If you’ve recently been invited to a cocktail party, you may be wondering what to wear for the occasion. If the cocktail celebration is casual, this slightly changes what you’re permitted to wear to the event. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for cocktail outfits that will make you stand out.
Casual Cocktail Attire for Men
Casual cocktail attire is a cross between cocktail and business casual dress codes. Your outfit should look polished but not as formal as a semi-formal outfit.
Men should wear light-colored suits if the cocktail celebration is in the daytime and darker suits for an evening event. For instance, a tan suit would be appropriate for an afternoon cocktail party but you should opt for a black or navy suit for an evening occasion. Patterns and bright colors are also fitting for a daytime cocktail party.
When it comes to accessories and specialty clothing, you can follow seasonal trends to make sure you look your best. For instance, if you’re heading to a summer wedding where the dress code is cocktail casual, you can wear a dress shirt that features polka dots or wide stripes with a coordinating blazer.
For laidback events, you can wear a button-down and khakis or dress pants. A classic white button-down is fine, but you can also make your outfit more interesting by wearing a shirt in a pastel or jewel tone depending on the season. You can also opt to wear a white button-down with chinos in a striking color like blue or red to show off your personal style.
Accessories can be slightly flashy since the event is not formal but they should still make your outfit look polished. You can wear a lapel pin to add more texture to the top half of your outfit. You can also wear a fashionable scarf over your blazer or a stunning watch to finish off your look.
Casual Cocktail Attire for Women
When you get an invitation to an event that requires cocktail attire, you may be a little confused about what to wear. Start with the basics: no jeans or sweatpants. Then, work your way up to something dressier, but don’t break out the formal gown.
An A-line or pencil skirt is appropriate for women to wear to cocktail events and the shape of the skirts immediately make you look more sophisticated. Pair the skirt with a form-fitting blouse or sweater and wear a demure necklace to add more visual interest to the top half of your body. Stylish off-the-shoulder tops and satin button-downs work well for a cocktail event as well, and look great with skirts or dress pants. You don’t have to wear expensive heels with these skirts — a classic black patent leather hill is just fine. If you’d rather wear pants, cropped trousers are an ideal choice since they allow you to show off your shoes and can make your legs look slightly longer.
If you’re going to a cocktail event that is slightly more formal than a simple party or get-together, like a wedding, choose cocktail dresses made from high-quality fabric. Knit dresses tend to have more structure and can make you look more refined. Pair the dress withi your favorite pair of heels and a bracelet, ring, or necklace that will serve as your main jewelry piece. You don’t want to be too gaudy, but it’s perfectly fine to wear a piece that will stand out and bring your look together.
Consider the time of day of the event as well. The later in the day the cocktail party is, the darker your clothing color scheme should be. If you’re going to a brunch or afternoon cocktail event, lighter spring shades like lavender and dusty rose are appropriate. Jewel tones or even a bright hue like kelly green or cobalt blue are suitable for late-afternoon events. If the event is at night, a black dress that fits well and suits your body type is a fashionable choice.
Keep the season in mind as you put your cocktail party outfit together. If the event is in the winter, a tailored trench or peacoat is appropraite outerwear. Black, brown, or navy coats are ideal, but if you’re already wearing all-black, you can wear a coat in an eye-catching color or pattern for a stylish finishing touch. A cardigan or linen blazer are great choices if you’re attending a cocktail party in the spring or summer and want something to keep you warm during the cooler night hours.
Here’s to looking and feeling your best!
Even though casual cocktail attire is more laidback than other clothing styles, it is best to avoid wearing denim to a cocktail party.
Cocktail party attire does include a black or dark-colored suit for men. You can wear the suit with a white button-down and black leather dress shoes.
If you’re searching for cocktail party outfits for a casual event, blazers are acceptable. The blazer makes a button-down or turtleneck look more refined.
The Top 5 clothing pieces you should wear if you’re going to a cocktail party include: a suit, a blazer, a cocktail dress, stylish shoes, and a standout accessory. Black is an ideal color for cocktail chic attire, and a statement piece such as a ring or watch can help bring your outfit together.