22 Swanky Cocktail Dresses That Get the Party Started

Events are back, which means it’s time to fill your closet with stylish outfits. Black tie and business casual may seem straightforward, but if the invitation calls for cocktail attire, that could leave room for interpretation. First, it’s important to understand what cocktail attire means. Cocktail dresses, traditionally worn for weddings and holiday parties, are defined by a hem that falls from around the knee to above the ankle. If the occasion allows for something more sparkly and sultry—such as for a friend’s birthday party—you can also opt for a mini dress. Whether it’s a feather embellished number from London brand Marques’Almeida or an elegant strapless option from Khaite, ​you’ll be ready to paint the town red.

Without further ado, we’ve rounded up the best cocktail dresses of the season. From classic satin slips to fringe-adorned pieces and barely-there sequin dresses, all of these options will help you look your best.