What To Wear To A Winter Cocktail Party

Just because the holidays are over, that doesn't mean that the parties stop. Winter cocktail parties are a fun opportunity to get a little more playful with your typical wardrobe. It's also a chance to turn the cocktail party dressing rules on their head. Cocktail dresses traditionally stop between the knee and mid-thigh. Cocktail is a dress code that's more than casual, more than even a dressy casual, but it's not black-tie affair garb either. While it may sound restricting, cocktail attire is one of the most flexible and allows you to infuse a ton of personality and style into the look.

The trick is knowing your body type and your most flattering colors, says Alamour the Label. You can highlight or hide features like your breasts, butt, and legs. Choose colors that make your skin glow, like rich colors on dark, warmer skin and vibrant shades for paler tones. Whether you're hosting or attending a winter cocktail party, you can be the most stunning one in the room.

Take it to the max

Cocktail attire doesn't always have to stop at the knees. You can wear a maxi dress or a vibrant jumpsuit if you're looking for a stylish way to cover up. When it comes to a jumpsuit, you want to find the balance between too tight and too loose. If it has wide legs, be sure to define your waist and look for a tighter fit on top. You can use similar rules for styling a maxi dress, as well.

Try a high slit

Show off a little leg by considering a high slit in your dress or skirt. Look for a slit that ends around the mid-thigh for the maximum amount of skin without bearing it all. You can also look for a flowy silhouette with a slit to soften the sexy detail. When showing off your leg, you may want to opt for a higher neckline for balance. And add a stylish pair of heels that will make your legs look even longer no matter how tall you are.

Velvet is luxe

When it comes to dressing in winter, thick, rich fabrics are a go-to. Velvet adds a luxurious feel to any outfit while still providing a cozy texture. Plus, a sleek velvet dress will remain in style through future seasons. Go slinky with a velvet slip dress or flirty with an A-line silhouette. Add texture and movement to the velvet with pleats, ruching, and ruffles. Rich colors like burgundy, green, and pink will highlight the luxurious feeling of the fabric.

Show some shoulder

Winter doesn't always mean you have to throw on the layers. Most likely, your cocktail party will be indoors, so take this as a cue to show off your shoulders. Try an off-the-shoulder dress that will help to delicately frame your d├ęcolletage. This neckline is also the perfect opportunity to show off a statement necklace. You can also highlight your shoulders with a high-neck halter or racerback. These styles cut inwards, allowing your shoulders to take center stage.

Sequins and shine

You might not be one to wear sequins in your everyday life, but a cocktail party is a great excuse to bring out some sparkle. All-over sequins or a sequined pattern are sure to garner some attention. Larger shiny disks will add a more dramatic take on the classic sparkle. If sequins aren't your go-to, you can still stand out with shiny metallic fabrics. Plus, you don't have to stick to bronze, gold, or silver to glitter under the lights. Metallic-colored fabrics can be even more stunning.

Play with the sleeves

A cocktail party is a fun place to be a little more playful with your usual style. Try out new silhouettes with unique sleeves that can make a simple dress feel more elevated. Puffy, bell, and balloon sleeves can all help add volume and a little feminine touch. Sheer and lacy sleeves can add a layer without totally covering up. Plus, lace adds an interesting texture to your outfit. Or look for details like bows and feathers that add a distinctive detail.

Draw attention with color

Whoever said a winter wardrobe had to be dark and muted wasn't being completely truthful. You don't have to stick to darker shades when searching for a winter cocktail dress. Vibrant colors will brighten up some of the dreary winter days. Try rich plums, vibrant pinks, bright blues, and golden yellows for an alternative to classic winter colors. A beautiful color will make a simple dress look even more unique. Be sure to factor in your skin tone to find a dress color that compliments you.