A blue and white envelope just arrived in your mailbox. Inside is an invitation to your friend's house warming party next week. She is going to have wine, cheese, hor dours, and entertainment. It's going to be a dazzling event and you know you should dress up, but you have no idea what to wear. Deciding what to wear to any social event can be overwhelming, especially when you have party favors, decorating, and baking to worry about--in addition to your day-to-day work. Fortunately, an attractive cocktail dress is suitable for many occasions. If you are looking for versatility, the little black dress is a classic. It's attractive, simple, and stylish. You can wear it to almost any evening occasion, and you can personalize it with high heels, jewelry, and a handbag. And the little black dress can be quite attractive--just think about Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," wear she wears a black cocktail dress with lace trim. When you are shopping in search of the perfect little black dress, pay attention to the small details (below): What to Look for in a Little Black Dress: - Length. The dress should hit at the thinnest part of your leg above the knee. - Cut. Make sure the dress flatters your body type. The dress should accentuate a woman's curves and waist, but never ever be too tight. - Fabric. Jersey fabric is comfortable and stretchy, but it may not hold its shape. Invest in a dress with a soft, flattering fabric such as silk or satin. If you prefer new, trendy styles, try an updated version of the little black dress with a modern touch. The Little, Black Dress with a Modern Touch: - Sleeve length: Try a sexy strapless dress. Or, try a dress with long sleeves for the winter-time. - Tights: Wear patterned tights. Or, wear opaque tights, which are very trendy right now. Note: Opaque tights may dress down an outfit. - V-shape: Try on dresses with a plunging V in the front to accentuate your attributes. Also, V-shaped backs can be very sexy and sophisticated. - Lace: A black dress with lace can be very attractive and elegant. If the dress is very detailed, keep your accessories limited and wear classic makeup (red lipstick, mascara, and eye-liner). Cocktail Dresses: If you want to avoid black altogether, try on cocktail dresses! Cocktail dresses can be silver, plumb, gold, cream, etcetera. Wearing a stylish, colorful evening dress will make you more memorable, and it is much more festive than black. For the wintertime, try on dresses that are dark red, dark blue, ruby, gold, purple, or emerald green. Choosing a Cocktail Dress: To choose a unique, sexy cocktail dress, get an idea of what kinds of dresses exist. A simple online search works well. Consider dresses with lace, patterns, sequins, and satin. One-sleeved dresses and metallic are also popular, so don't shy away from them, Also, look for rich fabrics such as velvet and silk. If you are unsure what kinds of social events and special occasions call for a cocktail dress, use the suggested guidelines below: Occasions where a cocktail dress is recommended: - Cruise ships - Work-related parties (make sure the dress is knee-length and not too short) - Semi-formal - New Years - Anniversary parties - Holiday parties - Charity events - Dinner at an expensive restaurant Occasions where a cocktail dress may be worn: - Prom (cocktail dress designers make great, flirty 2009 prom dresses) - Class reunions - Evening weddings - Dinner parties (ask the host in advance) - Evenings out (to the theater, the ballet, or the Opera. Note: different parts of the United States are more formal or more casual than others) Events where a cocktail dresses is not recommended: - Business dinners (know your company's culture) - Job interviews - White Tie events - Quinceanera events (cocktail dresses are different than Quinceanera dresses) Now you can take a breath, relax, and look forward to your next social event. Once you have the basic black dress and one stylish cocktail dress, you will be set to party all night long.
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