Cocktail dresses are the perfect wardrobe in-betweener. Slightly more sophisticated than your usual going out garbs and more subtle than a black tie frock, a cleverly chosen cocktail dress will see you through the summer's biggest parties, weddings and beyond. However, they can be notoriously tricky to shop for.
Striking the balance between chic and cool is by no means easy but it can be done — this season is all about the silhouette of your dress and the fresh new ways you style it. From Zara's caped offering to H&M's slinky khaki number, each style is cut in a seriously cool way and allows you to shake it up when it comes to your accessories.
Instead of your failsafe nude courts, try styling up a more feminine dress style with seriously sexy ghillie lace up heels for an unexpected spin or better yet, of your occasion allows, work your frock with a pair of chunky metallic sandals with a sporty tread to offset the look.
With regards to colour palette, anything goes. Traditionally black was the uniform of evening soirees and the such like but now you can be way more adventurous with your choice. Pastel hues are the perfect choice for a summer bash while tonal shades of sage and rust will stand the test of time and look effortlessly chic all year round.
Of course, no cocktail dress would be complete without some stunning jewellery to finish it off. Try adding an on-point ear cuff, an anklet or lashings of fine gold chains for a new take on stand-out jewellery that looks so much more original than the standard statement necklace.
So, if you're on the hunt for the perfect wedding guest dress or a frock that's a little bit more special you're sure to find it here.
Check out our definitive edit of the best cocktail dresses to shop now...