Bringing the Heat: Your Guide to Summer Cocktail Party Attire

Summertime cocktail parties are a great way to enjoy the summer weather and spend some time mingling with old and new friends. You’ve been waiting for an interesting event to attend and it looks like you’ve finally received your invitation. You open up the envelope, and it reads: wear your best cocktail party attire.

Oh, no! You’re attending the event, that’s not a question, but what does cocktail attire actually mean? What consists of appropriate cocktail attire?

The last thing you want to do is show up at the party dressed too casual or too formal. You want to find the perfect outfit that will help you blend in with the scene, but will still make you stand out just enough. 

Below is our guide to your summer cocktail party attire. Continue reading to learn how to dress appropriately!

Bermuda Styles

Bermuda shorts are shorts that are knee-length. They can end either right above, right at, or right below the knee. If you’re thinking that Bermuda shorts are only for those taking a fishing trip or those preparing to hike the mountains, then think again.

There are so many different Bermuda shorts styles and many of them are fancy enough for a cocktail party. Choose a pair of fancy Bermudas with silk material and match it with a nice dress shirt or button-down to complete the look. 

This is a fun and comfortable option that’s not too formal but is formal enough to blend in well with the party. 

Jacket and Tie

For men, a jacket and a tie is a great look for a cocktail party. If you already own a few business suits, then you’re already on the right track. You can wear one of your business suits for the party, as long as it’s not a black suit. 

A black suit is a bit too formal for a cocktail party and should be saved for your more formal events. You can, however, get away with wearing a black suit and tie to a cocktail party if the event is during evening hours. Otherwise, choose one of your more casual jackets and ties, and you’ll be good to go. 

Appropriate Lengths 

It might take you some time to sift through your closet and find the right outfit for the party. Chances are, though, that you do have something in your closet that will work wonderfully for the event. There’s no specific outfit that you need to wear, but there are a few rules to follow when you’re putting one together.

Be sure to stick with appropriate lengths. This includes the neckline and the hemline. Try to go for something that you wouldn’t mind your employer seeing you wear. 

Bag Options

To stick with a more elegant appearance, consider bringing along a mini bag or clutch with you. Cocktail parties aren’t the best events for your oversized bag or huge purse. A simple handbag will do, and it’ll bring your entire outfit together. 

There are many different styles of clutch bags or mini bags. Be sure to bring one along with you that works well with the outfit you chose. If you’re wearing your fancy Bermuda shorts, then you might want to go with an all-black or all-white clutch.

If you’re wearing a dress, then consider carrying a clutch with crystal studs. With a small clutch in hand, you won’t have to worry about carrying around a heavy purse and can instead focus on carrying around some amazing drinks and snacks that the party has to offer.

Comfortable Trousers 

You might feel tempted to wear blue jeans or you’re wondering if you can pull off the look. The short answer is no. Blue jeans aren’t a typical cocktail party attire. 

If you want to wear pants to the party, then put on a pair of comfortable trousers instead. A nice pair of sleek and polished trousers are a great way to stay fancy without having to wear a dress. You can even mix things up a bit by choosing a colorful pair!

Wrinkle-Free Outfits

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No matter what attire you decide on, one thing is certain: don’t show up a wrinkled mess. Even the fanciest outfit can look inappropriate if it’s full of wrinkles. If you show up to the party with wrinkles in your clothes, it’ll be noticeable.

Avoid this situation by using a steamer to get all of the wrinkles out. Steamers are easy to use and work fast as well. 

Dress Shoes Over Sneakers

We can’t forget about shoes. Finding the right shoes means staying clear of sneakers and putting more of a focus on dress shoes. For men, a good pair of leather dress shoes will do fine. 

For women, this is the time to bring out your favorite pair of heels! Heels are appropriate for cocktail parties, but you can get away with flats as well if you want to pass on the heels. 

Formal (But Not Too Formal)

Remember, cocktail parties are formal, but not too formal. You want to dress the part by being formal enough to look nice while walking around with your party drinks, which you can find a great recipe for on this page, but not too formal that it looks like you’re going to a ball. 

When selecting the right dress, be sure not to choose a gown dress that flows behind you on the ground. Stick to mid-length dresses or skirts instead.

What’s Your Cocktail Party Attire?

What will your cocktail party attire be? Use this information given in this guide to put together something that’ll turn heads in a good way!

For more topics as helpful as this one, be sure to check out our page on a daily basis as well. 

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