How (Not) To Dress For A Cocktail Party

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Our cocktail dressing abilities should come into their full glory when we attend a cocktail party. Receiving an invitation that states “cocktail attire” arouses a certain feeling of excitement. An excitement that comes hand in hand with all things that are not on your daily routine.

Because: while invitations to cocktail receptions are something we are all used to, a declared and formal cocktail party has become fairly infrequent these days. So how do you solve the (insoluble) dressing problem?


  • be the Christmas tree: just because “cocktail” sounds vintage, you don’t have to be. Go for either necklace or earrings, nobody fancies a walking treasure chamber.
  • wear uncomfortable high heels: cocktail parties are about getting to know new people and making decent conversation. Chances are you’ll be standing most of the time. Make sure this part is comfortable.
  • do athleisure. Do I even need to tell you that sneakers, hoodies and tracking pants are a no-go? You’ll feel underdressed for sure!
  • wear visible & uncomfortable underwear. There’s nothing worse than being caught while fiddling around. Also pretty bad: panty lines when wearing your extra skinny sausage dress.


  • dress accordingly to the invitation. If it came by phone or email it is more likely to be a casual affair. If it came by mail, consider it dressy. You can go all-in there!
  • take a small handbag. Whether it is rather casual or elegant, a cocktail is not the right place to show off your new sac bag.
  • be yourself. Just because it’s a cocktail doesn’t mean you need to disguise as your grandmother. Elegance does not always lie in the length of the dress, but its fabric, cut and color. Be yourself, just in a more elegant version.
  • when in doubt: wear the little black dress. Pimp it up with jewelry or/and chic shoes. When looking like a modern version of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s nothing can go wrong!

Check out the gallery for the best cocktail pieces!

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