Jun 12, 2019

The Difference – Cocktail Dresses and Formal Dresses

No matter what the occasion, you always want to look your best. A woman has to worry about so many aspects of preparing for an event – hair, makeup, dress, shoes, bags and what not.  With all that comes an additional query; “What exactly is the difference between formal dresses and cocktail dresses?” For sure no one would want to go through the embarrassment of wearing an improper dress during the wrong event. But at the time of need it sure does seem like rocket science to us. As a matter of fact, it is not that challenging to differentiate between both the kinds if you recognize the basic distinctness between them. This article will facilitate you in understanding the difference between cocktail and formal dresses.


First and foremost, cocktail dresses are to be worn in evening and cocktail parties. It encompasses fun, eating, socializing, drinking and much more. Hence, through your dress you are required to show your fun side and be vibrant. Generally, there are dress codes in such events yet there is a wide range of liberty in choosing styles and colors of your apparel. It allows you to express yourself through fashion and just have fun dressing up. So even at a dress coded cocktail party, you can sit back and relax because there’s a lot of options to choose from.

On the other hand, formal dresses as specified in the name are expected to be worn in formal events. These are usually serious black-tie events where you have come together for a cause like funeral, balls, weddings etc. Here, you are expected to put on a specific demeanor for the event. In other words, men are expected to be in tuxes and ties while ladies are envisioned to look elegant, graceful and well put together. The colors of dresses are subtle and not too loud. Formal events have strict dress codes which one ought to follow. If not done so, you will look odd one out which is not the point of formal events.

The dress:

Cocktail dresses can range from mid-thigh to knee length. The styles and designs available are innumerable. For instance, this feathered fringe short cocktail dress by Jovani is an absolute stunner. This beautiful dress with a plunging halter neckline and shining striped design stands you out in the crowd. While the short skirt harbors fringy feathers to keep you floating throughout the night.
Or if you want to go subtle and still look like an absolute dream, then go for this beaded floral dress by Jovani. It very subtly fashions beaded floral lace with a v-neckline and shoulder spaghetti straps. An open back and A-line skirt add sexiness to this dress which you will embody by wearing it.
Or you can always do with the little black dress that lays hidden in every girl’s closet and deserves medals for saving our lives in the time of need during numerous events. Whenever in doubt, get that little black dress out.

Formal dresses on the other hand range from knee length to full floor length. There is no lack of design range in this type but only certain requirements that need be fulfilled. The length on one part while the colors are also subtle as compared to cocktail dresses. In most cases the formal dress material is thicker. Like this one shoulder mermaid gown by Terani Couture is made of polyester and satin. The body fitting seam and flattering silhouette hugs your curves. The skirt ends with a back sweep train. Glamour and elegance shine through this beautiful emerald gown.
This satin gown by Jovani comes with plunging halter neckline and a backless design. The inset band hugs your waist while the sheath skirt adorns a thigh high slit. It is overlaid by an A-line skirt that ends with a flowy sweep train. Feel sensuous in this gorgeous gown during formal parties. Also, always remember to pair your dresses with high heels as they are an inseparable part of the ensemble.

Be sure to pair your cocktail dresses with beautiful jewelries, pouches, clutches, and high heels like pumps, platform heels etc. You have a free reign to adorn whatever makeup style you like. Play the field and rock your look. While formal dresses need to be minimal. You can pair them with statement jewelry, drop earrings or pearls. A formal dress must always be worn with high heels.  Generally, you style an elegant hair up-do. While you always have a choice to let those beautiful locks free in a cocktail event.

The difference between both the types of dresses is not very prominent as the lines have always been blurred. Yet there are a few features that assist you in choosing the right dress for the right event.

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