A cocktail dress has been designed for black tie events, semi-formal occasions and cocktail parties. The length of the dress depends on local custom and fashion but it can range from above your knee to just over the ankles. If the length is around a couple of inches over the ankle, it is termed as tea length. When it reaches down to the ankles, it is referred to as ballerina length. There are also designs that were especially made for smaller women, which are termed as petite evening dresses.


The name cocktail dress was first coined by Christian Dior in late 1940s, which he uses to call early evening attires. The most distinguishing differences between a cocktail dress and a formal gown are the following:

  • Lushness of the fabrics
  • Extra trimmings that are used in sewing them
  • length of the dress

dazzling tulle strapless a line cocktail dress with short fluffy skirt

Cocktail dresses are made with cheaper fabrics, shorter and typically have fewer ornaments than floor length gowns. If you are going to opt for a formal gown, which is also referred to as formal evening wear, it could easily cost you from several hundreds to a few thousand dollars. This is enough to make many women think twice about purchasing something that they will only use once or twice. Cocktail dresses offer a more affordable option and they are stylish enough to be worn on various occasions.

Some of the fabrics that are used for a cocktail dress include taffeta, silk, cotton, satin, polyester blends and denim. An easy to care fabric that is resistant to stain has an appeal to most women, especially those that are hand or machine washable. However, most of the stains that can get to your cocktail dress may be dotted away easily with seltzer water and clean cloth. This must be done before the stain sets itself in fully and ruin the dress.

Popular Styles

Some of the popular styles that are available for cocktail dresses are the following:

  • Cutaway cuties
  • Halter hot selections
  • Sassy strapless picks
  • Skinny strap dazzlers
  • Sleeveless and ruffled inspirations
  • Tiered thrillers
  • Weaved wonders

lovely purple short one shoulder neck and natural waistline printed cocktail dress

When it comes to the trendiest colors for the season, you will not make a mistake with black as it is always in fashion. Red, on the other hand, would always get you noticed. Other great colors include blackberry, cherry, aqua, coral, fern cream, fuchsia, iris, grape, kiwi, sunflower, lilac, pink peach, powder blue, silver teal and floral. Choosing the colors will depend on your personality and individual taste. With this information about cocktail dresses, you can now choose your desired style wisely and fashionably.