What is a cocktail dress 2018

Knowing the rules of the dress code is important to feel appropriate and comfortable. Being  dressed according to the event you are attending shows that you know the rules of etiquette, respect yourself and others and most importantly, knowing that you look good boosts your confidence, so that you can concentrate on enjoying yourself and making new friends and contacts. And this is what the cocktail parties are all about – mingling, networking and having a good time.

Cocktail parties are very popular and modern way of entertaining. During cocktail parties a variety of mixed drinks and finger foods or light snacks are served. Cocktail parties usually last no more than 4 hours, before dinner time and the main focus is generally on cocktails, good conversation, networking and atmosphere as a whole, but not on the food.


Before deciding what to wear for the cocktail party you need to make sure if the event is formal or informal. Considering these three main things will help you:

  • Party’s location
  • Reason
  • Hours of the party

How knowing these things will help you decide on the appropriate outfit?

If the cocktail party is taking place at your friends house and the reason is housewarming or promotion, than it is more casual event than the charity raising organized in a high-class establishment.

Parties which are held during evening hours are always more formal than those during afternoon.

One more thing that will help you decide whether the cocktail party you are invited to is a formal or more informal event is the invitation itself. If you are invited over the phone or email, then it is more casual event and if you’ve found invitation in your mail, be prepared for formal evening.

And the last thing you need to consider before choosing your cocktail party outfit is the season when event will take place. During warmer seasons such as spring and summer you are expected to choose your attire in lighter fabrics and colourful patterns and during fall and winter season go for dark colours and thick materials.


Formal Cocktail Attire

Cocktail attire for women is an elegant short dress usually dark in color that is above, at or below the knee length. If you are uncertain, a basic “little black dress” is always a safe choice and will work almost anywhere.

By the way, according to Wikipedia was the first to use the term “cocktail dress” to refer to early evening wear, in the late 1940s.

Informal Cocktail Attire

Dress is always a good choice for any cocktail party, but for women there what is a cocktail dress 2018 are other options too. Depending on the event a nice pair of pants or a skirt and an elegant top with elegant accessories acceptable.

The important part of staying in theme with your cocktail dress is to keep the look elegant and reserved, not over-the-top.


Formal Cocktail Attire

When you receive a formal invitation, there can be special requirements to the dress code such as ’semiformal’ or ‘black tie optional’. Semi-formal means a dark suit and black tie optional is  tuxedo or dark suit and a formal tie.

Cocktail outfit Men

Informal Cocktail Attire

A casual suit or well-ironed pants and a crisp buttoned shirt and tie will suffice as cocktail attire for guys on most occasions. But it is always better to have jacket with you in case you see that other men wearing it.

Cocktail Dress Code Men

Make sure that your cocktail attire is accessorized with a good leather belt and well-polished shoes.
In cocktail attire dress code wearing sneakers, athletic socks, jeans or shorts is strictly forbidden.

No matter what dress or suite you will choose to wear during your next cocktail party, the main thing to remember is the attitude, as long as you feel comfortable in what you are wearing and confident about yourself, everything else will just fall into place. Have a great time and don’t over load yourself with those delicious cocktails, you don’t want it to be your last cocktail party, right?

Julia is the co-founder of Etiquette Tips – an online magazine that features articles on business etiquette,  communication, dress code, table manners, international code of behaviour, gift giving, events & celebrations and more.
You can find her on  and Twitter

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