How To Accessorize a Cocktail Dress

A cocktail dress is the perfect formal party attire for a woman. And with some jewelry and other accessories, the dress will look even better. Here are some tips to help you accessorize a cocktail dress for your next evening out.

Step 1

Start with some great earrings. Cocktail dresses look great on the rack, but when you're wearing one it needs to be paired with jewelry. A pair of drop earrings goes well with a cocktail dress, and you don't have to be subtle either. Choose earrings that are embellished with gems - real or fake - like diamonds, rubies and other gemstones. If you need an excuse to splurge on these great accessories, just remember: they'll last you for years to come and you can wear them with almost anything (including your little black cocktail dress).

Step 2

Add a great necklace. Of course, you can't accessorize your cocktail dress with earrings and leave out the necklace. The two go hand in hand! Necklaces often match the personality or the mood of the person wearing them. So if you want to make a bold statement with your necklace, choose something with large pendants or a great design. Otherwise, a subtle single-strand necklace with a beautiful diamond pendant would like fabulous and really leave the attention on your cocktail dress. Stones and beads make a great necklace, and you can choose ones with colors that will compliment your cocktail dress.

Step 3

Consider wearing a bracelet. Bracelets aren't for everyone. But if you can wear them comfortably then this is definitely a great accessory for a cocktail dress. Choose simple bracelets to go with your outfit if you've already got some bold jewelry on. (Some prefer to wear either the necklace or the bracelet, but not both). A diamond or pearl tennis bracelet adds just the right amount of sparkle to your wrist, so if you have one that matches your earrings, it's a good choice.

Step 4

Find the perfect little purse. You can't go to a cocktail party without a purse to accessorize your outfit. Just a small one will do, big enough to fit your lipstick and a tissue and a few other personal items. Again, try to stick with the theme of your other accessories. If you're wearing lots of beads, look for a beaded clutch purse to go with your ensemble. On the other hand, a sleek black clutch purse with just a few rhinestones on it will go great with your gemstone jewelry. Avoid anything with a strap. You want your cocktail dress and accessories to look classy.

Step 5

Buy a great pair of shoes. The final accessory for your cocktail dress is a great pair of shoes. Choose a pair of shoes that have an open-toe and lots of straps. This type of shoe / sandal works for most occasions. Avoid anything that goes too high up your leg, or has too many embellishments on it. And just in case you're wondering, it's not okay to wear nylon stockings with an open-toe heel. If the event calls for nylons, then you'll need a closed-toe shoe to complete your outfit. Either way, simple silver or gold heels go with just about any cocktail dress, and they easily tie into all of your accessories.


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