The choice of a cocktail dress depends on your budget, personal style and the kind of occasion. Keeping in mind that cocktail dresses are to be used for semi formal occasions, generally the best option is to select one that is a bit too stylish for office, yet not erroneously considered as a formal gown. If the occasion demands a flashier look, go for a dress with remarkable details.
As you may use a cocktail dress for a large variety of occasions, it is good to get one that allows you to display your personal style. If you love patronizing the vintage style, find a dress incorporating retro details, like pleated skirts or a drop waist as in the dresses of the 1930s. In case you like wearing a different dress for every occasion, you would do well to look for the not-so-expensive formal dresses, which may be used once and then discarded or donated. If you like the classic graceful look, you may consider some basic, everlasting dresses that can be suitably used for many years on a number of different occasions.
The budget is an important factor for selecting the cocktail dress. If you intend using the same dress more often, it will be a good idea to go for a highly reputed brand, using superior fabric like silk or shantung. It is worth investing in dresses made in major colors like red, black and tan, as these can often be used for various kinds of occasions in different seasons. When you want a rather casual dress, you should search for dresses having basic designs, which are easy to maintain and not too expensive. When used with the correct accessories, such dresses look quite fancy.
The appropriate length and the cut of the dress are very important for cocktail dresses. You should know that longer outfits are often thought to be too formal, except when it happens to be a long and flowing maxi dress, made using colorful cotton fabric that is quite suitable for events held during the summers.
If you like to have a cocktail dress that may be worn repeatedly, go for a basic dress offering endless variations. When you wear a simple and graceful dress, you can focus more on accessories like jewelry, purses and shoes. Dresses made in neutral colors like black, beige and brown are highly versatile, as these colors never go out of fashion.