This year has left us with no shortage of reasons to drink, but what to wear whilst doing so? Cocktail attire for women is a tricky beast. On the one hand, it could refer to after-work refreshments with colleagues, in which case trousers and dressy tops are fair game. At the more haute end of the spectrum, it hovers just below black tie, meaning both blouses and ballgowns are persona non grata. True, you could play it safe, stock your cocktail-ready collection with LBDs and call it a day. But where’s the fun in that? In a month that’s chock-full of holiday parties, winter weddings and the night that prophesies your future (sartorial and otherwise) for the rest of the year, differentiation is key.
As it’s our personal belief that anything with the word “cocktail” in it ought to be a remedy for stress — not its cause — we’ve sifted through the proverbial racks for you. Click through the gallery above for 20 pieces of cocktail attire to suit any mood or function. From fun frocks to jaunty jumpsuits, these semiformal finds will help you conquer your jam-packed social calendar in style. Cheers.