Where do cocktail dresses come from? Creations of this type are extremely popular today, but their history began less than a century ago. At the end of the 40s, Christian Dior showed the world a collection of dresses with completely different shapes see here complete details. 

Proposals from Dior were distinguished by a shorter length (to the middle of the calves), no sleeves, a deep neckline, thin straps or their complete absence. They were completely different dresses than women have worn in decades past. Much bolder, but also very feminine. The feature of these dresses was their versatility. In the same creation, a woman could appear both at an informal meeting during the day, and at an evening. And she looked attractive every time and her outfit was appropriate for the situation.

Since women very often wear these outfits to drink cocktails in the afternoon, when it was not appropriate to wear long decorative dresses, a well-known term appeared: cocktail dresses. They were distinguished from evening dresses by a freer cut and shorter length, as well as a greater richness of colors. At the same time, cocktail dresses were much more decorative than ordinary everyday dresses, so they could be successfully worn in the theater, summer parties outdoors, dance clubs or for a tea.

The Modern Role Of Cocktail Dresses

Today, the purpose of cocktail dresses is practically the same as when it debuted. We wear them for parties, to the theater, for dinner in an expensive restaurant, for family events, in the afternoon of informal business meetings. 

Cocktail attire is somewhere between a party dress and a casual outfit. It is too modest for large balls and elegant parties, but it is suitable for weddings, New Year’s Eve, Christmas dinner, and birthdays in a restaurant. On the other hand, for occasions like a job interview, a business lunch, a regular coffee during the day or simply as office wear, a cocktail dress is definitely too stylish.

The most typical representative of cocktail dresses is the classic little black dress, which probably every woman has in her wardrobe.

What Style?

We already know what occasions a cocktail dress is suitable for. But what exactly should it look like? Does every shorter decorative outfit automatically deserve this name?

Cocktail dresses for work-related parties don’t have to look like an office uniform, but are made of a nicer material. The creation, however, should not reveal too much body, be transparent and in no way provocative. You can afford a wider neckline than usual, but not so that the bust is almost completely on top. Dresses shorter than knee length are also inappropriate. A cocktail dress can be ankle-length, but it shouldn’t be made of too fancy a material. Overall, the idea is to look glamorous and elegant without being glamorous.

Dresses for weddings or big events (e.g. carnival season) can be more open, with more decorations and made of very shiny fabrics, but beware of overdoing it. Cocktail creations are meant to be decorative, but also tasteful. The outfit can slightly hug our figure, but very tight dresses that look like a second skin are out of place.

We usually hang out a lot at cocktail parties, so we don’t have to worry so much about the dress code for dancing. But when we buy a dress for a wedding or a dance party, a model that provides great comfort when moving is recommended.

Colors and Fabrics

Cocktail dresses are made of noble materials. It is not appropriate to go to a party in a knit or cotton dress. Chiffon, mesh, chiffon, silk and lace dresses will be perfect for summer events. In winter, opt for heavier and more rigid materials such as taffeta, satin, velvet, velvet, leather and high quality wool. There may be decorative applications on the fabrics, but not in excessive quantity.

In terms of colors, we don’t have to limit ourselves to a narrow color palette. In principle, almost any color is acceptable, although flashier ones are best left for other occasions. 

The safest choice is of course that black, white, ecru, ivory, light beige are also allowed except for weddings where this type of color should be avoided. Red, shades of blue, elegant gray, blue, subdued green, powder pink are tasteful. Bolder colors, such as cobalt or purple, will also not violate good practice, but try to choose calmer, slightly muted shades of these colors. Neon, bright yellows, pinks and greens are more for the carnival madness.

Unlike strictly evening dresses, patterns such as flowers, stripes, polka dots, checks and even abstract figures can appear on a cocktail dress. As long as the dress is made of elegant material, the everyday pattern will not spoil its festive character. If we have doubts that the patterned dress we have chosen is not too ordinary, let’s think about whether we would wear it, for example, for shopping or for work.

Author VLONE

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