The Cocktail Dress

Elegant, sleek, sexy…

Cocktail dresses are generally held for semi-formal events. The "right" cocktail dress largely depends on the theme, dress code, and even time of day of the occasion. 

 
 

How to style the look

1. Accessorize!

Elevate your dress with statement piece jewelry such as chandelier earrings or a bold necklace, adding that extra "umph" to your look. Don't shy away from color for a fun and more casual day look. For evening events, keep accessories to a minimum ensuring that your dress is the center of attention. You can never go wrong with a faux diamond ring, pearl earrings, or even a sequined clutch. 

2. Get Creative with your make-up

Add a pop of color to a black tie event with red lipstick for a sexy yet sophisticated look. If you are aiming for a simpler look, go jewelry free with bold eyeshadow for a subtle burst of color. 

3. Wear the right shoes

Many cocktail parties are meant for social or business networking meaning you will be on your feet for most of the reception. Try to find a pair of shoes that you will be comfortable walking, standing, and mingling in. For a new pair of heels, spend up to two week prior to the event breaking them in and practicing your walk. Dr. Scholl's and band-aids may just be your savior!  

Business Cocktail Dresses

Cocktail parties are very common for networking/business events, company gatherings, or launching parties. Business cocktail dresses tend to be modest with knee length skirts, high necklines, and short sleeves, however, some styles can be professional without all the coverage. Be mindful of the dress code... Is it business casual? Business professional? You want to make a good impression starting with your attire. 

 
 

Professional cocktail dresses work well with minimal jewelry, natural make-up, and a simple pair of heels or flats. 

Daytime Cocktail Dresses

Cocktail parties taking place during the day may be casual or formal depending on the event and atmosphere. Make sure you know what to expect so you can dress accordingly. If the party is less formal, don't shy away from colors or prints to add a fun element to your look. For more formal events, try and stick to neutral or darker colors. Also, shorter length dresses may be appropriate in some cases. 

 
 

Evening Cocktail Dresses

Evening cocktail parties are typically more formal and dressy than daytime parties. For black-tie events, the signature Little Black Dress with a dash of sophistication is perfect for such occasion. Aim for knee-length or above the knee dresses, but play around with embroidery, embellishments, and jewelry to elevate your look. 

For evening cocktail parties, sophisticated and sexy go hand in hand. Lacey details and embroidery can add these elements to your look. For plainer dresses, don't be afraid to accessorize with statement earrings or a necklace, dramatic make-up, and a dressy pair of heels. If you prefer to keep it simple, ditch the jewelry and go for a smokey eyeshadow, red lipstick, or signature heels. 

 
 

The Legendary Little Black Dress

The little black dress is a staple in every woman’s closet. Last minute dinner party? Little black dress. Your boss surprise you with a mandatory business event? Little back dress. Meet a guy on the train who wants to have dinner this weekend? LITTLE BLACK DRESS! The magic of the LBD is that it is sexy, traditional, and versatile enough for almost any event. So instead of dropping a paycheck on a dress for every event you attend (although that would be nice), investing in one signature black cocktail dress is perfectly acceptable and encouraged!

There’s an old myth that claims women can’t wear the same dress twice. And to that we politely say, no. However, there are ways to transform a look using the same dress without spending big bucks or putting in too much effort.

  1. Change up your Hairstyle

    A woman’s hair can very easily be used as an accessory to elevate her look. For formal, business events, try slicking your hair backward or putting it up in a neat bun for a sophisticated look.

    For casual, leisure events, wear a hairstyle that is most comfortable for you. Whether it’s down, braided, natural curls, or even some space buns - let your personality shine.

  2. Change up your Lipstick!

    Wore red lipstick to the last business event? Wear pink to the next one! Our lips are one of the first features noticed by people so changing the color can often recreate an entire look.

  3. Add a jacket or a shawl

    One of the easiest ways to transform your little black dress is by adding (or removing) a jacket. For casual events, denim jackets pair well with almost every outfit. For formal cocktail events, try a cardigan or a shawl to throw over your shoulders. The beauty of the color black is that it goes well with any other color. Match your cardigan to your shoes if you do have trouble finding the right color.

  4. Shoes!

    Some people consider shoes to be the most important part of an outfit. And in some cases, it’s true. Your shoes could take your little black dress from being a daytime, walk in the park look to black-tie ready with a quick swap. Dress it down with a pair of flats, chucks, or sandals or fancy it up with heels, wedges, or platforms. It’s almost magical how different the outcome is!