While no one wants to look like their date’s twin, it can be adorable and flattering to coordinate elements of your date’s outfit with your own when you’re heading out on a date or to an event.
From simply making sure that the colors of your outfits don’t clash to actually matching details and accessories, there are plenty of stylish ways for you to coordinate your cocktail attire with your date’s. Before you dress for your next event, read through the tips below so that you can show up with your date looking worthy of a walk down the red carpet.
Dress for the Occasion
Before you commence with coordinating details of your attire, you must first consider the occasion you’re dressing up for to be sure your date and you are shopping for outfit styles suitable for the event.
Cocktail attire is defined as striking a balance between casual and formal, comfortable and elegant. It’s meant to bridge the gap between night and day when you have an occasion to dress up for, but not one that requires a full-length gown or tuxedo.
Cocktail attire can range in style depending on factors like the event you’re attending, the time of day, and the season. While there aren’t clear-cut style definitions as there typically are with dress codes like smart casual, business formal, and black tie, you have to consider the details of the event you’re attending when the dress code is cocktail and dress accordingly. Here are some of the most common factors you should consider when choosing an appropriate cocktail dress or ensemble:
What’s the Season?
Every season comes with its own set of fabrics and colors. For example, pale tones and light fabrics will look great in spring but might be out of place in fall. Bright colors and bold patterns can be fun for summer but might look off in winter. Similarly, the navy blues, cool tones, and heavy winter fabrics clearly wouldn’t work in summer, and the earthy colors of fall are hard to match with any other season.
What’s the Event?
One of the best things about cocktail attire is that there’s such a broad range of styles to work with. Women can make their cocktail ensemble fun and scandalous or super luxe and elegant, depending on the occasion. Similarly, men can put together a cocktail outfit using an upscale tee and casual jacket or a beautiful white shirt and a fancy blazer – again, depending on the event.
Who will be Present?
Some aspects of your cocktail attire will depend on whether there’s anyone special attending the event you want to impress and what kind of vibe you want to give off to that special someone. For women, this could mean the level of modesty you wish in your ensemble, while for men, it could mean choosing subtle accessories like an expensive watch and cuff links or bolder pieces of jewelry.
Cocktail Style Tips for Men
There’s no clear definition for cocktail attire, which allows for some freedom in dressing for an event that calls for a cocktail dress code. The general idea for any man’s cocktail ensemble is to maintain a neat and chic appearance and wear an outfit that incorporates a suit or a jacket and trousers. The two rules that men should follow for putting together a cocktail ensemble for any occasion is to avoid wearing jeans and sneakers – and conversely, avoid a black-tie-worthy suit. The idea is to strike a balance between elegant and casual.
While women generally put a lot of thought into their outfits, it’s typically up to the man to follow suit and coordinate some aspects of his ensemble with hers to create a perfect matching motif.
If she’s wearing black, brown, or navy, choose a suit or blazer that matches the color. If she’s wearing a white dress, choose a black or white suit to match – but before you commit to a white suit, be sure she’s planning a white outfit. If she’s going to be wearing bright colors, wear a black jacket or suit so that you can color-coordinate the accents.
The most careful element to consider when coordinating your cocktail attire with your date is the tie and undershirt. When chosen in the color that coordinates with your date’s main accent, it creates the perfect finishing touch.
Cocktail Style Tips for Women
There are so many directions that a woman can go with a cocktail dress. Still, the overall thing to remember about a cocktail dress code is that the look should have a level of elegance to it, and the dress should be a tea-length, knee-length, or midi dress – there’s no room for ball gowns or mini skirts in a cocktail dress code.
If you want to create a coordinating look with your date, make sure they know what style dress you’re wearing, what color you’ve chosen, and the part of your ensemble you’re planning to accent. By communicating the details of your outfit with them, they can select the perfect coordinated accents.
The most important thing to do to coordinate your cocktail attire with your date is to communicate well. If you’re not going shopping together or you don’t want to be obvious about trying to coordinate, talk to your date about your outfit, the colors you love, and your favorite parts. Make some suggestions for them in a natural way. The better you communicate your ideas, the better coordinated your ensembles will be.
Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of TheDressWarehouse.com. TheDressWarehouse.com was launched in 2018 as the go-to online source for amazing designer dresses at affordable prices. With 10 years experience in the industry, Jonah works daily to scour the markets to find the hottest styles and to negotiate the best prices for special occasion wear on the internet.