Can Cocktail Dresses be Long?

Can Cocktail Dresses be Long

Can Cocktail Dresses be Long?

Can cocktail dresses be long?

In this modern day and age, dress codes have become secondary. In fact, the more one breaks the protocol the more unique or “eccentric” he or she is considered.

But the art of dressing well, is still much admired and if you do indeed follow protocol, there will always be people who will admire you for your sense of dressing and even compliment you for your excellent choice in attire. Today, we will talk in detail about cocktail dressing protocol.

One of the questions most asked by women preparing for a cocktail soiree, is whether cocktail dresses can be long? The difference between a cocktail and a formal attire is more than just the length of the dress.

However, as a rule of thumb, while a long gown is more appropriate for a ball or a gala a knee length dress is considered more appropriate for a cocktail party. However, if you choose a long dress without too much detailing like sequins or a train, a long cocktail dress is not entirely inappropriate.

Now let’s get into a little more detail about cocktail attires. To begin with it is important to choose a cocktail dress according to your body shape. Here is some help with body types for you to identify which category you fall under:

Pear Shape

If you have a pear shape body, where your lower body is bulkier as compared to your torso here are the things to look for.

  • A dress with an empire waistline. This makes your body look more proportional by de-emphasising your lower half.
  • A two-toned dress is also a good choice. A dress with lighter colour on top and darker colours at the bottom also serves in accentuating your shapely torso.
  • You may consider wearing a dress with padded shoulders that will lend an element of balance to your attire.

Apple Shape

If you a waist curving outward with legs that are generally thin, here is where your focus should be.

  • Empire waistlines
  • V shapes necklines
  • An outstanding accessory

Straight Shape

If you have a largely petite chest and bottom, with slender legs and a few curves. Here is what you should go for:

  • A dress that accentuates your waist and is more flowy at the bottom
  • A dress with layers or gathers
  • You may also consider a cocktail suit that can also be adequately feminine and show off your long legs at the same time.

Hourglass Shape

If you have a narrow waistline with broader chest and hips, here is what you look for:

  • Looser fits
  • Monotone colours
  • Flashy accessories
  • Neat hairdo

Inverted Triangle

If you have broad shoulders, tapering waistline and petite hips, you have what is described as an inverted triangle body type. Here is what you should look for:

  • Dresses with asymmetrical hemlines
  • A two-tone dress with a flair at the bottom
  • A cocktail suit with a wider bottom.

The reason why we spent time giving you tips according to your body type is because as fashion experts we believe that fashion is a derivative of self -confidence. The important thing about any attire is that it should make you feel good in it. When you feel good about the way you look it shows, thus enhancing your entire outfit!

Choose a Cocktail Dress According to the Occasion

Now that you are aware of how to choose a cocktail dress according to the shape of your body, lets delve into some details about making a choice according to occasion. Your choice of dress should depend on the occasion you are headed to. For instance, if you are headed to a cocktail party that is largely casual here are some options to consider.

  • A knee length dress– A cotton knee length dress with a sleek necklace or a string of pearls and matching heels is a fun and quintessentially classical.
  • A skirt and a blouse– A seasonal skirt that stops at your knee along with a monotone blouse works out just fine.
  • A cocktail suit– If you are not in the mood for a dress, you can consider a cocktail suit that is chic and feminine. Add a string of pearls of a sleek necklace or even a choker if you are trying to make a style statement.

On the other hand, if you are headed to a wedding, you can choose a dress that is slightly more stylish. Here are some things to pay attention to.

  • The colour– The first thing to pay attention to is the colour. White and black are strict no-nos. White should exclusively be the colour of the bride. As for black, it is too sombre to be worn at a wedding
  • The material-Go for materials like satin, silk or georgette rather than cotton that may look a little too plain for the occasion.
  • Time of day– If it’s an evening event, pay special attention to the accessories such as a stunning neckpiece and a wrap that compliments your dress and is also comfortable.

Now that we have told you about how to choose your dress according to occasion, lets focus on some general do’s and don’ts of cocktail attires:


  • Do keep hemlines and necklines appropriate. Don’t wear something that you know that your mother wouldn’t approve of!
  • Do choose trousers over denims. Denims at a cocktail party will not only make you look underdressed but may be offensive and disrespectful to the host or hostess of the event.
  • Do choose footwear that accentuate your shape and silhouette. Wedges, pumps or heels are acceptable footwear for cocktails.
  • Do choose the right kind of underwear. For instance, if your dress has a plunging neckline, consider a strapless or stick on bra.


  • Don’t wear anything transparent or provocative that draws undue attention
  • Don’t wear long gowns with long trails. If you must wear a long dress, choose a plain one without trails or sequins.
  • Don’t show up in jeans
  • Don’t carry a large oversized bag, carry a clutch with essentials
  • Don’t wear flipflops
  • Don’t overdo it with accessories.
  • Don’t wear crumpled clothes.

If after reading all of this you are still nervous about choosing the appropriate dress, try to understand your host and hostess’s taste and the occasion. If you are close enough to them, you could even pick up the phone and talk to them, to quell all fears.

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