What is Cocktail Attire

What Is Cocktail Attire Dress Code?

Cocktail attire is arguably the leader of all wedding dress codes, but when deciding what to wear as a guest, the popular choice can get tricky. With the help of a few etiquette experts, we’ve taken the guesswork out so you can choose an outfit with confidence.

What Is Cocktail Attire?

Cocktail attire is a balance between formal and casual and elegant and comfortable. At an event with this dress code, such as a wedding, men typically wear a suit and tie while women wear a cocktail dress.

“Cocktail attire is meant to bridge the gap between day and night,”

Explains bridal consultant, Laura Lee Baird

“It is still an occasion to dress up, but a full-length gown is not necessary. This merges the silhouette of a garden party dress (shorter) with the fabric and embellishments of a formal gown.”

Laura added

Think somewhere between a sophisticated formal occasion and office or party wear, adds Alena Kate Pettitt, author of English Etiquette: The Motivation Behind the Manners.

Still, with so much ambiguity, cocktail attire could mean different things depending on the venue, the time of day, and the season. Read on to learn more about deciphering this common wedding dress code.