What To Wear To Cocktail Attire Wedding: Guest Outfits

If you’re unsure about what to wear to cocktail attire wedding, understand that this dress code is a step slightly above semi-formal. We will provide examples of what to wear to a cocktail dress code wedding for male and female guests for more ideas below. 

For etiquette, you will also know the do’s and don’ts of the cocktail dress code. And for other dress codes, browse our blog for guides such as what is wedding casual attire

what to wear to cocktail attire wedding


Examples Of What To Wear To Cocktail Attire Wedding


What does wedding cocktail attire mean for a woman?

For women attending a wedding with a cocktail dress code, the easiest outfit to consider is a cocktail dress. Cocktail dress code weddings mean female guests don’t have to wear long dresses or evening gowns. 

You can opt for a dress slightly above the knees or under it. But then, you can dress it up more to make it classy and more like cocktail attire than semi-casual. 

Alternatively, you can wear a sleek top and skirt or switch the skirt with pants. Dark colors for the outfit with some statement pieces like trendy shoes, belts, or even earrings should make your attire more cocktail than semi-casual. 


What does wedding cocktail attire mean for a man?

Males guests attending a wedding with a cocktail dress code can never go wrong wearing suits. However, since it’s cocktail, you want to experiment with modern colors or fabrics so that you won’t look too formal or casual. 

For example, try colors like maroon or green if they match the wedding color scheme or theme. Fabrics like herringbone or linen will also be better for your clothing in a cocktail attire wedding. 

Consider the venue and season for comfort, and don’t forget to choose the right shoes and accessories to elevate your wedding cocktail attire. Men can wear loafers; then, you can check if a tie is necessary for your outfit. 


What Does It Mean To Wear Cocktail Attire To A Wedding?

Wearing cocktail attire for a wedding means it’s not casual but also a version of a more sleek, modern, and stylish semi-formal attire. Of course, you don’t need to wear more suitable clothing for black tie, but you should still look elegant. 

For example, instead of a floor-length dress, women in a cocktail attire wedding can wear a midi dress or even a contemporary jumpsuit. Think of what would look polished, but keep in mind to avoid looking bridal. 

What about men? A suit, dress pants, and buttoned shirt will look fantastic for cocktail attire, or you can opt for a stylish jacket in interesting colors or prints without taking the attention away from the newlyweds. 


Do’s of cocktail attire

  • Consider the venue and season to know what to wear according to the cocktail dress code; for example, what is the fabric and color of the cocktail dress? 
  • The time of the wedding can help you dress up or down; dark colors are perfect for evening cocktail weddings, while lighter shades are suitable for daytime weddings
  • Cocktail attire is ideal for showcasing your fashion style, but keep the word “sleek” in mind so you’d still look classy


Don’ts of cocktail attire

  • Some styles for a cocktail attire dress might be too embellished or sexy; avoid bridal styles like a white dress or jumpsuit with details like lace or fabrics like tulle 
  • Wedding cocktail attire does not mean casual clothing; embody what is “classy” when deciding what to wear
  • Cocktail dress code does not mean you can wear outfits for the club; remember that it’s a wedding you’re attending

To avoid dressing too formally for a cocktail wedding, here’s what to wear to a formal wedding reception to help you distinguish the two. 


What Is Appropriate For Cocktail Attire?

What’s appropriate to wear for a cocktail wedding dress code is classy but not too formal. Think of the in-between outfits for semi-formal and formal. 

For example, a mini dress would be casual, and a maxi dress can look too formal. Therefore, a cocktail attire dress would be a midi dress, and you can make it look more stylish with a blazer and fancy strap heels. 

For men, you don’t need to wear a tuxedo like in a black-tie wedding, but some black suits may look too semi-formal. Therefore, consider exciting colors like maroon and pick a stylish pair of shoes. 


Can I Wear Pants To A Cocktail Attire Wedding?

Women are not limited to wearing a cocktail dress in a wedding with a cocktail attire dress code. You can also wear pants with a classy blouse or a suit to look sleeker.

Some dressy jumpsuits are also ideal for weddings as long as you don’t pick something white or embellished with stones that would look bridal. And for the pants men can wear for a cocktail dress, consider the style of your suit, but you can never go wrong with black dress pants. 


Is Cocktail Attire The Same As Semi-Formal?

Cocktail attire is not the same as semi-formal, but it can be described as stylish semi-formal. 



Was this attire guide helpful? You just learned what to wear to cocktail attire wedding, where you must find the clothing between semi-formal and formal or a stylish semi-formal outfit. 

You don’t need tuxedos and evening gowns, but casual attire like mini dresses or t-shirts would be inappropriate. Then, use the wedding venue, time, and season to know how to dress up or down.

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