5 Tips for Dressing for a Corporate Cocktail Party

Cocktail hour typically equals a time to cut loose and maybe to pick up a number or two … But what if this cocktail hour is tied to your job? Corporate cocktail parties have a completely different purpose. Instead of picking up a date, you are there to pick up a new business relationship.

So how do you dress for such an occasion? Let me show you the way …

sex and the city cocktails

Dressy, meet conservative

Make sure your cocktail apparel meets the same requirements as your office attire – no cleavage and make sure you are sporting an appropriate hemline. This of course may vary depending on your company culture but I always say its better to play it safe. No one wants to be the talk of the office for all the wrong reasons.


Put it on mute – muted that is

Save the sequins, neon colors, and the likes for another day. Neutrals (black, brown, cream, navy, gray) and jewel tones (purple, ruby, emerald, royal blue), which are universally flattering, are best.


Add a little zing

It is cocktail hour so don’t think you have to go all snooze-fest when it comes to your outfit. A bold statement necklace, interesting hosiery, or an awesome clutch (filled with business cards) are all great ways to spice things up. This an opportunity to show off (a bit) of your after work side.


A bit on beauty

Even though it’s an evening event, skip the heavy evening makeup and opt for simple and elegant. Don’t douse yourself in perfume either, no one wants to network with a walking perfume bottle.


Make sure you can walk

It is so tempting to break out the “good” shoes for an after hours event but, ladies, make sure you can actually walk in them! If your shoes pass the walk test, also make sure they pass the “I can stand all night” test too. Everyone knows the balancing on one foot to relieve the pain trick – you aren’t fooling anyone.


3 thoughts on “5 Tips for Dressing for a Corporate Cocktail Party”

  1. Do you think statement piece diamond and gemstone cocktail rings are suitable at such events? or is it best to play down these pieces due to the connotations attached, i.e they may think you have a lot of money, or equally they may think you don’t have enough money? I am in the jewelry industry and wanted your thoughts on this as I’m sure a customer will eventually ask such a question.

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