The Official Dos and Don'ts of Cocktail Attire for Women
Dress codes are something people don't talk about enough. From white tie to cocktail attire, the number of gray areas regarding what and what not to wear are endless. Today, we are here to talk all things cocktail sans the drinks (unfortunately). Believe it or not, there are certain rules you most definitely have broken at least once in your lifetime, but that's all about to stop.
Ahead, we give you the dos and don'ts of cocktail attire for women. Some of these rules might be obvious, and others will make you drop your jaw as you remember a time or two when you were so guilty of breaking them. And as always, in addition to our cocktail attire commandments, we show you exactly where to shop the pieces that will ensure you're always dressed appropriately for this specific dress code.
Keep reading to discover the dos and don'ts of cocktail attire for women!
Don't: Wear Anything Too Revealing
Do: Keep Hemlines and Necklines Appropriate
A great rule of thumb here is to not wear something you would not want yourto see you in. A cocktail party is different than a girls' night out.
Don't: Wear Jeans
Do: Wear Sleek Trousers
Even if you aim to dress up a pair of denim (and are successful at it), risking being underdressed is never worth it. However, no one said you had to wear a dress to be dressy—polished trousers are just as effective.
Don't: Carry an Oversize Bag
Do: Use a Clutch
Nothing looks sloppier than a huge slouchy tote bag slumped over your shoulder—especially alongside a nice dress. A clutch or a mini shoulder bag always reads as elegant and refined.
Don't: Show Up in Wrinkled Garments
Do: Use a Steamer
Despite the color or material of your clothing, wrinkles are always noticeable and look sloppy. Using a steamer is not only one of the best ways to get rid of wrinkles but also the fastest.
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. Competing accessories aren't a good look on anyone, so your best bet is choosing one standout item that you really love.
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.
Don't: Wear Sneakers
Do: Wear Heels
Whether it be stilettos, kittens, or block heels, a little extra lift is necessary when it comes to a more formal event. If notable enough, a pair of flats might work as well, but sneakers are 100% a no-go.
Don't: Let Underpinnings Show
Do: Wear the Correct Undergarments
Going the extra mile and making sure that none of your bra straps, slips, or shapewear are visible to the naked eye is almost as important as not wearing sneakers. Once again, letting a detail like that slip results in a sloppy overall appearance.
Don't: Keep Hair Ties on Your Wrist
Do: Wear a bracelet
This one should be obvious, but you would be surprised at how many women keep rubber bands on their wrists, even at elegant events. Before stepping out the door, swap your hair tie for a sleek bracelet.
Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Kite Chain Bracelet ($310)
For those days when you just want to dress down, shop the most popular legging brands in L.A. and NYC.