Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How to Dress for a Cocktail Party - Women

Cocktail parties are the perfect occasion for the famous little black dress. Whatever your attire, keep it dressy and elegant, but not too formal.

1. Think about your invitation. If it came by phone or e-mail, chances are it's a more casual affair. If you received a formal invitation, and especially if the event benefits a charity or association, consider it a dressier affair.

2. Choose dress and skirt lengths from mini to just above the ankles. Save anything resembling a full-length sequined gown for a different occasion.

3. Choose fabric according to the season. Wool and wool blends are perfect for fall and winter; satin, silk, rayon and fine-gauge knits are great for the spring and summer months. These materials can be dressed up or down with jewelry, handbags, shoes, wraps and hairstyles.

4. Attend a more formal after-work party in a business suit, or if you wear more casual clothes to work, bring an outfit to change into. A black wool dress with stockings and pumps is a simple solution for fall or winter. Pair a strapless or spaghetti-strap dress with an embroidered cardigan and slingback pumps or strappy sandals for a spring or summer event.

5. Head to a more casual after-work gathering in a dressy-casual outfit. Pair a wool skirt with a fitted turtleneck and leather flats for winter parties. Consider a fine-knit twinset, slim satin pants and low-heeled mules in the summer.

6. Wear a printed A-line sundress to a cocktail party on a weekend afternoon. A party scheduled for a weekend evening warrants a more flirty or elegant ensemble. Pair a colorful satin or silk empire-waist dress with a velvet or silk shoulder wrap.

7. Accessorize. Show off your gold charm bracelet or favorite pair of dangling earrings. Match hair adornments and a handbag to the motif, material or colors in your outfit.

Colors such as gray, crimson, black, dark brown and dark blue flatter for evening, fall and winter events. During the summer and spring, consider florals and seasonal shades like light pink, sky blue, pale green, pale yellow and other pastels.

Choose a dress that flatters your figure'don't squeeze into a dress that's too tight or low-cut.

You can get your cocktail dresses here



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