Many of you wonder at times what does “cocktail attire” means and what kind of dress code is it. Now if you have received any invitation with these two taglines, you don’t need to panic, just relax and understand what it is actually.
What is cocktail attire
It denotes a dress code which is intended for semi-formal or somewhat relaxed kind of events and occasions. It was the era of the 20s and 30s when cocktail attire became popular when the affluent, fashionable households made it a regular affair like holding pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the period between day and evening.
This duration was known as the “cocktail hour” which started at 6 p.m. and the young men who were indulged in these occasions needed to change their dressing from heavily formal outfit to a much-relaxed dressing. In modern day language, you can also term it as “after 5 attire”. But there are some rules that you need to follow rigidly while donning cocktail attire for any occasion.
Rules for Cocktail Attire
A tailored suit or blazer is top on the list when it comes to choosing semi-formal cocktail attires. Dark solid toned suits or grayish jackets and pants are the appropriate choices for such events. The suit must fit your body but must not tightly hug you so that you can have a relaxed body movement. Pocket square complements the silhouette of your clothing with a place to accessorize it with a hanky. Tuxedo and jeans are totally forbidden for any cocktail attire event.
Lightly shaded shirts, preferably white goes perfectly well for cocktail attires, but the use of muted colors with bold patterns is also accepted. Anything bright or flashy is not at all suitable for semi-formal dress code.
Choose ties which are of subtle patterns or plain in the case of cocktail party events. You can go for the bow tie as well, or you can skip wearing the tie altogether.
Coming to the shoes, they should be neat as well. Polished dress shoes are the ultimate choice for this semi formal cocktail attire. For the safe bet on socks, keep it matching with the color of your pants or with the color of your tie.
Cocktail Chic Attire
The ensemble of cocktail chic attire for men mainly includes dark colored suits and ties. For normal cocktail party, bright colors or accessories are somewhat acceptable but if it is a business cocktail party event you should restrain from wearing anything flashy.
Cocktail Attire Wedding
Now if you are peeping into your wardrobe to choose what exactly you need to wear at a cocktail wedding celebration, then here are some suggestions that will make you look different from the crowd. A dark suit with blue or gray color will be perfect, but you can also don a medium to dark brown suit.
If you are feeling bored of wearing solid colored shirts, then you can opt for a checked shirt with spread collars. Pinstripes suit are a big no-no for such occasion. Accessorize your clothing with a decent leather belt and watch. Don’t make the mistake of slipping into loafers while donning cocktail attire for wedding. Instead, a pair of black or brown oxford shoes will fit your bill of footwear, and you will be ready for the event.
Cocktail Attire for Different Seasons
The pattern remains almost the same; however, there are some alterations keeping the seasonal change as well as your comfort in mind while wearing the outfit.
Linen clothing allows some breathing space for you instead of stuffing you in. Light-colored shades should be given preference during the summer and spring season so that the heat does not punish you. Dark colored suits are appropriate for winter cocktail attires.
Festive Cocktail Attire
Some relaxations are there in this type of cocktail attire etiquette since it is associated with casual occasions like pool-side parties. Only in such events, you can wear jeans provided it is of dark color with sports jackets or blazers. In case it is held after hours, then you should opt for a suit. You can slip into loafers for footwear, but it would be better if you opt for polished laced shoes.
Men’s Semi Formal Attire
The semi-formal cocktail attire resembles the formal attire to a large extent. This type of dressing involves wearing dark shaded suits, but you can still go for the option of wearing the suit with vest.
Colors favored for such kind of clothing style are navy blue, charcoal color as well as dark gray. Ties are not obligatory but if you wear it, ensure that it complements the suit and shirt you are wearing. Bow ties or neck ties both adequately fit the attire.
So next time whenever the invitation card says “Cocktail Attire” don’t start banging your head on the wall wondering what it means. Instead just keep the above guidelines in mind and dress up yourself in the most fashionable way that you become the showstopper of the event.