If cocktail attire is a part of your regularly scheduled programming (i.e. weddings, date night, seasonal soirees), there are a handful of essentials you need to ensure you’re best dressed. We’ll always advocate for a whimsical shoe, punchy bag, or statement earring when it’s time to gussy up (plus, we love these pieces juxtaposed with denim on a regular basis). In addition, it’s important to lean on items that can get you from one event to the next without worry (especially if you’re traveling to a far-flung locale with only carry on) like a versatile sandal, where-anywhere wristlet, and of course, a figure-flattering dress. Whether you’re attending many a wedding, planning an elegant vacation look, or vamping up for date-night, we’ve put together a list of eight cocktail essentials every woman should own. If you don’t, shop our edit ahead!
Perfect Party Attire
A Romantic Midi Dress
Whether with flutter sleeves, frilled accents, or a cascading hem, a wispy midi dress feels ethereal and romantic. Right now, we’re for a fresh floral print, pastel hue or silhouette with asymmetrical detailing.
A Versatile Nude Heel
It doesn’t get more versatile than a simple nude sandal, an all-around winner with delicate dresses, dramatic gowns, and sleek separates. For an updated version, go with a square toe-silhouette á la the 90s—the shape is back in a big way!
A Playful Pouch
Every woman needs a reliable evening bag and a multicolored pouch is our sartorial pick in place of a neutral tone. An easy shape, the spectrum of color will pair with myriad outfits from bold to all-black—you’d be surprised how many looks feel grounded by a rainbow-bright accent.
All hail the statement earring. For maximum versatility, go for a multihued pair to coordinate with a spectrum of ensembles. (Yes, we just might be on a rainbow kick. But can you blame us?)
A Sleek Slip
When you’re feeling unfussy, a slip dress is always the answer. This ankle-grazing polka-dot version is at once playful and relaxed.
A Cool Clutch
Nothing spruces up a simple cocktail dress like a unique clutch. For an of-the-moment feel, seek out a transparent style like this flower-decked box.
Speaking of eye-catching, what would a cocktail wardrobe be without a fanciful shoe? A block-heel silhouette is ideal on nights when dancing is on the itinerary.
A Directional Gown
Break out of your black-tie routine with an unpredicted color-block gown. Minimal accessories keep this look effortlessly elevated.