How to Dress for a Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties have been society's staple for the past 100 years, but you don't want your dresses to be from 100 years ago! By following these steps, you can achieve a marvelous outfit for any soiree.


  1. Image titled Dress for a Cocktail Party Step 1
    Know your shape. This doesn't just mean know what YOUR shape is; knowing the silhouette of the dress you want beforehand will really help you narrow the amount of dresses you are interested in- and weed out the others! Don't be too specific, however; just knowing that you want a strapless shift or a long sleeved mid-calf dress is good enough.
  2. Image titled Dress for a Cocktail Party Step 2
    Keep it simple. Cocktail parties are for people to meet YOU, not the extravagant Oscar dress you have on. Integrate trends, but opt for a more simple understated color if you want the dress with the giant shoulder bow. You're best bet is to go for a simple-colored dress with minimal texturing. Remember most cocktail dresses are short in length. Save the long dresses for formal affairs.
  3. Image titled Dress for a Cocktail Party Step 3
    Have fun!. If you have the confidence to work a shoulder bow, do it! Don't be safe and opt for the simple-yet-blah black shift dress; incorporate some bold colors or patterns to stand out in the crowd. You don't want to give the impression you're boring, do you?
  4. Image titled Dress for a Cocktail Party Step 4
    Keep accessories at a minimum. Be bold, but accessories should consist of one main accessory and a few minimal ones that do not distract from the look. Example: A chunky bangle with small drop earrings and necklace.
  5. Image titled Dress for a Cocktail Party Step 5
    Show your personality. No matter what, your personality will shine through whatever you're wearing. Pick the dress you feel oozes who you are as a person, and rock it!

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Categories: Event and Party Planning