What does cocktail attire entail exactly?

With a full menu of "cocktail attire" occasions on your social calendar, it's hard to know what to wear. So in the spirit of being both appropriate and stylishly inspiring, we're happy to help spell it out for you! Read on for our four favourite looks and some accessorizing suggestions too.

Minidresses: Save your maxi dresses for either formal events or summer soirees and instead opt for a length that feels less dramatic. You can't go wrong with a sexy structured mini dress paired with a pointy-toe pump, sharp blazer, and statement clutch. (Lucite is on our radar currently.)

Knee-Length Dresses: A slightly longer, knee-length proportion can feel very Audrey Hepburn-inspired and entirely chic. We favour a more fitted look when opting for this hemline, and like it accessorized with a barely-there heel and classic accessories. Pearls, anyone?

Midi Dresses: Finally, the tea-length dress has eked its way into cocktail party attire and we are totally ok with it! Be sure to pair this silhouette with dressier accessories; a little added sparkle and shine will make it feel more appropriate for evening.

Suits or Playsuits: With menswear-inspired ensembles and jumpsuits both being so on trend, you can always forgo the dress and impress partygoers with a less conventional choice. Pair suits with feminine touches—like a silk blouse or satin camisole—and jumpsuits with uber-feminine heels and jewellery.

Image of Allison Williams, courtesy of Getty Images.