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We've Listed 40 Ideas For The Perfect Cocktail Outfit!

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - July 13, 2020 14 min read

Wedding invitations have a funny way of sneaking up on us, always arriving in the mail when we are least prepared for a celebration. Besides, a single wedding equates to about a hundred different outfits, one for each of the endless functions lined up by the bride and groom. One such wedding shindig that manages to invoke the feelings of excitement and fashion anxiety in equal measure, is that of a cocktail party. You want to be formal, but not too formal. You want to achieve the perfect balance of sexy and classy. And as any woman who's willed herself to not cry while hunting for the perfect cocktail dresses would know, none of that is easy in the slightest

 

But, thank God we exist, right? Because this is the guide where your quest for the best cocktail dresses, ends. We've lined up a list of 40 unique cocktail dress ideas and trendy cocktail attires, that will help you pick the best from the best! From a retro cocktail dress to bohemian style cocktail dresses, and from a midi formal dress to chic cocktail jackets, all of it is right here, under one blog. So without further ado, let's get into this lookbook of 40 trendy cocktail outfit ideas, perfect for the next cocktail event on your calendar. 

 

Glamorous Cocktail Dresses 

 

1. Frills And Sheer Lace

One of those unique cocktail dresses that are sure to turn a number of heads, this bombshell number comes with ultra-dainty details like sheer lace, and lots of frills! So if you are in the mood to get all dolled up, opt for a dress in a muted warm colour, and one that comes with delicate ruffles and a fitted bodice. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

2. Kimono Sleeves & Glitter All Over

We absolutely love this cocktail dress, because of its perfect balance of a simple silhouette, and an eyeball-grabbing material. This dress is all about the mood to party, and if you want to be the showstopper at your next cocktail event, a dress with glitter is always a great idea. Keep the rest of the look simple, and your makeup subtly nude, and let the dress be the centrepiece. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

3. Deep V-Neck & Long Puff Sleeves

So glam, elegant and classy, all in equal measure. We especially love the faux-wrap front, and the deep v-neck,  both of which are immensely flattering for your collar bones and shoulder. The long puff sleeves add to the allure of this fancy cocktail dress, and the crimson red colour is perfect for all Indian skin tones. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

4. Metallic Plisse, Tiers & One-Shoulder 

Talking about glamorous cocktail dresses, we can't really give a metallic sheen and multiple tiers a miss now, can we? The wrap one-shoulder neckline is supremely graceful, and the minimal yet catchy silver plisse fabric is absolutely gorgeous. Matching earrings, and a simple high-knot bun are all you need with this dress to stand apart from the crowd! 

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Image Courtesy - Koovs

 

5. Plunge Neck & Side Slit 

If you're tired of googling sexy cocktail dresses that also happen to be extremely elegant, this is where your hunt ends. This dress is the perfect prototype for a demure, yet spectacular dress in an asymmetrical silhouette that flatters all the right places. We love the ochre-yellow colour of this satin number and the side slit adds that extra oomph! 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

Bohemian Cocktail Dresses 

 

1. Embroidered Lace & Long Sleeves

If boho is the word you'd use, to sum up your personal style, this is one of the best cocktail dresses you will come across on the inter-verse. From the delicate colour combination of peach and white to the lace material embroidered in a floral pattern, and from the wrap-around cut to the asymmetrical hem, this bohemian style cocktail dress has us beyond drooling! We also absolutely adore the peasant style full sleeves, that add to the femininity and elegance of this beautiful cocktail number. 

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Image Courtesy - Seamido 

 

2. Flared Sleeves & Crochet Detail 

Now, this is what our boho fashion dreams are made of! As risky as it can be if you're on the clumsier side, wearing white is always a great idea if you want to catch everybody's attention. The crochet detail and the high-low hemline are what make this bohemian style cocktail dress totally lovely, but the extra boho touch comes in with the flared bell sleeves, finished off with a dainty lace trimming.  

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Image Courtesy - Born To Be Chic 

 

3. Wrap Around & Polka Dots 

There's a reason polka dots are such a fashion staple print, and this dress further proves our point. The short lantern sleeves amp up the style quotient, as does the asymmetrical hem and the waist wrap-around belt. But according to us, the highlights of this bohemian style cocktail dress are the subtle frills at the neckline, and the red and white polka dot combo! 

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Image Courtesy - Runaway The Label 

 

4. Spaghetti Strapps & Floral Print 

A gorgeous mini cocktail dress that's perfect for the sweltering summer season, this one is a total enchanter. Our favourite feature in what we'd call one of the best boho cocktail dresses we've personally seen, is the gorgeous gold floral print on the background of a solid black. The plunge neck and wispy straps aren't too far behind on the style quotient either! 

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Image Courtesy - Stelly 

 

5. Organza & High Low Hem 

This beautiful cocktail attire, with floral organza details and a princess-esque high-low hem, is the most subtle, simple yet stunning bohemian style cocktail dress we've spotted in the recent past. The mauve colour is immensely graceful and elegant, and the sweetheart neckline is as pretty as a picture! 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

Retro Cocktail Dresses

 

1. Empire Line & Peasant Sleeves

I mean, if you're on the hunt for retro cocktail dresses, does it really get better than this number? We don't even know which detail to fawn over, but let's start at that elegant cinched waist and the classy emerald green colour. The long peasant sleeves, plunge V-Neck, and the front button details all make this cocktail dress a vintage treasure. Special attention to the front split that adds a dash of contemporary to this retro piece. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

2. Tiered Skirt & Sparkle 

Absolutely beautiful is how we'd describe this retro cocktail dress. The sparkle embellishments particularly land this under the category of the best simple cocktail dresses we've ever encountered, and the flutter sleeves are as demure as it gets. The fitted bodice leads the way to the retro tiered skirt, and this dress is such a stunner you won't need any additional accessories to don on top of it. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

3. Tea Length & Twisted Bow Detail 

There's something inherently retro-graceful in a tea-length outfit, and this sophisticated cocktail dress is no different. We absolutely adore the charming blush-pink colour this dress comes in, and the twisted bow detail on top of the silk fabric gives the whole attire a refined and rich look. Classic red lips, sleek combed hair, and a pair of gold studs later, you will look nothing short of a total dream. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

4. Fitted Full Sleeves & Velvet 

If you want to look like a vision of retro loveliness without going all out, this simple yet classy cocktail dress idea is what you should safely reach for. The fitted silhouette of the dress will hug your figure and accentuate all your curves, while the velvet material makes it look like it's straight out of a glam 70s Hollywood film. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

5. Sequins & Fringe Hem

What was famously referred to as the "flapper dress" in the 1920s, has been given a subtle modern makeover in this retro cocktail dress. The chic black sequins all over that end with the retro fringed hemline, add so much allure to this cocktail attire while also laying emphasis on the notion of "beauty in simplicity". So lovely! 

retro_cocktail_dresses

Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

Minimal Cocktail Dresses

 

1. Cowl Neck & Faux Wrap 

When you're hunting for minimal cocktail dresses, coming across a piece that's subtle, simple and sexy, all in equal measure, can be a challenging feat. Well suffice it to say, this number takes care of it all. The simple spaghetti straps followed by the graceful cowl neck design, and the faux wrap front paving the way for a subtle side split, are all elegant details that come together in this simple cocktail dress to create a total stunner of a cocktail outfit. 

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Image Courtesy - Forever New

 

2. Floral Lace & Mock Turtle Neck 

Delicate, feminine and wholly gorgeous, this simple cocktail dress comes with intricate floral lace detailing, that makes this nude number a beauty to behold. The mock turtle neck and cut off sleeves make this the perfect cocktail outfit for a summer event, and the elaborate design coupled with the sheer hemline render the need for additional accessorising, very minimal. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

3. Bardot, Bodycon & Balloon Sleeves

This simple cocktail attire is based closely on the notion of "if you're got it, you should flaunt it". With an entirely figure-hugging silhouette, matched with the graceful Bardot neckline and those beautiful balloon sleeves, this classy cocktail dress is perfect for pairing with bejewelled drop earrings and pulled back hair. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

4. Square Neck & Capped Sleeves

While we are on the topic of simple cocktail dresses, we can't afford to give the quintessential LBD a miss! This one stretches beyond just little, and the length of the dress falls somewhere on the calves, which surprisingly makes it even more of a classic beauty. We particularly look the square scooped neckline and the simple capped sleeves. This minimal cocktail dress is the perfect canvas for smoky makeup, and a pair of gold hoops. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

5. Halter Neck & Cut-Outs

Super chic and with a silhouette that does all the talking, this cocktail dress is as alluring as it is sophisticated. The halter neckline gives this simple cocktail dress a timeless style quotient, and the cut-outs both under the neckline and at the two sides add a subtle glam appeal to the minimal cocktail look. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

 

Professional Cocktail Dresses

 

1. Quarter Sleeves & Embroidered Lace 

One of the best professional cocktail dresses that we've pinned on our must-buy list, this is a number that straddles the line between formal and informal perfectly. The top part is utterly charming with its embroidered floral pattern on lace, and the black lace trimmings on the quarter sleeves, while the bottom half is a solid black with a slightly flaring silhouette. Simple black heels and minimal nude makeup will complement this gorgeous cocktail dress perfectly at your next office event. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

2. Cross Over Front & Side Buttons

A dress that highlights both your unique fashion factor and professionalism, in equal measure, we totally love this lovely formal cocktail attire. The cross over faux front pinned down in the side with a series of two solid buttons, and the glossy teal colour of the dress, fuse together beautifully to create an ideal professional cocktail look. 

professional_cocktail_dresses

Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

3. Flutter Sleeves & Gold Belt

Uncomplicated yet so fashionable, this is one of our favourite finds in the category of professional cocktail dresses. It's the definition of a desk to date outfit, one that's perfect for being sported at a boardroom and a cocktail party, in equal proportions. The flutter sleeves, and the metallic gold waist belt are what amp up the glam quotient of the dress, making it a playful formal look with plenty of room for versatility in terms of styling. 

professional_cocktail_dresses

Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

4. Double Breasted Blazer Dress

Do we even need to describe how drop-dead-gorgeous this dress is? I mean, look at it! Blazer dresses have been all the rage lately in the world of fashion, and this double-breasted number in navy blue, adorned with dainty silver buttons, is the exact blend of formal and fun you'd want in your ideal professional cocktail dress. Bare legs, a pair of classy pumps and hoops in your ears will seal the deal for this formal cocktail attire. 

professional_cocktail_dresses

Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

5. Mesh Lantern Sleeves & Faux Pearl Detail 

Simple yet glamorous, trendy yet tremendously classy, this is one of those professional cocktail dresses that check all the right fashion boxes. The bodice of the dress is the work bit of this cocktail number, while the sleeves are all about play. Wispy lantern sleeves in mesh fabric that are dotted with faux pearls all over, trust us when we say you need this one in your closet ASAP! 

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Image Courtesy - Shein

 

Cocktail Gowns

 

1. Spaghetti Straps, Satin & High Slit 

Bold and unbelievably sexy, this is what a head-turner cocktail gown looks like. Get ready to grab all the eyeballs with the exquisite silhouette of this curve-hugging maxi dress, in which you can both flaunt your collar bones and shoulder with the thin spaghetti straps, and have an Angelina Jolie on the red carpet moment, with the thigh-high slit. 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

2. Apron Neckline & Open Back 

We just love the understated beauty of this gorgeous cocktail maxi dress. The apron neckline is flattering for a wide variety of body types, and the open back adds on some extra oomph factor. We also love how flowy the silhouette is, and the deep wine red colour that's sure to suit almost all Indian skin tones. Beachy waves in your hair and a pair of statement earrings will play up the drama in this otherwise straightforward cocktail dress. 

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Image Courtesy - Lulus

 

3. V-Neck, Banded Waist & Side Slit 

This is the dress your inner princess has been waiting eagerly for! So elegant and stunning, this beige cocktail dress has a free-flowing silhouette that's utterly flattering and manages to accentuate all the right places. The deep plunging V-Neck finished off with the banded waist, gives this dress a modern, minimalistic appeal that lands it in the top-mentions under the category of trendy cocktail gowns. And that side slit, is the perfect finishing touch to this jaw-dropper of a cocktail dress. 

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Image Courtesy - Lulus

 

4. Cold-Shoulder & Ruffled Neckline 

A simple, beautiful cocktail gown with the ever-trending cold-shoulder cut, we love this one mostly because of the sheer vastness of styling options that lay ahead. You can choose a smoky makeup look and go with straight, sleek hair, or you can opt for a set of classy red lips, silver drop danglers in your ears and side-swept locks. Go bare with the accessories, or wear this elegant cocktail gown with an emerald Polki choker!

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest

 

5. Plunge Neck, Twist Knot Front & Shimmer Detail  

The glam factor is high with this one! A perfectly flattering fit, a deep V-shaped neck, and a twist knot detailing in the front all make this dress super sexy, but in a subtle, refined way. But it's the shimmer detail that has our fashion-crazed hearts, taking the beauty of this olive green cocktail gown, several notches up. 

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Image Courtesy - Koovs 

 

Cocktail Attire Shoes 

A pair of fabulous shoes is crucial to perfecting your cocktail attire, and we, of course, want to extend our help on that front as well. Which is why, we have curated a list of the best cocktail shoes, fitting for all kinds of preferences, occasions and comfort levels. So without delay, jump straight into our top 10 picks in cocktail attire shoes. 

 

1. Rhinestone Block Heels 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

2. Strappy Stilletos 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

3. Ankle Strap Heels 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

4. Metallic Pointed Toe Pumps 

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Image Courtesy - Pinterest 

 

5. Suede Lace Up Pumps 

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Image Courtesy - Forever21 

 

6. Tasselled Textured Flats 

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Image Courtesy - LifestyleStores

 

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7. Pointed-Toe Mules With Applique 

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Image Courtesy - LifestyleStores

 

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8. Metallic Toe-Ring Flats 

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Image Courtesy - LifestyleStores

 

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9. Laser Cut-Out Sandals 

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Image Courtesy - LifestyleStores

 

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10. Embellished Sparkle Wedges 

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Image Courtesy - LifestyleStores

 

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Add your personal style touch, your go-to makeup hacks, and voila! you're dressed to kill at your next cocktail event. 

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