The “Very” Best of Cocktail Dresses

Let’s take a quick break from PFW Holiday 2011 reviews as we bring you this special feature. 🙂

FCUK French Connection Bex Beaded Dress - Very UK
French Connection Bex Beaded Dress – £135.00

There are many different styles of dresses. We’ve all seen the floaty maxi dresses, the pretty summer dresses and the long, sweeping evening gowns, and we’ve all heard of a cocktail dress; but what exactly is it?

Well no doubt you’ve all seen the famous Pretty Woman scene where Julia Roberts goes shopping for a cocktail dress and comes back with an exquisite red dress. But the idea of exactly what a cocktail dress is has changed over time, so let’s take a quick look at what a cocktail dress is and its history.

The length of a cocktail dress today varies—it can be a short, glitzy dress that’s perfect for the dance floor or a longer, 50s style dress that you’d wear to a wedding or event. Previously cocktail dresses have been longer, either ‘tea length’ where the dress falls to just above the ankle or ‘ballerina’ length, where the dress falls to the ankle. Anything longer is generally considered to fall into the evening gown category.

Cocktail gowns in the mid-20th century were determined by the fullness of the skirts—the more sumptuous, the better. The fullness of the skirt made the dresses suitable for balls and other black-tie events.

The term ‘cocktail dress’ was coined by Christian Dior, who used it to describe his range of early evening wear, way back in the 1940s, so cocktail dresses have been around for a while, and as you might expect they are a wardrobe staple for women everywhere.

Morgan De Toi ruch detail dress - Very UK
Morgan De Toi ruch detail dress – £75.00

Today, cocktail dresses can mean a number of things—they are generally determined by a fitted, formal style that can vary in length. Cocktail dresses don’t tend to be as formal as they once were, and shorter styles are popular for women going on nights out or to parties and are often referred to as prom style dresses rather than cocktail dresses. You can find a great range of them online if you visit and you’ll find the perfect cocktail dress to suit you! They carry brands such as Miss Sixty, Pepe Jeans, Morgan De Toi, French Connection, among others.

This post is in association with our friends at Very UK.

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