Throwing a summer cocktail party can be as simple as sharing pitchers of sangria on the rooftop, but come fall and winter, attending a cocktail party suddenly seems more complicated. Yes, it’s that time of year, Grrrls, and a whole new set of “what to wear” rules apply! Here’s to deciphering the party season’s most ambiguous dress code, MAG Style.
Pay Attention to the Invitation. Let’s take into account the event purpose, in addition to the time and place. Your best friend’s wedding will require very different attire than a corporate event or holiday party. Furthermore, an event taking place at a swanky hotel will call for a dressier outfit than something held at a restaurant, and definitely more so than a party held at someone’s home. Check the event hours, too—evening start times typically suggest a more formal event than those scheduled earlier in the afternoon or day. Next!
Dress Appropriately for the Season. Fall is upon us! Autumn/winter events will likely call for closed-toed shoes and an evening coat, but here is an opportunity to turn-up the temperature a bit, IT’S GETTING COLD! A touch of fur is ultra-glam for cold-weather months. And as we get closer to the holidays, the dress code opens up to include more festive twists (think velvets, metallics and fire engine red). Perfect choices for any baddie!
Don’t Fear a Little BLING! One standout item like shoulder-sweeping and/or crystal earrings will take you a few extra festive miles, trust me. Keep the rest of the look streamlined but elegant and let your glow be your guide.
KISS – Keep It Simple, Sexy! When in doubt, simplicity is key. In the wise words of Karl Lagerfeld, “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress.” A minimalist LBD or slip dress is an elegant option that won’t run the risk of looking overly fancy or informal, and MAG’s Closet has just the dress you’re looking for! Accent with statement accessories for extra glamour—you can always remove and pack them in your purse if you’re feeling weighed down.
Dress in Wines and Whiskey’s! Cocktails aren’t the only thing that is best informed by the time of year, so is color and fabric! For fall, try rich earth tones and warm neutrals. And winter, deep jewel tones in luxe textures like satin, velvet or leather.
Consider Denim. Know your audience, but if the venue is casual and you feel like getting creative, skip the LBD, throw on some jeans, a cool top and stand-up-shoes that stand-out in a crowd. You’ll instantly be the coolest Grrrl at the party!
Cocktail Party doesn’t always mean Cocktail Dress! Most parties will happen straight after office hours, and a sleek blazer and trousers combo is an elegant look that’s easy to dress up. Just change your blouse (or voila, remove it altogether!) and swap your tote for a simple clutch bag. I like the sound of a jumpsuit, too, the perfect cool weather party alternative!
Best Face Forward. A little light concealer or powder and a swipe of mascara are essential—and I can’t stress enough the transformational powers of a bold lipstick. GO FOR IT. If your hair is giving you anxiety, a pulled back – low bun is an easy, never-fail option that works for any occasion and with any hair texture!
Comfort is Key! Let’s be clear! I always say this to my closest friends…consider your comfort level. Parties are as much about the socializing as they are about what you look like, and if you’re not at ease in your ensemble it will affect how enjoyable your evening is. Dress smart – your feet will thank you later!
If you’re still feeling challenged by “Cocktail Attire Required,” fear no more! A general rule to follow when attending any special event is to dress a little fancier than you would on a normal day. And, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed then underdressed. Just make sure that whatever you choose to wear is not restrictive – cocktail parties are all about MAG-mingling, eating and drinking, so feeling comfortable is incredibly important! Finally, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. If you’re at a total loss, check in with the host/hostess to clarify the appropriate level of dress. And, then, go shopping!