Cocktail dresses, as the name suggests, are typically meant to be worn for semi-formal events like a cocktail party. However this is also just a general term for any semi-formal and formal dresses with a glamorous look which can be worn for various parties and special events.
The most popular Indian event for which cocktail dresses might be preferred would be the ‘cocktail party’, a wedding function typically organized by the young people in the family for their friends a few days before the wedding. For such an event, women want to retain the ethnic element but also experiment with more modern styles.
This predominantly western style or Indo western dresses is now finding many takers in India, with many designers coming up with beautiful Indian cocktail dresses which incorporate Indian designs and embellishments onto the western style dresses. On the other hand, many Indian garments are being adapted into an Indian cocktail dress pattern to create stunning creations which both Indian women and those abroad will find appealing.
This confluence of different styles means that there are plenty of choices when it comes to cocktail dresses, India and abroad. Indowestern dresses can vary in length from knee-length, calf-length to floor length and are supposed to be quite classy and elegant, with a hint of sensuality in the outfit to complete the glamorous effect.
Floor-length gowns and maxis
In India the popular fashion cocktail dresses are typically floor-length gowns with elaborate and beautiful embellishments and designs.It is not just the length that can vary; the norm with cocktail dresses is to experiment with different necklines and sleeve lengths to up the glamour quotient of the outfit. Thus one can frequently find daring necklines like halter necks, deep v-necks, key-hole necks, u-necks, wide round necks and cowl neck styles as well as sleeve less, cap sleeve, spaghetti straps, and transparent sleeves.
Indian wedding cocktail dresses typically combine glamorous western and Indian styles in one garment. Thus one can find options like the lehenga gown, which consists of a corset-like encrusted blouse, ending just above the navel, and a long, well-fitted lehenga skirt worn without the dupatta. Another trend is the saree gown, which is essentially a gown cut like a saree with a large embellishment at the shoulder from where the pallu flows out.
Variety of fabrics, necklines and sleeve styles
Many new combinations have become prominent in recent years, such as the combination of the Mandarin collar with cap sleeves and key-hole neckline. Cocktail dresses tend to be well-fitting, sometimes even tight fitting, to emphasize the curves of the womanly figure, though it can ‘cinch’ at various places, from right below the bust as in the empire style to the hourglass waist cinching styles.
In terms of fabric and design, Indian cocktail dresses tend to go expensive and intricate for obvious reasons. Silk is frequently seen and the thinner and lighter varieties are used to create a more flowing silhouette. Other popular fabrics include georgette, crepe, chiffon, cotton silk, velvet, organza and brocade.
When buying a cocktail dress, India can be quite a challenging place to shop especially if one wants the more western style dresses. Similarly the Indian versions are not easily available abroad. This is why many people prefer to get cocktail dresses online, India based customers included. Another great benefit offered to those who buy cocktail dresses online in India or abroad is the ease with which they can access different varieties at cost-effective prices.
Styling your cocktail dresses
When you’re browsing for glamorous attire online, cocktail dresses from India feature prominently as they are the cutting-edge trend even amongst celebrities and designers. You can easily put together a red carpet worthy look by shopping for cocktail dresses from India online. Pair up a colorful outfit like a bright orange gown with silver embellishments with dangling diamond earrings for a classical yet glitzy look.
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Go for a gold necklace to match the golden embroidery or embellishments on an Indian inspired evening gown. Both Indian and western style jewelry can add the right amount of glamour, as long as the type of jewelry matches the style of the dress. Thus pearl jewelry should be worn with softer pastel shades, white dresses or stark black dresses as pearl loses its beauty when paired up with overtly colorful or shiny dresses.
High heel sandals will match the best with cocktail dresses, especially if it is floor length. Metallic clutches or silk embroidered clutches are the preferred handbags to be carried with this type of dress since it is typically worn for evening events where large handbags will look inappropriate. For those who want to look ethnically glamorous in a cocktail dress, India inspired gowns paired up with authentic jewelry like Kundan necklaces and Polki earrings might be the best bet.