How should I Cocktail Dress for the engagement party?

One of your friends, family members, or co-workers just got engaged, and they’ve invited you to celebrate the exciting news at their engagement party. Since this event is less formal than a wedding, you may be wondering what you should wear.Weddings are a magical occasion, but they can also be a whole lot of stress.

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Not only for the couple getting married but for everyone who’s invited. Between the engagement party, bachelorette party and the big day itself, there’s a lot of money to be spent, presents to be bought and, of course, outfits to be planned. While we all know to go all out for the wedding outfit and to formal dress for a night on the town for the bachelorette party, we can often end up stumped when trying to think of engagement party outfit ideas.

Engagement parties can be vastly different events. While most may be the traditional cocktail parties, others can be formal dinners, afternoon drinks or even backyard barbeques. The one thing that they all have in common is that they’re a lot of fun! That doesn’t mean that you can let loose and go completely wild, though. Have a good time but act respectful of the occasion.

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Make sure to greet your hosts first when you arrive and thank them before you depart. Try to stay for at least a couple of hours (including speeches) or most of the night if you are close to the couple. During the party alternate between circulating the room to talk to other guests, eating the delicious food provided, and having a dance on the dancefloor. Most of all, remember to enjoy yourself on this happy occasion by dressing confidently and comfortably.

No matter if you’re the bride-to-be or a guest to the event, deciphering what to wear can be tricky business. Below we show you some expert style tips on what to wear to an engagement party.

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The do’s

Do take cues from the invite. If there’s no dress code listed, look at the time of day that the engagement party is going to be held. Is it during the day? For breakfast events, a floral dress and low heels should be fine. A lunch or afternoon tea will be slightly more dressy, so wedge heels or dressy sandals should be paired with a chic dress. Think about what you’d wear to a daytime wedding and then opt for something ever so slightly less formal.

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We’d recommend a flouncy dress in a light print, a matching skirt and top or loose pants and dressy top in light colours. For a fashion-forward approach, think of trending prints (like leopard) and go with that. Just because it’s an engagement party doesn’t mean you need to forget your love of fashion.

If the engagement party is at night, do make sure that you’re wearing something a little dressier. Even if there’s no dress code, it’s safe to be more formal, so opt for a sleeker cocktail dress that hits midi length or on the knee, and forgo prints for a block colour in a silky fabric.

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No matter what, don’t wear white

This applies to any engagement party, at any venue, with any type of dress code. Whatever you do, don’t wear white, owner of The Stylish Bride. This is purely out of respect for the bride-to-be, who will likely don the hue for her first party as an engaged woman. You’ll also want to stay away with other traditionally-bridal colors, like champagne or pale pink, adds Sabatino, just in case the newly-minted fiancée chooses an off-white variation.

As mentioned above, although it isn’t exactly the biggest fashion sin, wearing white to an engagement party is still a bit of a no, in our opinion. To ensure you don’t match with the bride, opt for something colourful or printed. You can’t go wrong, and it’ll save you some embarrassment when long lost family members mistake you for the bride-to-be.

Pay attention to time of day for more formal affairs

An engagement luncheon at a fancy banquet hall is often a lot different than a dinnertime celebration at the same venue, thus the two events require different dress codes. During the day? A woman can wear a day dress or dress slacks or a skirt with a nice top.

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A man should wear a suit, with a tie and jacket,advises Meier. For a nighttime party, Sabino suggests that men pull out their best fashion-forward looks. We don’t do corporate-we go a little bit more Saturday night with black pants, a suede or velvet blazer, and a cool tie. Get into it a little bit and feel free to mix and match more.For the ladies? Go for an above-the-knee ‘dressy’ dress.

What do I wear to an engagement party in summer and in winter?

As any formal or semi-formal event, the type of fabric and the length of your dress is really all that needs to change with the seasons. For a summer engagement party, go nuts with silks and cottons, and choose light prints in florals for a failsafe attempt.

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Poolside engagement parties are the exception to the rule

Since you’ll be splashing around in the water, you can read an engagement pool party as complete informal. Your foolproof style formula for this type of fête? Shorts, swim suits, and lots of sunscreen. Beach celebrations on the other hand shouldn’t be considered entirely low-key, especially if they take place closer to sunset. Beach parties are typically casual because they almost always include sand. Still, Suggests putting some effort into your look: Men may find themselves wearing slacks and a short sleeve shirt while women wear a sundress and pretty hat to block the sun.

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When in doubt, remember these rules

If an engagement party’s dress code is unclear or you’re unsure about how to determine the formality level from the venue, ask around head of time. (Just don’t call the couple on the day of!). Suggests going with a neutral-black, navy, or gray-and adding on a splashy accessory for flair (recommends bringing a subtle accessory as a backup, just in case you’ve interpreted the vibe incorrectly). In this day and age, you can get away with wearing a simple cocktail dress that can be accessorized as needed with jewelry, shoes, or a scarf.

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