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Cocktail attire is a type of fashion that is worn at a semi-formal occasion. This attire is somewhere in between formal wear and casual wear. It may be worn to a party, certain restaurants or bars, weddings, or an event like a dance or ball. It is a good option for work-related events or parties, as well as situations where you want to appear professional. Cocktail attire will differ for men and women.

For men, cocktail attire may consist of a basic suit in a dark, basic color. The tie is not required, although it can be worn for a more professional look. Other appropriate pieces could include a sports jacket, blazer, or crisp dress shirt. A professional sweater or vest could also suffice for a top. Any of these other options should be paired with pressed dress pants in a suitable color, such as navy, black, gray, or khaki. Any clothing should be in good condition, free of holes or noticeable stains. Shoes for cocktail attire should be solid color work shoes or boots.

For women, cocktail attire can mean many things. The most basic option is a black cocktail dress. Many women have that “little black dress”, and that is perfectly acceptable for cocktail attire as long as it is not too revealing. Cocktail attire should not be much shorter than knee-length. Dresses with no back or cut out sides should also be avoided, as these may not look professional. Always try to choose a cocktail dress that fits well and is comfortable.

Women can also a pair of nice slacks with something like a sweater or blouse for cocktail attire. Women have more color options than men, but all colors or patterns should be appropriate and easy on the eye. For women, shoes could be a pair of solid high heels, basic boots, or a pair of nice flats. Sneakers and sandals are typically not appropriate for cocktail attire. Elegant jewelry can supplement the outfit, but anything too flashy should be avoided. A small handbag or purse is usually recommended, such as a clutch purse or evening bag.