Dolce Vita

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Defining Style: What is Cocktail Attire?

What is Cocktail Attire?

The first rule of Fight Club is don’t talk about Fight Club. The first rule of cocktail attire is no tuxedo. The second rule is that it’s not overly casual so a t-shirt and jeans is not going to cut it. Instead cocktail attire is essentially one step above business casual where khaki slacks and a suit jacket are a perfect option for guests and anyone being honored (rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, receptions) should be in a full suit.

What to Wear

If you’re the guest of honor then you need at minimum a 2-piece suit and really we recommend a 3-piece suit. It’s important that you naturally stand out which is why guests should wear blazers and slacks.

Good Colors for Cocktail Attire

Black is generally shunned for cocktail attire and instead we recommend dark blues and grays especially for winter months or indoor receptions. For outdoor events or indoor/outdoor hybrid settings we advise a lighter colors especially during the spring or summer with appropriately matched accessories. Some areas of the country even have their own color palettes when it comes to cocktail attire with pastels and less traditional colors in the south and more neutral colors in the north and midwest.

Accessorizing Your Look

if you’re wearing dark fabrics then we recommend medium or dark brown shoes vs lighter colors and tones that won’t match and will stand out for all the wrong reasons. If it’s an evening event you can wear black shoes but they will not work for afternoon or lunch occasions. Honestly a brown shoe, matched to the right tone is a versatile and safe bet for most cocktail affairs.

Of course being that this isn’t a super formal event, you can feel free to be bold in your choice of ties, pocket squares or cuff links to give your overall outfit some pop.

If you’re in need of that perfect cocktail attire outfit or accessories then stop by any Dolce Vita Suits location and our stylists will be happy to help you find the right outfit for your event.

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