The Official Dos and Don'ts of Cocktail Attire for Women
by LAUREN EGGERTSEN
Dress codes are something people don't talk about enough. From white-tie to cocktail attire, the gray area regarding what's acceptable to wear to these formal events is sizable. Today, we are here to talk all things cocktail-party attire. Believe it or not, there are rules for dressing for this occasion.
Ahead we're bringing you the dos and don'ts of cocktail attire. Some of these tips might be obvious, but others might surprise you. And in addition to our cocktail attire commandments. Keep scrolling to discover how to look your chicest at your next cocktail soirée.
Don't: Wear Anything Too Revealing
Do: Keep Hemlines and Necklines Appropriate
A great rule of thumb here is to not wear something you wouldn't want your boss to see you in. In case you needed a reminder, a cocktail party is different than a girls' night out.
Don't: Wear Jeans
Do: Wear Sleek Trousers
Even if you aim to dress up a pair of denim (yes, it's possible), risking being under-dressed is never worth it. However, you don't have to wear a dress to be dressy. Polished trousers are just as effective.
Don't: Carry an Oversize Bag
Do: Use a Clutch
Nothing looks sloppier than a slouchy tote bag slumped over your shoulder—especially alongside a nice dress. A clutch or a mini bag always reads as elegant and refined.
Don't: Wear Too Many Statement Accessories
Do: Choose One Standout Accessory
Even Coco Chanel recommended taking off one accessory before you leave the house (and when she speaks, we listen). Your best bet is wearing one standout accessory that you really love.
Don't: Wear Sneakers
Do: Wear Heels
Whether it be stilettos, kitten heels, or block heels, a little extra lift is necessary when it comes to a formal event. If notable enough, a pair of flats might work, but sneakers are a no-go.
Don't: Wear a Floor-Length Gown
Do: Wear a Mini or Midi Dress
There is such a thing as going too formal. The time to wear a floor-sweeping gown is not at a cocktail party. Opt for anything between a mini- and midi-length dress or skirt.