6 Things to Remember When Shopping for a Cocktail Dress

When was the last time you went shopping for a cocktail dress? Now that the holiday season is upon us, you’re probably going to need one sooner or later. In case you’re wondering, a cocktail dress is a semi-formal style of dress—not casual and not formal. Right smack in the middle. And as a side note, I’m currently in the market for one. I’m heading to a wedding this week, and I still haven’t found my dress.

As I was stressing out about that, I remembered a similar post I had written last year on my other blog. That’s when I was inspired to share the six things you should remember when shopping for a cocktail dress. Believe me, it’s very basic, but will come in handy—saving you time and possibly money in the long run.

What are your tips for finding that coveted cocktail dress?

  • 6 Things to Remember when Shopping for a Cocktail Dress 1 of 7
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    When was the last time you went shopping for a cocktail dress? Here are six tips you should remember when you start looking for that coveted dress.  

    All dresses above are from Nordstrom.

  • Style 2 of 7
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    Cocktail dresses come in a range of styles. Are you in the mood for the short, midi, or knee-length dress? Long sleeve, short sleeve, one shoulder, or sleeveless? Sequins, beaded, velvet, jersey, chiffon, and more are out there. There are a lot of options. Once piece dresses are most common, but don't be afraid of stepping out of the box. Mix things up with two pieces—like a separate skirt and a top.

  • Size 3 of 7
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    Remember that cocktail dresses come in regular, petite, plus-size, and maternity. When checking out the various sizes, remember that they can range. And don't forget there is a difference between a 16P and a 16W. The "W" will offer more room in the curvier areas of the body, while the "P" refers to petites. Also, some brands run bigger or smaller than others, so always try the dress on. 

  • Location 4 of 7
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    Don't forget to take the location of your event into consideration when shopping for a cocktail dress. Are you celebrating inside or outside? Will you be at in a home, a restaurant, a night club, a lounge, or inside a ballroom? The more casual the setting, the more casual cocktail dress. The "black-tie" affair will call for a dressier look, like a gown.

  • Comfort 5 of 7
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    Comfort is one of the most important and my number one factor to take into consideration when I'm shopping for a cocktail dress. Make sure to try on the dress before purchasing. Test it by sitting down, twisting side to side, pulling arms out in front or across the chest, and even bending over. And if ordering online, read the comments and reviews left by other shoppers. You'll get a look into how the item fits and what the quality of the dress is like.

  • Price 6 of 7
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    Remember that prices will vary. Have you established a budget? Will you stick to it? How many uses will you get out of this cocktail dress? Make sure to check for sales before you head out shopping. Also, check out online shopping sites as well as in-store — sometimes prices are different — and always look for coupon codes.

  • Color 7 of 7
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    You'll have no problem finding a black cocktail dress — it's one of the most common colors. That's fine, but don't be afraid to try colors like red, purple, magenta, cobalt, ivory, gold, silver, and of course prints! And don't forget different textures like lace, sequins, or beads. 

Read more of Monique’s writing on her personal blog Curves and Chaos.”¨ And don’t miss a post! Follow Monique on Twitter and Facebook!

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