We’ve all received an invite in the mail at one point or another that, under the preferred dress code, listed cocktail attire. But what exactly does that mean? It’s not quite at the level of formality as black-tie dressing (in that case, we’re talking floor-grazing gowns), but it’s certainly a few notches above casual. So where does that leave cocktail attire? In between, meaning it’s good to air on the side of being slightly more formal, but not so much that you show up in a ball gown. Plus, the rules of cocktail dressing are slightly lax than you may initially think—so yes, you could show up in a mini, midi, or maxi dress, but you just have to make sure that it has that element of tastefulness to it. Now, if you’re still a tad bit unsure about what to wear or just need some help combing through the endless options that appear on the internet when you search “cocktail dress,” you’re in luck. Ahead we’ve found some great midi cocktail dresses that we highly recommend wearing to your next event, but we’ll leave the accessorizing up to you.
Next up, shop our big, beautiful guide to strappy heels that will look great when paired with your new cocktail dress.