All You Need To Know About Cocktail Dresses

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cocktail dresses

Do you know what cocktail dresses are? Have you ever wondered if these dresses are designed for cocktail parties alone or otherwise?

Simply put, a cocktail dress is one of those semi-formal dresses intended for an early-evening event, meeting, occasion, or social gathering. It is a slow transition between casual wear in daytime and the fancy wear in the evening. Invented in the 20th century, cocktail hours were a highlight of the wealthy gatherings and socializing hours. A cocktail dress became the best way to carry a dress easily while looking stylish at the same time. It is neither too dressy for a daytime look nor too casual for evening parties. This in-between dress found a place in every woman’s wardrobe.

The Complete Cocktail Attire

When the style is concerned, a cocktail dress is typically one or two steps up from the regular work dresses or streetwear. They are made of luxurious fabrics like satin and silk. These dresses can also be detailed with beautiful additions like embroidery, sequins, or even conservative prints. In these dresses, women feel all dressed up perfectly for the occasion, unlike the standard dinner wear. With generous hemlines and tamed necklines, a cocktail dress makes a style statement.

When you choose a cocktail dress, avoid going for too much length or too short a dress. Typically, the hemline should fall above your knees. If you want a longer dress, avoid those maxi dresses or floor-length attire. Instead, choose mini dresses offering a more streamlined and chic look with the length without going overboard.

Like every other accessory, cocktail shoes are an important part of the attire. The shoes help in balancing the extremes. However, cocktail shoes should neither be too fancy nor too casual. Yet, choose your shoes well to ensure the pairs are neither too formal nor too dressy. A balance is what we are looking at. A pump-style or stiletto heel or a sandal with heel is subtle and a perfect accompaniment.

Finally, the major highlight of your dress is the accessories paired with it. However, avoid heavy jewelry or excessive statement pieces. It only detracts from the overall ensemble. Choose one statement piece, like a matching necklace, earrings, or hair accessory, to grab attention without making an effort. The outfit should be a major highlight. Accessories are always a fun way of adding a twist to the personal style and the look for the evening.

Sleeve Types for Cocktail Dresses

A cocktail dress can have many types of sleeves. While some of these are common, others are not.

  • Bishop: Loosely fit, runs down the arms, gathers at your wrist, allows flowy motion, yet controlled.
  • Bell: Fitted down your arms, but opens into a huge bell shape.
  • Cap: Typical sleeves covering the shoulder top.
  • Dolman: Fuller at its top, gradually tightens into a snug fit at your wrist.
  • Fitted: Perfectly fitted sleeves from the top to the bottom without any opening.
  • Gibson: These are full sleeves, running all down all the way, and sometimes look fuller because of the puff positioned at the shoulder length.
  • Juliet: These sleeves are fitted down your arm, having puffed fabric at your shoulder.
  • Three-quarter: As the name suggests, the sleeves come running down three-quarters, ending right below your elbow, and often tighter than the upper arm.

If your arms are attractive, you may like to flaunt, emphasizing them through cap sleeves, which show the skin. You may also choose fitted sleeves to flaunt the shape of your arm. However, if you have lanky arms, you may like to choose Gibson, Dolman, or Bishop Sleeves.

If your arms are heavy and meaty, Bell or Juliet sleeves could be your option.

There are ample choices for a cocktail dress. Try as many styles you like before finalizing the best fit.

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