiery.

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Do you need a coat for a cocktail party dress? If a party ends late in the evening, a coat may be a bit prudent, but a lightweight formal jacket or a wrap is a simple yet very elegant option. Thus you will enjoy that party instead of shivering from cold and follow the dress code at the same time.

If you wish to complete your formal image with a necklace, go for a long piece with a drop for a V-line gown and a fifteen-inch chain with some charm or decorative pendant for a round neck gown.


Cocktail Dresses Designs For Wedding

Now it’s time to discuss the most important thing: how to pick a party dress so that it flatters your body shape. Define your body shape and read on.

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  • Pear shape. A-line skirts and empire waistlines are your best bets. Go for a dress in two tones: a lighter top and a darker bottom. Padded shoulders will flatter you.
  • Straight shape. Search for a multi-layered gown with a skirt that is flowing and surplice tops.
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  • Plus size hourglass shape. Go for a looser fitting plus size cocktail party maxi dresses gown of a monotone color. Complement it with flashy accessories.
  • Inverted triangle shape. Asymmetrical hemlines will compliment your shape. Find a gown with a top of a neutral hue and a flair skirt.
  • Round shape. Necklines in a V-shape are to go for. Pick an empire waistline and outstanding accessories.

Cocktail Dresses Designs For Any Occasions

Women often ask about the appropriate sleeve length. Well, any sleeves are acceptable, so just pick the ones that flatter your body type or make you feel comfortable. Here are the basics:

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  • Fitted sleeves have no open space at all, being fitted perfectly from bottom to top.
  • Bishop sleeves are loose fitting downward an arm though gathered around a wrist.
  • Cap sleeves cover the upper part of shoulders only.
  • Gibson sleeves are very full from top to bottom.
  • Dolman sleeves are fuller at their top, but they get tighter towards a wrist.
  • Three-Quarter sleeves end right below an elbow, they tend to be quite tight.
  • Juliet sleeves, with a fabric puff around shoulders, are rather fitted downwards.
  • Bell sleeves are fitted downwards, but they get quite large, in a bell shape, towards the very bottom.

What sleeves will flatter you?

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In case your arms are attractive, you can show off their beauty by choosing cap sleeves that do not hide your skin. Fitted sleeves will also demonstrate the pretty shape of your arm. Are your arms a bit lanky? Gibson, Dolman, or Bishop sleeves can compliment your arms. And evening dresses for women with Bell or Juliet sleeves will flatter the arms that have some extra weight.


Sexy Cocktail Dresses

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We hope that now when you see the dress code in an invitation to a party, you won’t be at a loss and easily find the appropriate cocktail dress. Come back for more info and lots of inspo!

Classic Cocktail Dresses

When it comes to cocktail dresses for women, we are often scared of overdressing. If you have that fear, you can always go for a classic dress. For example, a slip dress is quite minimalist and elegant, and it lets you not worry about appearing either informal or overly fancy.

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And of course, we cannot but mention little black dresses here. Being ultimately classic, these proverbial items of clothes are always win-win. Plus, a black color will flatter any woman disregarding the size of her body.


Plus Size Cocktail Dress Designs

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The perfect plus size cocktail dress is the one that won’t make you uncomfortable in any way. Plus, the right dress will accentuate your winning sides.

FAQ: Cocktail Dresses

Is cocktail dress long or short?

Cocktail dresses, also known as semi-formal attire, are the clothing style worn at evening events such as fundraising or weddings. For women, festive image usually implies a cocktail dress. A knee-length dress suits perfectly for such occasions.

Are pants OK for cocktail attire?

Yes, women can wear properly selected trousers with cocktail outfits. An elegant pant suit with flashy heels and a formal blouse will complement your “cocktail pants”. You can also opt for wide ankle pants or cropped pants along with chic tops.