I have to confess that I get a strange little jolt of anxiety when I read an invitation that says “traditional cocktail attire.”
Does that happen to anyone else?
And truthfully, I don’t know why… I have been, for the most part, successfully dressing myself for many years now. But it seems that at the very least my subconscious is still concerned that I’m going to show up looking utterly inappropriate for an event.
I get sartorial anxiety. Clearly I have issues.
So, in case anyone else is in this same boat, I thought I’d tackle the age-old conundrum – What should I wear?
In my book, there are four main categories of appropriate cocktail attire.
(1) Traditional – Cocktail Dress
Simple and safe – This is a good option for more traditional hosts or locations.
(2) Modern – Lady Suit
If you’re not a dress lady, don’t force yourself into a look you’re uncomfortable with. A suit, or a matching pant and blazer combo with a chic top, is always okay at a party with a cocktail dress code.
The key is to keep the look clean, well-tailored, and classic.
Bored with your LBDs? Pair a pencil, tea length, or A-line skirt with a shell, sweater, or simple top and blazer combo. It can be sweet and feminine, preppy, or edgy depending on your choice of silhouettes and textiles.
This style offers you more room for self-expression and a chance to have some fun with your look. But be sure to keep your glam on the same level as the ladies around you with killer heels, a bold red lip, or some eye-catching statement jewelry.
(4) Fashion Forward – Jumpsuit
Jumpsuits are becoming more and more of a staple for events and red carpets these days. Gone are the days of women-must-wear-dresses.
They key to pulling off this look and meeting that dress code is going for solid colors over prints, keeping the accessories fairly classic, and making sure that you’re fit is impeccable.
This is a good look to try for a cocktail party hosted by a younger crowd or located at a trendy new hotspot.
What’s YOUR go-to cocktail attire style?