A cocktail event is traditionally a pre-dinner party and technically men should wear a suit and women a cocktail clothes, which means a tastefully short dress for the evening party. The modern meaning of a cocktail dress is that a shorter dress around knee length. It must be little, including the little black dress, and may have sequins or lace as a characteristic.

Cocktail Dress

At semi-formal cases, less elaborate, short cocktail dresses may be used. Prior to the mid 20th century this kind of dress was considered as ‘late afternoon’. As gentlemen are in business suits, ladies wear dress suits or “good” afternoon skirt and dresses as well.The common cocktail dresses are shorter and made with normal fabrics, and sometimes have few ornamentation added to them.

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Cocktail Dress

How to wear the Cocktail Dress

Go for high heels. Do not touch flat shoes unless completely unavoidable.

Select the right dress line. Go for a full length dress for a black tie (formal) party, knee-length or slightly lower for semi-casual party, and knee-length or higher for casual party.

Wear hosiery. Sheer black or a nude colour will go for the season.

Both open and closed-toe shoes are available for a formal or informal party. As the shoes are open-toe then go for seamless hosiery.

Ignore wearing skirts or suits (if your invitation does not state casual or semi-casual).