The advantage of having a cocktail dress is its versatile style, elegant and extravagant appeal. You can consider it appropriate to wear cocktail dress for fancy parties, opera or ballet, weddings and formal dinner parties. Be it sophisticated and chic, classically glamorous or slinky and daring, a well selected cocktail dress is worth having in the wardrobe. Selecting the right cocktail dress appropriate to your body shape can get you the desired effect.
Original cocktail dress
The origin of cocktail parties can be traced back to 1920s. The same year women felt the need to have a special dress in conjunction with the theme of the party and thus cocktail dresses found its way into women’s wardrobe. Since then, the dress has undergone numerous modifications. From the waistless, loose cut, which required women to wear flappers, cocktail dresses today are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and lengths.
Originally reserved only for the younger women, the 1930s saw the introduction of waisted, slim skirted dresses designed for older women. Full skirts and décolleté necklines, silk skirts with jewel necklines, body-hugging and curve-enhancing, dress and coat suits and three-piece skirts slowly became highly popular. Some preferred heavily beaded dresses with fringes. The tiny matching bag, shoes and gloves became must-have accessories that made the dress complete.
Today, cocktail dresses or cocktail gowns come in an array of shapes, beautiful materials, with silk, satin, and layered or simply chiffon still being the most popular choice. Every season brings a lot of surprise with new additions. The length can vary from a mini length to that which stops above the ankles. The ‘little black dress’ hasn’t lost its charm with the passage of time and continues to remain the universally accepted look for cocktail parties. Colorful cocktail dresses in rich fabrics like velvet, crepe, brocade or silk or stretch satin or even rich tapestries translate well for formal or informal events. Short or long, any color, any style, fabrics in tune with the season, it is your individual preference that should be the deciding factor.
Selecting appropriate accessories for cocktail dresses is also essential. Take special care in choosing shoes if you are sporting a shorter length, as it invariably assumes an important focal point. A beaded cocktail bag made of silk, satin or brocade together with pearls, diamond-looks, gold or even silver, a sparkly vintage brooch, fishnet hosiery are all convenient options.
As with any other dress, the season casts its influence while selecting the fabric. For summer, go for floral prints in light pink, sky blue, pale green and yellow, as well as other pastels. For an event in winter, gray, crimson, black, dark brown and dark blue cocktail dresses can make you look absolutely best.
- Consider matching wraps to cover your arms. A beautiful wrap, colorful pashima shawl or shrug adds elegance.
- For a formal yet glamorous appeal, select trousers in a fit that flatters your body type. Give importance to fabric, fit and cut.
- If you feel more comfortable in pants, choose cocktail pantsuit. Match with a tailored denim jacket and perfectly hemmed trousers. Combine with a sequined camisole.
- Sleeveless or short-sleeved cocktail dress can be worn year-around with or without shawl, jacket.
Selecting cocktail dress
You can look classic and stylish provided you pay sufficient importance to core principles of dress selection. Appropriate dressing suitable for an event gives you a sense of confidence and self-esteem with which you feel as though you can take on the world.
- Never try to fit into a cocktail dress with a too low cut or that which is ill fitting.
- Before selecting a dress evaluate your overall body shape, give importance to looking best, elegant and comfortable.
- Select dress to your body figure, instead of blindly following the latest trends.
- Understand your plus and minus points, accentuate or hide accordingly.
- Black, a universal color may not be right color for all. Find out a color palette that suits you.
- A body that lacks natural curves can be helped with bright colors and bold patterns that provide an ultimate feminine presence.
- To balance a top-heavy figure, consider flattering neckline for a full bust like the V-neck.
- Dark colors can make you look slimmer.
- Explore different combinations, the dress and the accessories. Cultivate your individual style. Allow your inner beauty to shine through.