Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fashion Friday (late): The Business Cocktail Party

This has been one of those CRAZY weeks both at the office and at home.  I've spent my week getting ready for a conference that I'm going to next week where I will be completing my term as president of the organization and I was also interviewing candidates for our peer advisor program.  I was following the news from Boston and running my kids all over the place.  I was also trying to decide what I am going to wear to the cocktail party at my conference to celebrate our 50th anniversary as an organization.  That's what inspired by Fashion Friday post for this week.  I'm late getting this post out because I was so busy, but here it is.

Cocktail attire is typically a dressed-up, fashion forward dress code that is used for social occasions that occur in the evening such as parties, special events, and upscale night clubs.  For women this would include dresses that are cut above the knee and more form fitting.  Accessories, shoes and jewelry are more fun with shimmer and shine.

I love to get dressed up but cocktail attire at a business event is a bit tricky because you typically don't want to wear short, tight dresses that show a lot of skin in a business or professional setting.  So, I've been trying to decide what to wear.  Here are some examples of cocktail dresses:

  1. This is a more tailored "business" type cocktail dress.  The ruffle around the waist adds some flair to the dress.  But for me, I would like to dress up a little more than this.
  2. I love this one shoulder dress and I think it looks very sophisticated.  It's not too tight or too short.  I would definitely wear a dress like this to a business or social event.
  3. The blue dress has a nice v-neck and more flared skirt.  It is not form-fitting but still festive looking and would be a great option for a business cocktail party.
  4. This is the most form-fitting of the dresses with a plunging neck line.  The ruching adds some texture to the dress but it is probably too tight and too short for a business occasion.  
I think I would probably go with dresses #2 or #3 for this event.  Here's how I would style a dress for a business cocktail party:

I'm still trying to decide what I am going to wear.  I have two dresses in mind but they both have a lot of black in them so I wanted to try to find something a little brighter.  I'll keep you posted on what I end up wearing.

3 rules of thumb for a business or professional cocktail dress:
  1. Keep it sophisticated instead of sexy.  You want to project a professional image.
  2. No plunging necklines, super short hemlines, or too tight fit.
  3. Wear fun and flashy accessories to dress up for the occasion.

What would you wear to an office cocktail party?

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