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Cocktail attire is a standard dress code for parties and evening functions. For women, cocktail attire typically calls for a dress that finishes at or above the knees and high heels. Although cocktail looks should always appear sophisticated, they can also be fun and embrace exciting colours, embellishments, cuts, and unique accessories.
Cocktail attire is usually described as less formal than formal attire, but not too casual. Similar to but usually slightly less formal than semi-formal attire, it typically means a dark suit or slacks and a sport coat for men, and a cocktail dress or nice blouse and skirt for women.
Cocktail attire is likely to be one of the more frequent dress codes most men encounter because it falls in the middle of casual and formal, but it is also one of the most convenient because it is made up of garments and accessories that most men likely already own.
Cocktail dresses were tailormade for fancy events in the early 19th century. And, just like everything else, cocktail dresses are not just confined to just the most expensive closets anymore. It bridged a huge gap and answered a lot of questions on what to wear for weddings, engagement parties, reunions, etc. during the day or less formal yet prim clothing for evening parties.
Put simply, men’s cocktail attire is a dress code telling you to dress up for an occasion. It isn’t a very well-defined dress code, however. As a result, you have a little bit of freedom as to how you want to execute the style.
Cocktail attire has widened beyond the scope of just dresses. Jumpsuits, like this satin emerald-colored option Blake Lively is wearing, work when the fabric is fancy and the look, rich.
Most commonly, cocktail attire is requested at weddings, holiday parties, retirement celebrations, school reunions, anniversary, and engagement parties. The key word is, of course, party. Cocktail attire is meant to be worn for fun, dressy events that are celebratory in nature.
What Is Men’s Cocktail Attire? Cocktail attire for men takes on various forms, but the easiest way to think of it is to treat it as the “optional” portion of the black tie optional dress code. To be more specific, it’s typically safe to opt for a dark suit, light shirt, rich tie, and dark, well-shined shoes.
Cocktail Party At The Imperial Hotel, 1961 After World War I, the idea of the “working woman” became popular. Since 1929, it was more common to see women in a social atmosphere. With the help of liberation organizations, the idea of a "modern woman" began to rise, and soon the "drinking woman" could be seen in business settings. Companies increasingly hosted cocktail parties to have an entertaining environment for employees and customers to mingle. These parties usually began after 5:00 P.M. Since guests are expected to walk around and meet people, clothes made for these occasions are often functional and comfortable. A cocktail dress could be worn to any event in the late afternoon as long as the accessories matched the time of day. This practical and fashionable garment became a popular uniform for progressive elite women in the 1920s.
Formal wear, formal attire or full dress is the traditional Western dress code category applicable for the most formal occasions, such as weddings, christenings, confirmations, funerals, Easter and Christmas traditions, in addition to certain audiences, balls, and horse racing events. Formal attire is traditionally divided into formal day and evening attire; implying morning dress before 6 p.m., and white tie (dress coat) afterwards. Generally permitted other alternatives, though, are the most formal versions of ceremonial dresses (including court dresses, diplomatic uniforms and academic dresses), full dress uniforms, religious clothing, national costumes, and most rarely frock coats. In addition, formal attire may be instructed to be worn with official orders and medals. With background in the 19th century, the protocol indicating particularly men's formal attire have remained virtually unchanged since the early 20th century, and remains observed so in certain settings influenced by Western culture: notably around Europe, the Americas, and Australia, as well as Japan.
Western dress codes are dress codes in Western culture about what clothes are worn in what setting. Classifications are traditionally divided into formal attire (full dress), semi-formal attire (half dress), and informal attire, with the first two sometimes in turn divided into day and evening wear. A level below these are sometimes referred to as casual attire, often in combinations such as "smart casual" or "business casual" in order to indicate higher expectation than none at all. The more formal traditional Western dress code interpretations - that is formal i.e. "white tie" and semi-formal i.e. "black tie" - have remained highly codified for men with essentially fixed definitions mostly unchanged since the 20th century with roots in 19th century customs. For women, though, changes in fashion have been more dynamic. Yet, although casual inventions, combinations and reinterpretations of the classifications have occurred and fluctuated, the general formal traditions have persisted for more than a century. Dress codes are sometimes explicitly instructed, expected by peer pressure, or followed intuitively. As with other cultures, versions of ceremonial dresses, military uniforms, religious clothing, academic dresses, and national dresses appropriate to the formality level are generally permitted and worn as exceptions to the uniformity, often in the form of headgear (see biretta, kippa etc.). Conversely, since most cultures have at least intuitively applied some level equivalent to the more formal ones in Western dress code traditions, the latter's versatile framework open to amalgation of international and local customs have influenced its competativeness as international standard range from formal to casual.