What Is a Cocktail Dress and How to Wear One

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A cocktail dress is an essential addition to the wardrobe of any woman. While this item may not get as much wear as your favorite pair of jeans or your sharpest suit for the office, you will find plenty of opportunities to wear it and plenty of events where it’s the perfect thing to slip into.

A cocktail dress is a type of party dress for semi-formal events. It is more dressy than a pair of jeans and tee-shirt, but more casual than a gown. It can be more pretty and daring than something you would wear to the office, but it should still be relatively modest so it can be worn for a variety of occasions. The most common length for a cocktail dress is just above the knee, but some are slightly shorter and some extend to mid-calf or ankle-length. Cocktail dresses usually have some kind of embellishment like pleats, beading, lace or other detailing that make them stand out.

When to Wear a Cocktail Dress

Cocktail dresses can be worn to any occasion that is semi-formal in nature or that requests “cocktail attire” on the invitation. Dates, parties, wedding receptions and networking events after work are all great opportunities to wear your cocktail dress.

Choosing a Dress

The most common color for cocktail dresses is black, but there are dresses available in almost every color or pattern imaginable. When choosing a dress for yourself, find one in a color that looks good on you with a cut that emphasizes your best features. Your goal ought to be to find a dress that is flattering, not a dress that you like when it is hanging on the rack.

Details to Pay Attention To

The main detail to pay attention to when buying a cocktail dress is the length. As a general rule, the shorter the hem, the taller the dress will make you look. However, you don’t want to go too short. Very few women can pull off a cocktail dress with a miniskirt. Also pay close attention to the details on the dress. Pretty beading on the bodice can be a great embellishment, but if you love to wear statement necklaces you might want to choose a plainer dress that won’t clash with them.

A cocktail dress should make you feel great every time you slip it on. Remember, this is the item you are going to be wearing when you want to make a good impression, so you ought to feel confident in it. Don’t hesitate to shop around and try several different styles on your quest for the perfect cocktail dress.

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