The fashion designer Christian Dior first used the name “cocktail dress” in the late 1940s to describe a semi-formal dress worn in the early evening. In later years, the basis for a cocktail dress wasn’t by its length but its sumptuousness. Moving on to later in the 20th century, cocktail dresses began to be referred to as “dancing costumes” suitable for formal dances but not balls, where ball gowns would be worn instead.
The length of cocktail dresses does vary on fashion and general custom on the event, ranging from a few inches above the knee to touching the ankle. This range is usually called the ballerina length or tea length, although ballerina dresses are usually considered evening dresses.
Also known as “festival attire” or “creative black tie”, the cocktail dress is paired with accessories, hairstyles and jewelry that are usually more attention getting than and flashy than other styles of formal wear. Cocktail dresses for women have more emphasis on appeal to the opposite sex than formal, and cocktail dresses tend to be more form fitting. After buying cocktail dresses online, pair them with some fancy dress shoes, like blue pumps or an embellished pair of flats, and a small silver or gold handbag or clutch.
For a business occasion, cocktail attire is usually not suitable. Unless you tone it down, it’s a better idea to go more formal. Be careful about not showing too much skin, and wearing more subdued colors. A wool dress with stockings is a good choice, or a more revealing dress under a cardigan.
Note: all of our inexpensive cocktail dresses are original designs, and unlike other websites, dressesforus.com sends the dress exactly the same as the pictures you’ll see here.
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