When your social calendar is brimming with invitations to wedding receptions, birthday parties and work functions, having a few cocktail dresses in your closet is essential. The right dress strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal and can be elevated with accessories like a fun clutch or a sparkly statement shoe. While a little black dress will always be a classic, we love to add pops of color with pieces that incorporate trending elements such as florals or lace, too. Whether you’re going for an ultra-feminine look or want to add some edge, we’ve got you covered with our top picks of the best cocktail dresses for every occasion.
When it comes to cocktail attire, less is more is often the name of the game. The hemline of a cocktail dress typically falls right above the knee or slightly higher, and a mini style is usually reserved for club wear. A midi dress, such as this one from Rebecca Vallance featuring a structured v-neckline and waist band, is more appropriate for a cocktail party and flatters the body in all the right places. A sleeveless option, such as this Miusol Women’s Retro Floral Lace Cocktail Dress, is also a great choice. The sheer material adds an element of intrigue without feeling too flashy and the cut-out details are perfectly on point for the season.
Cocktail dresses come in an array of textures, colors and designs, but they all share the same silhouette qualification: classiness with a hint of sexiness. To keep your cocktail dress collection chic and stylish, it’s important to stick with neutral hues such as black or nude, as these will pair well with a wide variety of shoes. If you’re looking for a pop of color, a metallic dress is a great way to do it. A metallic dress, such as this Rebecca Vallance Loretta Long Sleeve Mini Dress, is a trendy option that will add a bit of edge to your look. Its ruched detailing and gold finish are sure to turn heads, while the thigh-high slit ensures you’ll still be able to move comfortably.
For an extra special touch, consider pairing your cocktail dress with a heeled bootie. These heels will provide a sleek and polished finishing touch to your look, while keeping you comfortable all night. Pumps are also a good choice for cocktail events and are ideal for adding height to your look.
Aside from pumps and boots, there are also plenty of options for flats, such as this Rebecca Vallance Loretta Flats in Rose Gold. They’ll match most cocktail dresses and are ideal for pairing with strappy pumps or a pair of mules. You could also opt for a sandal to give your look a relaxed feel.