Cocktail Attire: Women's Edition

What does it all mean? Dress codes are something that I think aren't talked about enough, and often cause panic and stress when deciding what to wear.

This post is about 'cocktail attire' as the holiday season approaches and most of my clients wonder what is appropriate. Plus I recently had the pleasure of dressing a client, the stunning actress Pilar Holland {whom you've probably seen in episodes of Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and even the popular Farmers Insurance commercial} for the Carney Awards. So when we set out to find the right piece to fit cocktail attire dress code, it got me thinking that many aren't even sure what that means.

When assisting her in keeping to the 'cocktail attire' dress code for the event, there are several key do's and don'ts to follow:

Do: Keep hemlines and necklines appropriate.

Floor length gowns, though they can be appropriate when considering material and the overall construction of the dress, would be considered more formal. The general rule of thumb is mini, midi, or a great length in between, like the dress we chose for Pilar.

Don't: Wear anything too non-dressy

Cocktail attire is meant to be worn for celebratory events and should be fun and dressy in nature. This dress is the perfect combo of fun and dressy! With such a stunning jeweled detailed waistline on this piece, the neckline was sleek, and though sheer on top, the overall look kept the feel young and chic, while still being a classic piece.

Do: Carry a clutch

You're going for elegant and refined, so a clutch does just that. Plus it can be your standout accessory as we did here. Again, because the dress was the statement, the clutch tied in the blue jewels of the waistline and the jewelry was kept minimal for an elegant and chic look.

Don't: Carry an oversized bag

This was easy being she was on the carpet, but you want to keep your accessories, especially your bag minimal and streamlined.

Do: Wear heels.

Whether a stiletto, block heel, or kitten heel, a little lift goes a long way for a more formal venue. I know some ladies aren't fond of heels, so opting for a kitten heel or even a more notable flat can be appropriate.

Don't: Wear casual shoes.

I'm a huge fan of sneaks with dresses, but I think it goes unsaid that this is not an appropriate venue for such a look.

More Do's:

Wear sleek trousers

Wear a statement piece

Wear short dresses that are party ready

Most importantly to remember is comfort. If you don't feel comfortable in your choice, you will most definitely not feel confident. The key is striking a balance between comfort and confidence, so choose something that represents your style, but elevates that style. For example, if you love a sleek black midi dress, go for a sheer detail, or a shorter hemline.

This dress we chose for Pilar was perfect because it strikes a balance between classic LBD and young, chic and interesting.

Here are a few great pieces for your upcoming holiday cocktail parties...

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