What to wear to a wedding in cocktail attire according to fashion stylists

Dress codes can be complicated, so we break down the basics.

<p>Getty Images</p>
<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/YDaB8wqPLtgZOwvX4aPu6g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/bceb0d5718938a33eb64ef83b2160522″/><noscript><img alt=Getty Images

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/YDaB8wqPLtgZOwvX4aPu6g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/bceb0d5718938a33eb64ef83b2160522″ class=”caas -img”/>

In the hierarchy of wedding dress codes, “cocktail” is by far the lowest.

In this context, the word “cocktail” loses all meaning. You dream of alcoholic beverages garnished with fruit, but in reality, these delicious drinks have nothing to do with this ambiguous dress code. If you think a happy hour outfit is enough for a cocktail dress wedding, you’re wrong. However, if you’re leaning towards formal wear? Well, you’re wrong again.

So, where is the happy medium? Is here happy medium? Or are we stuck pondering this hideous fashion question for the rest of time?


These are the types of questions that keep cocktail wedding attendees up at night. These are also the questions we asked the experts so we can finally get some sleep and dress appropriately for this kind of occasion.

“Nothing brings people together like a vague dress code,” says Rahimah Yoba In the style, unironically. The celebrity stylist and costume designer explains that cocktail attire has evolved over the years and will likely continue to evolve with current events such as the pandemic, conversations about gender and pronouns, as well as the introduction of virtual reality and metaversion.

“[Cocktail attire] is now a blend of comfort and ease with shimmering glitter and gender-neutral silhouettes,” Yoba says of the dress code. “It’s fun, fluid and fashionable with an undertone of individuality.”

<p>Getty Images</p>
<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/i5TErShCvnOzY_SP5gRFzg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/6fc5389794a765833b6af6b9231eea7d”/><noscript><img alt=Getty Images

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/i5TErShCvnOzY_SP5gRFzg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/6fc5389794a765833b6af6b9231eea7d” class=”caas -img”/>

If you’re looking for a more cut-and-dry definition, celebrity styling duo Danielle and Alix sum up cocktail attire as “a balance between formal and casual.” It’s elevated, appropriate and gives participants more freedom to play with their looks.


“[It’s not as] conservative like the black tie dress code,” the pair tells InStyle. “You can go for costumes, interesting silhouettes, bright colors and exceptional accessories.”

Is the fog starting to clear?

If these definitions are still too vague, we’ve done our due diligence. Fashion experts provide detailed examples of cocktail wedding guest attire ahead. Hopefully they’ll provide some much-needed inspiration if you answered yes to this dress code and are now standing in front of your closet wondering what to wear.

Try the tea dress

<p>Getty Images</p>
<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/MLqCpNaWnZlAGcV_A7qoSg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/7cc25da2ab68234254fa7c0825b650d1″/><noscript><img alt=Getty Images

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/MLqCpNaWnZlAGcV_A7qoSg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/7cc25da2ab68234254fa7c0825b650d1″ class=”caas -img”/>

Tea hems fall below the knee, but above the ankle, somewhere around mid-calf. Narrated by celebrity stylist Dani Michelle (who currently works with DSW). In the style this style of dressing in fabrics like satin, silk, crepe or velvet is her favorite for events where the dress code is cocktail attire.

“A tea-length dress is the perfect moment to show off a really special shoe,” the stylist says of the style. “Brands like Khaite, Galvan and Alex Perry have a beautiful range in their collection from fitted to loose.

: Wearing dresses in winter is easy (and warm) with these 5 outfit ideas

Think small

<p>Getty Images</p>
<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Ddh70hs4baYV6oSdoNIBxA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/a628c631d7fac4b0598d08ce0cefb61c”/><noscript><img alt=Getty Images

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Ddh70hs4baYV6oSdoNIBxA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/a628c631d7fac4b0598d08ce0cefb61c” class=”caas -img”/>

If you don’t already have something suitable in your wardrobe, says Dani Michelle In the style one of her smart tricks is to take a party dress that feels like you’re wearing too much and shorten it. Reinventing the cocktail dress number will breathe new life into a favorite tired wardrobe.

“I even love ankle boots with a cocktail dress to make it a little sexier and less formal,” she says. “DSW has endless options for both strappy and cocktail shoes.”


Stick to the classic formula

<p>Getty Images</p>
<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/b8TtP0w2oOyZMmWzXSme6g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/7b7ea745733d7aa26628c56406d1b0c1″/><noscript><img alt=Getty Images

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/b8TtP0w2oOyZMmWzXSme6g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/7b7ea745733d7aa26628c56406d1b0c1″ class=”caas -img”/>

Danielle and Alix narrate In the style their pattern for “cocktail wear” is a midi dress plus a special shoe and bag.

“This structure feels timeless and feminine and allows some personality to shine through. Some shoe designers we love for this type of occasion include Rene Caovilla (specifically their snake wraps!) and Sophia Webster; their heels can brighten up any simple dress. Along with that, we are big fans of Judith Leiber’s new products and Paco Rabanne’s iconic glittery bags.”

Swap the dress for a suit

<p>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/RcqmSA8IL5IUfFjBRyvKNQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/28f1b8b7026ec67f528afffbfcdbd909″/><noscript><img alt=Getty

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/RcqmSA8IL5IUfFjBRyvKNQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/instyle_846/28f1b8b7026ec67f528afffbfcdbd909″ class=”caas -img”/>

“Formal wear and tailored suits are now seen in the same environment as edgy, oversized women’s pantsuits and deconstructed blouses,” says Yoba. That said, if you’re not a fan of the dress, no problem. If you’re opting for a structured pantsuit instead of a dress, the stylist says all you need to do is accessorize with sparkling jewelry to elevate the look, which will instantly take it from day to cocktail attire.

For more InStyle news, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on InStyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *