Ah, among so many fabulous occasions for which you get to dress up, few can compare to the classy atmosphere of a modern-day cocktail evening. And what’s the first thing that comes to mind as the best attire for such an occasion? Well, cocktail dresses, elegant pantsuits, lush jewelry, and high heels, of course!
But the etiquette for a particular cocktail event can vary from surprisingly casual to exceptionally formal, and the way you handle the dress code can mean the difference between a successful handshake with your new client or an impressed boss, and utter failure. But fear not, ladies, because we’re here to give you the ins and outs of the cocktail dressing protocol, so that you can rest assured you’ll dazzle them all with your look!
1. The timeless LBD
When in doubt, your trusty little black dress will certainly save the day, or in this case, the evening! Mind the season, though, because you don’t want to find yourself freezing or sweating due to poor fabric choices. Long sleeves make for an excellent autumn and winter choice (velvet sounds like an elegant option), while form-fitting, off-shoulders dresses can be an amazing option for cooler spring evenings.
But the dress alone cannot do the trick – you need to style it well. The classic black or neutral-toned pumps go deliciously well with your LBD, but you can also go for something less traditional if your event of choice isn’t on the strict side. How would you like platforms, lightweight summer sandals and ankle boots to do you the honor?
2. The stylish jumpsuit
First seen in the least expected of world’s corners, the North Korea-inspired jumpsuit trend is slowly taking over the classy events and some of the most famous celebrities are proudly showing off their own choice of this particular outfit for the red carpet. From Kendall Jenner to Scarlett Johannsson, you’ll see that this single-piece attire is all the rage for formal events of all sorts.
An afternoon luncheon in the garden or an evening cocktail party, you can rest assured that the jumpsuit will not disappoint. It comes in versatile shapes, shades and cuts, allowing you to show just enough skin to stay elegant, but comfortable to tackle the summer heat.
3. The dreamy midi-dress
Always a favorite and a trusty choice for any level of elegance, midi cocktail dresses in Australia have remained the rooftop-party go-to piece that is extremely easy to match with a pair of lightweight, open-toed heels, a clutch purse and a statement jewelry item.
Form-fitting, asymmetrically cut, off-shoulder or of uneven lengths, they are one of the most versatile options for just about any occasion. Since ladies from Australia appreciate multi-purpose clothing items, they particularly enjoy this type of elevated option that can be worn both to the office and transformed for an evening event with the right makeup, shoes and accessories.
4. Fancy pants blends
Thanks to the latest fashion love for the pantsuit that is growing, especially in the US, but the rest of the world is quickly following suit (pun intended), you can now easily go for a sleek tux or the classic trousers and jacket instead of the traditional dress.
There are also various options of mixing wide-leg, comfortable trousers with curious prints and high-style fabrics (think silk and satin for summer, velvet for winter) that pair well with an equally comfortable blouse.
5. Smart accessories
No matter your final pick, the cocktail event style needs its selection of lovely add-ons to accentuate something you love about yourself – that could be your piercing blue eyes, your untamed mane, or your long legs. And for such occasions, it’s best to go for one prominent piece than to overburden your look with a multitude of different baubles.
A simple clutch purse always looks better than a massive tote, a chunky necklace can be the centerpiece of your ensemble, while your nail-polish, your lips and eyeshadow should be color-coordinated to complement your outfit. Go for either black heels for creamy dresses, or pastel shoes to soften your appearance if you choose the LBD or a royal blue dress.
Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends, DIY projects and natural beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life.
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