Dress codes are something people don't talk about enough. From white tie to cocktail attire, the gray area regarding what's acceptable to wear to these formal events is sizable. Today, we are here to talk all things cocktail party attire. Believe it or not, there are "rules" for dressing for this occasion.
Ahead we're bringing you the dos and don'ts of cocktail attire. Some of these tips might be obvious, but others might surprise you. And in addition to our cocktail attire commandments, we're showing you where to shop the pieces that will ensure you're always dressed appropriately. Keep scrolling to discover how to look your chicest at your next cocktail soirée.
Don't: Wear Anything Too Revealing
Do: Keep Hemlines and Necklines Appropriate
A great rule of thumb here is to not wear something you wouldn't want yourto see you in. In case you needed a reminder, a cocktail party is different than a girls' night out.
All in Favor Dolman Plissé Midi Dress ($59)
Saloni Lulu Dress ($695)
Don't: Wear Jeans
Do: Wear Sleek Trousers
Even if you aim to dress up a pair of denim (yes, it's possible), risking being underdressed is never worth it. However, you don't have to wear a dress to be dressy. Polished trousers are just as effective.
Bailey44 Boardroom Pants ($168)
The Attico Cotton-Blend Gabardine Tapered Pants ($865)
Don't: Carry an Oversize Bag
Do: Use a Clutch
Alongside a nice dress, a clutch or a mini bag always reads as elegant and refined.
Alexander Wang Lunch Bag Embroidered Satin Clutch ($295)
Shashi Petite Casino Bag ($48)
Don't: Show Up in Wrinkled Garments
Do: Use a Steamer
Regardless of the color or material of your clothing, wrinkles are always noticeable and unprofessional. Using a steamer is one of the best (and quickest) ways to get rid of wrinkles.
Steamfast Travel Fabric Steamer ($20)
Lemontec Portable Travel Garment Steamer ($18)
Don't: Wear Too Many Statement Accessories
Do: Choose One Standout Accessory
Even Coco Chanel recommended taking off one accessory before you leave the house (and when she speaks, we listen). Your best bet is wearing one standout accessory that you really love.
Theia Jewelry Piper Drop Earrings ($64)
Kenneth Jay Lane Imitation Pearl Necklace ($42)
Don't: Wear a Floor-Length Gown
Do: Wear a Mini or Midi Dress
There is such a thing as going too formal. The time to wear a floor-sweeping gown is not at a cocktail party. Opt for anything between a mini- and midi-length dress or skirt.
Eloquii Sparkle Maxi Dress with Wrap Skirt ($179)
Reformation Rey Dress ($298)
Don't: Wear Sneakers
Do: Wear Heels
Whether it be stilettos, kitten heels, or block heels, a little extra lift is helpful when it comes to a formal event. If notable enough, a pair of flats might work, but sneakers are a no-go.
Dolce Vita Naylin Slides ($135)
Schutz Reanna Mules ($170)
Don't: Let Underpinnings Show
Do: Wear the Correct Undergarments
Going the extra mile to make sure that your bra straps or shapewear aren't visible is almost as important as not wearing sneakers.
Nordstrom Lingerie Convertible Plunge Bra ($28)
Available in sizes 32B to 32C.
Commando Butter Stretch Modal Thong ($26)
Don't: Keep Hair Ties on Your Wrist
Do: Wear a bracelet
This one should be obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people keep rubber bands on their wrists—even at nice events. Before stepping out of the house, swap your hair tie for a sleek bracelet.
Kate Spade NY Crystal Hinge Bangle ($48)
Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Kite Chain Bracelet ($206)
This post was originally posted at an earlier date and has since been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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