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What To Wear To A Cocktail Wedding

If The Invitation Asks For Cocktail Attire Men Should Wear:

What to Wear to a Wedding – Formal Wedding Guest Attire- 6 looks!
  • A dark to mid-gray suit
  • A button-down dress shirt in white or another muted color
  • A simple pocket square
  • Black dress shoes with a leather sole, such as oxfords
  • Over the calf socks that either match your trousers or pick up something in your outfit such as a color in your tie or bow tie
  • Of course, make sure you are clean shaven and you have a recent haircut
  • cocktail attire outfit variation 1 bleu suit, buff neckwear, white shirt, pale yellow pocket sqaure, shadow stripe socks and wholecuts in oxblood

    What To Do If You Underdress

    So, you showed up underdressed, perhaps in a more semi-formal look than a cocktail look. The first thing to do is not to panic! Ultimately, no one will be mad at you, and you might just feel awkward. There are a few things you can do to remedy this issue.

    For one, remove some accessories, especially things like sunglasses or large jewelry, like earrings. You could also add something extra, like a shawl, or a pocket square. Women might also want to put their hair in a chignon for a classier look. These are all little things you can do to refine your look.

    How Do I Know If Im Supposed To Be Wearing Cocktail Attire

    Aside from asking other guests about the dress code, invitations should give you direction. While some invitations might outright say cocktail attire, others will adhere to a dress code title. Here are the different dress codes you are most likely to see:

    White Tie:This is the most formal, typically tuxedos with coattails for men and full length gowns for women. These are very rare, more usual among celebrities or the very wealthy.

    Black TieThis calls for modern tuxedos for men , and full length dresses for women. In a pinch, you can get away with a black suit with a black tie.

    Cocktail Attire / Black Tie Optional:This is what this whole article is all about! Keep reading to know exactly how to dress for cocktail attire.

    Dressy or Business Casual:You can get by with cocktail attire for these weddings too . You also have the option to go a bit more casualfor men that means nixing the tie, possibly, and women may not have to wear heels.

    CasualMost often found at outdoor weddings, a casual dress code call for sundresses for women and khakis for men. If youre a guest of a beach, backyard, or otherwise unique wedding venue, you might need to go even more casual.

    What about Casual cocktail attire?

    Tip: Unless its a beach wedding, always stick with dress shoes. Your shoes can dress up an otherwise casual outfit.

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    What Do You Wear To A 4pm 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.

    Cocktail Wedding Attire Guide

    Cocktail Attire Wedding

    Going to a wedding where the dress code is cocktail attire? We have come up with a guide to help you determine what fashion qualifies for this occasion. Read on for outfit inspo.

    Cocktail attire, sometimes also referred to as semi-formal, is one of the most classic wedding dress codes, and it can be seen far and wide, from church and city hall weddings to backyard and beach wedding ceremonies. Its a safe bet for couples who would like their attendees to dress up a bit, without the event feeling too stuffy. It also gives a wedding guest attendees a lot of freedom so that they dont feel like they have to go buy a new outfit something to wear for the big day.

    So, what exactly does cocktail attire encompass? Though many retailers will likely have their own guide or reference , weve put together a few tips for achieving the ideal cocktail dress code look.

    Recommended Reading: How To Address Wedding Invitations With Family

    What To Wear To A Cocktail Attire Wedding

    Cocktail attire, also known as semi-formal, means wedding suits and ties are the name of the game and wearing a tuxedo would be what is called âoverdoing itâ. This wedding invitation means the host isnât a stiff traditionalist and isnât afraid to let loose a bit. That doesnât mean youâve been invited to a casual wedding, and you still need to suit up properly. This means getting your hands on a dress-code appropriate wedding suit.

    What are wedding suits? Perhaps theyâre easier to define by what they arenât. Wedding suits arenât business suits or rather, they arenât suits that are only appropriate for business. Theyâre not meant to be worn at your next big negotiation, and they arenât going to land you any big contractsso put away the dark pinstripe banker suits.

    Cocktail wedding attire also means you can also put away your black funeral suit, this event is a bit more festive. Instead opt for a suit thatâs a little lighter like a mid-toned blue or gray, if itâs a daytime wedding or one thatâs dark but has a subtle touch of sheen or texture if itâs an evening affair. Thatâs why we love sharkskin, herringbone, and birdseye patterns for wedding suits as they bring a bit of playful intrigue to your look.

    Any Notes On Accessories

    “Think statement jewellerybold, bright and fascinating. Leave the boring and safe at home and bring out the sparkly and playful pieces. For the ladies who prefer the simpler outfits, statement accessories are the perfect match,” said Nina.

    “Which brings us to the cocktail ring. This dramatic ring and its large centre stone is the quintessential cocktail wear accessory. Princess Diana set the scene with her stunning aquamarine cocktail ring, which we then later saw Meghan Markle showcase at her wedding reception. The bigger the better, when it comes to accessories.”

    “When it comes to bags, please leave the oversized tote bag at home and bring out your itsy-bitsy mini bag or clutch, which always reads elegance,” said Nina.

    “I always say for cocktail attire ‘more is more’, if you want to get noticed. That being said, limit the number of accessories. You don’t need to be dripping in statement pieces, just wear the one or two standout pieces that you absolutely love.”

    Read Also: Should I Insure A $3000 Ring

    Don’t: Wear Anything That Draws Unnecessary Attention

    Experts recommend avoiding any clothing item that exposes too much skin or is too flashy. When we say dress with the intent to be party ready, we’re not talking about going out to the clubs, says Nicole McCann of Exhale Events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ask yourself, If this was my big day would I want someone wearing this to my wedding or rehearsal dinner? As a general guide, she recommends wearing dresses that fall below your fingers when your arms are to your side and arent super low cut. Appropriate necklines and dress lengths help set the classy cocktail tone of any event, she adds.

    Cocktail Dress For Women

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    As stated above, the entire idea of cocktail attire is inspired by the classic womens cocktail dress. A cocktail dress is an elegant look that is usually knee-length.

    A cocktail dress can come in a variety of cuts, patterns and colors, and fabrics. This is a never-go-wrong look you will always look amazing in a carefully selected cocktail dress.

    If thats not your thing, you can go for a really tasteful jumpsuit or even a very nice pair of trousers and a blouse. These are things that all count as cocktail dress for women! As with anything, it needs to have an elegant vibe and be of nice quality.

    For example, this powder blue cocktail dress is stunning, appropriate, and modern, with clean lines and a soft color.

    For something in a colder temperature, you may be looking for something with sleeves. This structured LBD is really cool while still being good for an elegant winter look.

    If its important for you to keep your look a little sexy, you can try something like a silky slip dress. This look is still pretty tame, but is a bit more revealing than some others.

    For something a bit more formal, this sparkly look will make you feel like a walking disco ball! Beware, though the bride might be jealous of how much attention youre getting!

    Read Also: How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Family

    Play It On The Safe Side

    Lastly, even when expectations feel clear, theres no harm in being overdressed. If youre trying to decide between a tie or no tie, simply veer on the side of caution or bring one along, just in case. If youre bouncing between a flowy summer dress and a slightly more formal shift, maybe go for the latter .

    Beach Wedding Attire For Female Guests

    Below is a collection of beautiful beach wedding dresses for guests. We love all of these dresses because they are the ideal length, colors, and fabrics to keep you looking and feeling great as a beach wedding guest. Click the arrow on the right to see more images. When you find something you like, click on it for more details.

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    Dont: Overdo The Jewelry

    As youre putting together your outfit for a cocktail attire wedding, Applegate recommends deciding what you want to be the star for that night, as the rest of the items you pair with it will be the supporting cast. You cannot have more than one star in your outfit or it becomes overwhelming, she says. For example, if you want a large necklace to be the one statement piece, pair it with a dress or jumpsuit with a neckline that will work to enhance its appeal. Do not then put on a pair of large earrings with the large necklace, thoughits just too much! adds Applegate.

    What To Wear To A Beach Wedding: Women

    What to Wear to A Cocktail Attire Wedding
    • If the invitation indicates that you should wear beach formal attire, then a long, elegant gown is perfectly appropriate.
    • Semi-formal beach attire calls for short or tea length dresses, which are great because they wont drag in the sand, plus they transition beautifully to a reception venue held at a restaurant or oceanfront hotel.
    • Are you wondering what to wear to a casual beach wedding? Our advice is a nice Maxi dress. A maxi dress is loose fitting, especially around the bottom of the dress so you can easily sweep it across the sand and brush it clean on land for a seaside reception.

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    Pro Style Tips And Basic Principles To Perfect Your Cocktail Look

    Weve reached out to a panel of expert stylists and fashion advisers to ask for their recommendations on the cocktail attire dress code. Here are their tips to help you look great when dressing for a special occasion:

  • Start with your goals. This will form the backbone of your style. Do you want to project an air of assurance? Do you want to show that you care about an occasion and dressed up accordingly? Or do you prefer to prioritise comfort?
  • Dress accordingly and with consistency. Pick an outfit that will help you achieve your goals. When dressing for a party, men should also consider what their usual business attire is and maintain a degree of consistency with their usual look.
  • A few timeless items are worth investing more in. Some items in your wardrobe wont last for more than a season. You shouldnt spend too much on those. But others will stay with you for years. Thats particularly the case with your suit and your watch. Decide which pieces you want to keep and invest in quality over quantity.
  • Cover your bases. When starting to build up your wardrobe, begin first with neutral colours such as black, white, navy, tan, grey and brown for your outfit. Those are all easy to mix and match and will never go out of fashion.
  • What Is Cocktail Attire

    Cocktail attire is a balance between formal and casual and elegant and comfortable. To an event with this dress code, such as a wedding, men typically wear a suit and tie while women wear a cocktail dress.

    Cocktail attire is meant to bridge the gap between day and night, explains bridal consultant LauraLee Baird. It is still an occasion to dress up, but a full-length gown is not necessary. This merges the silhouette of a garden party dress with the fabric and embellishments of a formal gown. Think somewhere between a sophisticated formal occasion and office or party wear, adds Alena Kate Pettitt, author of English Etiquette: The Motivation Behind the Manners.

    Still, with so much ambiguity, cocktail attire could mean different things depending on the venue, the time of day, and the season. Read on to learn more about deciphering this common wedding dress code.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Plan Wedding

    Can I Wear A Cocktail Dress To A Wedding

    A cocktail dress is versatile and can be worn to most formal events, even formal black-tie gatherings, provided that it is fashionable and meets all the requirements of the black-tie society. If you wear a cocktail dress to an award ceremony, a fundraiser, or a wedding, you look just as stylish.

    What To Know About Cocktail Wedding Receptions

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    1.tell your guests what to expect

    This one is first because its simultaneously the least and most obvious aspect of planning a cocktail reception: your guests need to know. This can be as simple as stating cocktail reception and cake to follow on your invites, but if you know a lot of people prone to getting hangry, you may want to gently remind them that they wont be getting dinner at your reception. As someone who is definitely prone to getting hangry, I thank you.

    2. app stations are a good idea

    So maybe it sounds like having servers carry around trays of delicious food is a good idea, but if the trays of food are the ONLY food at your party, then it might not work out. Basically whenever a tray is presented the server will probably be immediately besieged by guests who are looking for food, and most of your appetizers will never make it much further than the kitchen door. Setting up app stations allows guests to get food as they please.

    3. mix up your seating options

    Youll want to have a mixture of hi-top cocktail style tables and regular tables and chairs. Generally speaking, grandparents will almost always want to sit and your friends will pretty much always be cool with standing, but you never know for sure . But its important to consider mobility issues/comfort requirements beyond those of your elderly guests . In any case, make sure there is enough seating for guests to rotate through. Even twenty-somethings get tired feet.

    7. Your guests might get bored

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