Cocktail dresses solve the wardrobe questions between casual and formal. They look festive and fun, and they are appropriate for informal weddings and parties. Cocktail dresses also look great for a date.
The flapper dresses of the 1920s serve as the predecessors of the cocktail dress. Around 1940, Christian Dior introduced the early evening dress, and called it a cocktail dress. These dresses had a hemline that reached just above the ankle.
Today the cocktail dress hemline runs from just above the knee to ankle length. The longer lengths have traditionally been worn for semi-formal occasions. In the past, a woman would not have worn a cocktail dress in the afternoon, but that is no longer necessarily the case.
The Little Black Dress
A woman’s wardrobe would not be complete without the little black dress. They are very stylish and appropriate for almost any occasion. It is generally knee length or shorter. It may have lace and beading embellishments. It may be sleeveless. The little black dress comes with limitless enhancements and infinite varieties, but above all it makes the wearer elegant. Its simplicity and elegance are based on the 1920 designs of Coco Chanel.
Givenchy designed the little black dress popularized by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Just about every woman now has one of these dresses in her closet, and wears it for special occasions.
In addition to countless designs, cocktail dresses are readily available and affordable. Most department stores and online retailers offer them. They can also be purchased from consignment shops and vintage clothing stores.
Cocktail dresses span the gap between casual and formal attire. They can be fun and flirty or offer elegance and mystery. They have been a part of women’s wardrobes for almost a century, and yet they’re still in vogue.