June 17, 2021 Cocktail Dress Code for a Wedding

June 17, 2021

Cocktail Dress Code for a Wedding

So you received an invite in the mail to a wedding, and the dress code is “wedding cocktail attire,” what do you wear? The first thing to do is wipe the look of worry off your face because finding the perfect dress is easier than you think! 

Your first instinct might be to go for what you’re most comfortable in because the stress of figuring out what to wear is not exactly your favorite part of weddings. With so many wedding attires to choose from, you’re lucky to have it narrowed down to one simple choice: the cocktail dress.

June 17, 2021 Cocktail Dress Code for a Wedding

What Is a Cocktail Dress?

No, it’s not just a dress you wear for only cocktail dinners. A cocktail dress is a gown suitable for most semi-formal occasions, including cocktail parties. It is mainly worn in the late afternoon and usually with accessories. Typically these dresses fall at or above the knee and can be worn with a stylish heel to complete the entire look! 

Cocktail dresses are versatile and can fit in most occasions, even formal black-tie parties, as long as it is fashionable and ticks all the boxes of the black-tie dress code. You can wear a cocktail dress to award ceremonies, fundraisers, and weddings and look just as chic.

The Dress Code

If you’re wondering, “what is a typical dress for a cocktail dress code?” then you’re probably not alone. A cocktail dress code is similar to a semi-formal dress code but with an extra touch to make the look special.

If you’re already familiar with semi-formal dressing, then the cocktail dress code should be easy to decipher.

Cocktail Attire for Men 

Your cocktail attire should include a nice suit, crisp shirt, fashionable tie, and distinct accessories like a classy pair of cufflinks or watch. You should also wear an elegant pair of shoes that add a pop to your outfit.

The cocktail dress code allows you to express your style freely, so any color or pattern of outfit is acceptable, although you may want to tone down on screaming prints. We will discuss more of this later in the article.

Cocktail Attire for Women 

For the ladies, choosing a cocktail attire is not the time to go for a gala gown or a mini skirt. Sure, you can look as simple or sophisticated as you like, but elegance is the look you’re trying to achieve. Usually, cocktail dresses are knee-length dresses or formal jumpsuits.

Heels or dressy flat shoes are a must, and you won’t go wrong by accessorizing with simple yet classy jewelry. You can also choose vibrant colors for your outfit or tone it down with some pastel hues. Whatever color you choose, steer clear from white and ivory tones if you are not the bride.

General Tips for Choosing a Cocktail Dress for a Wedding 

If you’re unsure what dress to go for, looking for clues can bail you out of your fix. Here are some ideas for you:

Where is the event?

The location of the event can give you a great idea of what cocktail dress to wear. For instance, for daytime outdoor events, you can select a lighter-colored outfit with breezy fabric during the summer or warmer months. For example, the Tarik Ediz plunging neckline gown with thin straps will look like a delight during a summertime cocktail wedding. A light-colored linen suit would also look great on men.

For indoor or outdoor weddings during cooler months, thicker fabric with darker colors is a wise choice for both men and women. This knee-length black dress by Tarik Ediz captures the look.

Ask the mother of the bride or maid of honor for clarification 

Not being too sure if the dress code comes with a particular theme can leave room for many errors when choosing your dress.

The best option is to reach out to the mother of the bride or maid of honor to help you clarify any details you’re stuck on. This will not only help you make your dress search faster, but you would also be able to avoid errors or clashing with the bride during the cocktail party.

Cocktail Dress Inspiration: What to Wear

There are many variations of cocktail dresses, which gives you a lot of options to choose from. We’ve highlighted some error-proof choices to help you look your best at the event.


A formal jumpsuit might look like an unlikely choice of designer dress to go to a cocktail party, but take our word for it when we say you can’t go wrong in these. Turn heads in this chic red or nude-silver jumpsuit by Rachel Allan. Want a more toned-down look? Gatti Nolli’s couture rose-grey jumpsuit steals the show.


Dresses are one of the first choices ladies go for when it comes to cocktail attire. Look pretty in this black Mac Duggal fit and flare sequinned dress or sweet and sassy in this knee-length number by Andrea and Leo.

Skirt and a Nice top

An uncommon choice, but a cute skirt and a lovely top can also give you a sophisticated look at the cocktail party. Pair this two-piece by Edward Arsouni Couture with strappy sandals or pumps for elegance and poise.


High-low dresses may be considered a little overdressed for cocktail parties, but with some extra helping of confidence and great carriage, you can make it work. We love this sleek gown by Nicole Bakti; it comes in multiple colors for you to choose your preferred style.

Shop for Your Cocktail Dress Today

Cocktail attire for weddings is a popular choice for dress code, so the clothing options for you to choose from are available in abundance. Now that you have an idea of the appropriate outfits for the occasion, your shopping will become a breeze. Shop the collection of designer cocktail dresses at NewYorkDress today!

Written by Jonah Levine

June 17, 2021 Cocktail Dress Code for a Wedding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top