The cocktail dress code is the halfway point between black-tie and semi-formal. Seldom exceeding the midi length, cocktail dresses tend to hold the shape of garden party attire but are often cut from the same cloth as a fancy ballgown. Don’t feel hemmed in by this, though! The cocktail dress code has also evolved to encompass bold colours, daring prints, and creative cuts.
The cocktail dress code from couture evening dresses sydney is about letting your hair down with a touch of class. And considering that cocktail hairdos tend to be loose and voluminous, we also mean this literally. So, with this in mind, let’s zoom in on this somewhat confusing collage of a dress code. Stay tuned for some cocktail attire do’s and don’ts.
Do wear a party dress
The party dress is what the cocktail dress code is all about. We don’t mean a party dress you would wear to a club or a 21st birthday party, but rather a party dress with a touch of elegance. It’s the dress you would wear to a wine tasting rather than a pub crawl. Traditional cocktail dresses are midi length, but that’s not to say that you couldn’t get away with a mini or maxi cut in a suitable material.
Exhibit A: a mini dress with a touch of class thanks to iridescent taffeta fabric. Pictured is the Nikita Dress from Alamour The Label. Exhibit B: the Odette Dress is a classic cocktail midi dress with bold prints and a sequined finish.
Don’t wear a floor-length gown
Although a floor-length gown looks excellent at a red-carpet event, cocktail events are your chance to show off your best party dress. If you’re digging the fancy fabric of a floor-length gown, you are more than welcome to refashion its fabric into a fabulous midi!
Do wear trousers (in the absence of skirts)
Trousers or pantsuits can be a great alternative to skirted attire. Pair your trousers with a chiffon or silk blouse, or choose a cocktail-appropriate, matching two-piece. It doesn’t have to be all skirty to be elegant and flirty!
Will you choose beaded monochrome, flowing florals, or give the illusion of a two-piece with this halter-necked jumpsuit?
Don’t wear denim
A rockin’ smart-casual outfit has its place, but save the denim for another day. Cocktail events are a cocktail of elegance and fun. So, leave your comfy jeans (and jean jackets) behind and bring on the luxe fabrics, fab colours, and fun prints.
Do bring a clutch
Clutches double as storage solutions and fashion statements. When choosing a clutch, consider it as part of your outfit. Select a colour that matches or contrasts your ensemble. Styling tip: choose a neutral colour, like gold or silver, which should match almost anything.
See how the clutch, when colour-matched, becomes part of the outfit? How gorg! Pictured left is the stunning burnt orange Juliet Dress, and right the Lunara Dress in sequinned pastel.
Don’t mix sequins with rhinestones
By all means, you can choose a clutch covered in sequins or glittery rhinestones! The bolder, the better. The only exception to this rule is when you’re wearing a sequinned dress, which tends to speak for itself. If you’ve already gone bold in this way, the accessories needn’t be so flashy. Opt for an understated or neutral tone to ground your outfit.
Do wear heels
A cocktail event is the marriage of comfort and elegance, so you’ll need a nice pair of high heels (or some dressy flats). Wedges, pumps, or platform heels make for perfect cocktail attire. They have the added plus of elongating the figure and bringing out the best in your legs.
High heels also provide an opportunity to colour-match or contrast your outfit. So fab!
Images: Alamour The Label
Don’t get too comfortable
Thongs and sandals are excellent for beach days, and boots and sneakers can complement a smart-casual dress. Although the cocktail dress is more comfortable than a floor-length gown, there’s little to distinguish cocktail footwear from black-tie footwear. If in doubt, err on the side of elegant. Ditch the thongs and sneakers and wear your best heels instead.
Do wear statement pieces
You’d be amazed how just one bold necklace can elevate your whole outfit. When choosing your accessories, choose wisely and sparingly. Ensure the accessories coordinate with your ensemble and play into a specific theme.
These dresses are gorgeous, but we see the earrings first, which is a sign of a strong statement piece!
Images: Alamour The Label
Don’t blow the accessories all at once
When it comes to accessories, less is more! We want your accessories to look subtle and their placement strategic. So, to avoid overcrowding or throwing your outfit off-balance, choose a handful of favourites and avoid the (tempting!) urge to wear everything at once. Instead, keep the people wanting a little more, and save another set for next time.
Do heed our advice!
You’re undoubtedly a cocktail attire pro at this stage of the game! We hope you feel confident and beautiful in whatever outfit you choose. Have fun with your look, and don’t be afraid to show some personality. So go out there and enjoy yourself at your next event!