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Define cocktail attire

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I was under the impression that it was pants and a sport coat, or a suit and no tie. What is the proper attire for this? My context is a wedding in June in New Hampshire.
post #2 of 7
I've always taken it to mean suit and tie but nowadays you'll see sportcoat sans tie with great regularity. For a wedding I would probably wear a suit and tie.
post #3 of 7
I find it usually means "smart and stylish". Not necessarily suit and tie, not necessarily open-collar - whatever you think is appropriately dressy and stylish without being black tie. Usually implies a jacket of some sort, unless seriously hot weather.

For afternoon events in summer, I tend to use an off-white cotton suit, with a open-necked linen shirt.

In evenings, I usually will go with suit and tie, but in fun, interesting colours and more flashy/less conservative than business wear.

Or you could do a "Clooney" - charcoal suit in a nice fabric, white open-neck shirt, neat but elegant shoes and accessories. Always looks relaxed, yet stylish.
post #4 of 7
Agreed.

This may be one of the few descriptions which makes women's choices easier than men's. But in general I think it means jacket required, tie optional, but in either case looking sharp, and dressing with a view towards the evening.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpac
This may be one of the few descriptions which makes women's choices easier than men's.

I agree. For women, it's a cocktail dress for "cocktail dress." I think the suit sans tie is about right.
post #6 of 7
It means time to pull out that black suit and wear it with pride
post #7 of 7
Suit with silk t-shirt would be an option.
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