How To Dress For A Cocktail Party In London

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How To Dress For A Cocktail Party In London
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So the invitation has finally arrived and it says “cocktail dress”. But what does that actually mean. When it comes to dressing for a cocktail party in London, people often break out in a cold sweat. Since cocktail parties are often important social events in London like wedding receptions, corporate parties, or product launches, dressing right is essential to make a statement. And if you are hosting a party at cocktail party venues in London, dressing right becomes even more important as you will be in the limelight. Figure it out how to dress for a cocktail party.


Half the battle is won when the dress code is given in the invitation but when it is not, it causes anxiety. Here are some lovely dress ideas for ladies to look glamorous yet elegant.

Bond Girl
Want to catch the attention of all guests? Then try the Bond girl look. Bond girls have been wowing the audience since so long. Go for a classic evening dress in black or vibrant red and take the centre stage. A thigh-high split will make you look extra glamorous and gorgeous. You can also go for a plunging neckline. And diamonds are forever girls. To complete your look, wear lush-worthy diamond jewellery and high heels.

Writing about cocktail dresses and forgetting the little black dress is not right. Here little doesn’t necessarily mean teeny-tiny dress. The usual length of a cocktail dress is few inches above the ankle to above the knees. Keep comfort in mind when choosing your dress. High-low side style LBD looks great rather than a skin-tight short dress.

Stand Out Girl
If it’s a casual affair, why not match your dress with the party mood. Dress in a sleek and playful coloured dress that says loud “let’s get the party started”. Black works well but why not stand out from the rest with a vibrant dress in jewel tones like deep plum, emerald green, or ruby red.

Modern partiers are steering away from the traditional cocktail dresses and opting for something that’s a little different. Why not step in style wearing a skirt. Not just any skirt but a shimmery pencil skirt.

To complete your look, make sure to accessorise. But, also keep in mind to not overdo it. Wear one or two items that are necessary. If you have a favourite pair of dangling earrings, it’s the best time to use them. You can also wear a bracelet that goes well with your dress. Also, carry a clutch that you can hold while drinking.

Because you will be spending most of your time standing on your feet at the cocktail party, it’s important to consider comfort. You can wear flats or heels as per your wish. Stilettoes are a great option for the evening but if you are looking for something comfortable, kitten heels are great too. You can coordinate your heels with your clutch to make a statement. Peep toe pumps also look great with cocktail party dresses.

Adding a bit of colour to your dress is a great way to look gorgeous and different. Don’t overdo colour as you need to create a well put together look. Wear dresses in neutral colours that set off your eyes, hair colour, or your skin tone. Or, you can pair your dress with accessories in bold jewel tones like ruby red, burnt orange, aqua, or gold. A black dress with red heels will make you look extra glamorous and yet elegant.

As the sun sets, you can never go wrong with shimmery foundation. It gives you a radiant look perfect for a cocktail party. For eye makeup, complement your little black dress with smoky eyes. Use gunmetal eye shadow to create the right look. Smoky eye makeup works best with blue eyes. For green and brown eyes, you can try plum-based eye shadows. If it’s a summer cocktail party, you can try rainbow eye makeup and take the party up a notch. Complete your make up with a bright glossy lipstick that gels well with your look.


  • To get an idea for what to wear, think about your invitation. If you received a formal invitation, chances are that it’s a formal affair. If you got invited on phone or email, it may be a semi-formal or casual affair.
  • If you are lucky to have a full-length sequined gown, keep it for a different occasion. Your cocktail dress should be from mini to above the ankles.
  • If the cocktail party is in the afternoon, wear a printed A-line sundress and steal the show.
  • Keep the weather and venue in mind when choosing the fabric. If the party is outdoors under the shining sun, avoid fabrics like satin and velvet. But these work great for cocktail parties in winters or indoor evening celebrations.

Whether you are a host or attendee, make a statement with your lovely cocktail dress. These ideas and tips will help you get that party perfect look.

Author’s Bio: Komal is a veteran writer who works for The City Collection. This website lists down wonderful venues for hire in London for corporate as well as private events.

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