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What Is Wedding Cocktail Attire

Garden Party Cocktail Dress Code

Cocktail Attire for Men – Wedding, Party & Event Dress Code Guide

Got a garden party on your calendar that requires cocktail attire? Meet dress code requirements while impressing the other guests by opting for a feminine and sweet floral dress. Select one in a lightweight fabric with a flattering drape for a lovely look. To complete your outfit, choose a pair of chic block heels and add a few pretty accessories.


What To Leave At Home

While knowing what to wear to a cocktail wedding can be quite the puzzle, there are a handful or unspoken rules on what you should not take or wear on the day.

– No predominantly white dresses ever. The only time it’s okay to wear white, or near off-white such as a cream or ivory is if the invitations allows.

– Since this is a wedding cocktail party, you will likely be standing for a large portion of the event, so leave the uncomfortable shoes in the closet.

– Don’t assume that kids and plus ones are automatically invited unless it specifies on the invitation.

– While subtle hair accessories can be worn, big and bold pieces are a bit too overlop for a cocktail wedding.

What Is Semi Formal And Formal Attire For Men

Colin Firth in Kingsman wearing a classic British suit with padded shoulders that works for cocktail attire

If your invitation states a semi-formal or formal attire, these are vague and challenging dress codes to deal with today because they mean different things to different people. In the past, formal attire was a tuxedo, while semi-formal would be like cocktail attire. These days the ambiguity of these dress codes can make them frustrating for guests.

Elements of a cocktail attire outfit

Recommended Reading: How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget Of 5000

Flutter One Shoulder Jumpsuit In Black

It used to be the case that wearing black to a wedding was a no-no. These days, however, black is not only a very stylish, very versatile optionespecially if youve got a season full of wedding invitations and cant afford to buy a new outfit for every single one of themits also perfect cocktail attire for a wedding. This jumpsuit, which also comes in red, is an elegant, modern choice: the flutter sleeve and exposed shoulder are sophisticated and striking, while the wide-leg pants keep the silhouette formal. Pair with heels and red lipstick for added polish.

Shop our jacquard dresses here!

Rule : Know Where Youre Going

Cocktail Attire Wedding

Your dress code will look very different depending on the occasion. If unsure, ask the host or people who have been there before for advice.

There are three crucial elements to know before picking your cocktail attire:

  • The location of the party
  • The reason for the occasion
  • The time of the day that it will take place
  • Once you have the information, you can pick your cocktail look with confidence.

    Read Also: Which Ring Goes On First Engagement Or Wedding

    Rule : If You Are Invited To A Formal Cocktail Party

    If youve been invited to a formal business party in the evening, remain conservative with your look and opt for a dark-coloured suit with a white shirt and black leather dress shoes. Take a tie with you but be ready to take it off and unbutton the collar of your shirt if suitable for the event.

    You can use accessories to differentiate your cocktail attire from your usual Business professional look. Go with a light-coloured pocket square to contrast with your suit and wear classy cufflinks on your shirt cuffs.

    Wide Stripe Worsted Flannel Suit An Option For Evening Events

    On the very right, we have a gentleman in a suit with yet another large pattern: the wide-spaced colored stripe. The red stripes inspired the rest of his dress, choosing a red boutonniere and Bordeaux tie. This three-piece flannel suit with stripes benefits from the peaked lapels, which provide a little more formality. If the lady in blue were to step aside, you would see that the trousers of this suit are without cuffs, which raises the formality bar by another notch.

    Striped Worsted Flannel

    Nevertheless, I think it is a fantastic stripe and hence I wanted to provide you with a picture of an authentic cloth sample. As you can see, the stripe is more subdued than in the illustration, which makes it even more appropriate for a cocktail suit that is different yet elegant.

    Read Also: How To Plan A Wedding Under 5000

    Wedding Guest Attire Guidelines For Any Type Of Wedding

    Before 4 PM

    In general, daytime weddings are more casual, and so lighter fabrics, festive colors, and less-formal attire is the rule.

    For women, a nice daytime dress, skirt, and top, or jumpsuit are good choices.

    For men, a well-tailored suit in a mid-to-dark neutral color like gray, blue, or charcoal is appropriate.

    After 4 PM

    In the case of evening weddings, more formal styles, longer dresses, and gowns special occasion fabrics are appropriate for women

    Men should wear darker suits in navy, black, gray.

    Although sometimes a white dinner jacket or suit in a fun color can work too! We go into deep detail in our wedding attire style boards

    Above all, the wearer should also always chose something that fits with one’s own personal style as well as the requested dress code.

    What To Wear: 4 Beautiful Dos

    Wedding Guest Etiquette for Cocktail Attire : Wedding Attire Etiquette
  • The classic cocktail dress is a go-to for any semi-formal event.
  • The perfect cocktail dresses are fun but tasteful. Look for a flattering cut and length that skims your body, but doesnt restrict your movement. You want to be able to enjoy your night, after all! The little black dress is, of course, a go-to option, but dont be afraid of a little color. From rose gold, to bold teal, to fiery red, there are so many colors that look amazing on a cocktail dress.

  • Step into style with a classy pair of pumps.
  • A cocktail party is the perfect excuse to wear a dressier shoe, and pumps are a sophisticated choice. Look for a pair that has a fun touch or is made of a luxe material . Just be sure to choose shoes that are comfortable enough to wear throughout the entire event. You dont want to be forced to sit down when you dont want to just because your feet hurt!

  • Look fancy and on trend in a flattering jumpsuit.
  • Cute jumpsuits are a great option for people who arent into dresses but still like how flattering a flowy fabric can be on the body. You can opt for classic black in a silky fabric, or be bold in a bright color or print like leopard. You can style jumpsuits with any type of shoes, though slingback pumps and wedges are great options.

  • Let your personality shine with accessories that reflect your own unique style.
  • Read Also: How To Make A Wedding Spreadsheet

    What Is The Cocktail Attire Style

    Put simply, mens cocktail attire is a dress code asking you to dress up for an occasion. It isnt a very well-defined dress code, however. As a result, you have a little bit of freedom as to how you want to execute the style. But you also have more room for errors.

    In general, if youre requested to wear your cocktail attire, it means that you should pull on a jacket and look neat and chic for a special occasion. The location and time of the occasion will dictate how exactly you should dress.

    If youre attending a wedding, your cocktail attire should be elegant and simple. You want to show that you made an effort for the occasion and that you respect your hosts. But you dont want to attract attention away from the groom.

    If youve been invited to an evening party or a classy sporting event, the location and the type of the party will help you decide what to wear. A business networking event will call for formal cocktail attire. On the other hand, a new years party will probably mean a much more groovy interpretation.

    As a rule of thumb, you should always consider the occasion, the location and the time of the day to select your cocktail attire. If youre unsure about what the host expects, you should ask them or ask other guests to avoid any faux-pas.

    That said, our style experts have 3 simple rules to help you along the way:

    What Is Black Tie Attire

    Typically, a black tie wedding requires guests to wear either a tuxedo or an evening dress. “The lines have been blurred over the years, but it is safe to assume that black tie means fancy, and you really can’t be too over-dressed ,” says Marteal Mayer, co-founder of sustainable Brooklyn bridal boutique Loulette Bride. A tuxedo should be your first choice, but if you want to wear a suit instead, a black tie event typically means wearingyou guessed ita plain black necktie or bow tie. For those wearing a dress, a full-length evening gown is the norm. Guests are also expected to stick with darker colors like navy, gray and deeper jewel tones .

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    Can You Wear A Suit To A Black Tie Wedding

    Whether the dress code states “black tie optional,” “black tie preferred,” “black tie invited” or just “black tie,” you can assume that a tuxedo is your safest bet. The couple and their wedding party will be wearing their best black tie attire on the big day, and it’s respectful for guests to replicate that level of formality in their own outfits. That said, suits aren’t completely out of the question. “Men can wear a tux, but are also fine to wear a nice black, gray or navy suit,” says Mayer. If you’re wearing a suit, you should plan to keep it minimal, choose a dark color and wear a bow tie.

    The Rise Of The Dress Code

    Cocktail Attire Wedding

    Humans have tried to regulate clothes for basically as long as weve worn them on our bodies. Weve also ignored these rules for almost as long. Sumptuary laws date back to seventh-century Greece, where women were forbidden to wear jewels of gold about her, or go in an embroidered robe, unless they were prostitutes. In 15th-century England, a knight was not to wear a jacket unless it be of such Length that the same may cover his privy Members and Buttocks.

    In America, the General Court of Massachusetts in 1651 forbade men from wearing Gold or Silver lace, or Buttons, or Points at their knees, or to walk in great Boots, while women were banned from wearing silk hoods or scarves. The idea was to uphold the social order, to prevent someone from passing themselves off as a member of a different class, to keep women covered and the poor chastened.

    As scholars have noted, that sumptuary laws were repeated so often, and contained such disconcertingly specific guidelines, suggests not that many people followed them, which is perhaps why they fell out of use in the 17th century. But we continued to earnestly regulate each others sartorial choices even as we moved the codes by which we do so out of the legal realm and into the social.

    But even in the precise, orderly world of these books, a problem lurked: What happens when not everyone agrees on what the codes are?

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    What Kind Of Wedding Will Call For Cocktail Attire

    There are a lot of different kinds of dress codes that a wedding may specify. A cocktail attire wedding will be slightly more casual than a formal attired wedding, which is the fanciest and most extravagant option there is.

    However, cocktail is still more formal than semi-formal, which often indicates a daytime wedding or something outdoors.

    A cocktail dress coded wedding will likely be in the mid-afternoon going into night and will probably be inside. It also may be slightly larger than a semi-formal wedding. All in all, a couple requiring cocktail dress wants their guests to look classy.

    Dress It Down With Accessories

    Earrings, hairpieces, shoes, and bags are some of the simplest ways to dress an outfit up or down. Instead of a sparkly clutch, maybe opt for a relaxed crossbody bag in a fun color, instead. For a fall wedding, consider adding a sophisticated leather jacket over your floral maxi dress. A fancier alternative to a denim jacket, a leather jacket keeps you warm, but also ensures that you dont look out of place. For a summer event, consider tasteful wedges or block heels in a fun print. Flats are also an option, if theyre polished enough .

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    How Much Does A Cocktail Outfit Cost

    You may not be sure how much to spend on your wedding outfit. While theres no set rule on how much to spend, you should still expect to spend a little bit on a nice outfit.

    If youre shopping retail, try to go to a higher-end store than something flimsy and fast-fashion. Look for lush, quality materials, and strong stitching.

    It can be harder to make such judgments online, so be sure to use a reputable website, ideally one that youve bought from before, so you have an idea of their sizing.

    If you want to thrift, spend a while hunting the racks for the perfect item you never know what youll find in the vintage realm, and if its high quality, it might not be as cheap as you expect.

    What To Wear To A Black Tie Wedding

    What is Cocktail Attire for Men: GQ Style Guide

    A black tie wedding doesn’t just mean wearing a tuxguests should pair it with a cummerbund, tuxedo shirt, bow tie and polished pair of dress shoes. If you plan on wearing a dress, shoes should be kept classic and simple, whether you choose a heeled sandal, closed-toe pump or flats. Still have some questions about what a black tie wedding really means for your wardrobe? We’ve got you. Check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about black tie formal wear.

    Also Check: Pawning Engagement Ring

    A Comprehensive Guide To Wedding Guest Attire

    Getting dressed for a wedding is no easy feat. If you haven’t been to many, you might not know much about acceptable attire. If you’ve been to a lot, the formality has likely varied at each, and even if it hasn’t, you probably don’t want to wear the exact same thing to every party. Before you start stressing, rummaging through your closet, or committing to a shopping spree, read through this handy guide. Whether you need the common dress codes decoded or just want some ideas for diversifying your look, you’ve come to the right place.

    For a rundown of the basics and some outfit recommendations, we spoke with etiquette expert Suzanne Pollak. We also consulted Alexis Corry, who owns menswear, womenswear, and bridal boutiques. Together, they shed light on appropriate wedding ensembles, and define the terms that you’ll likely need to know.

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