What to Wear to a Cocktail Party Summer 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011 • Permalink • 

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There's something about cocktail parties in summer that makes them just a little more magical than other times of year. There's less pressure to conform to old fashioned ideas about how to throw a proper cocktail party, and a little more emphasis on having fun and enjoying company. The setting switches from stuffy rooms to the great outdoors. Heavy handed drinks that require 20 minutes to prep switch to easy-going libations that leave more time for conversing (**see below for an easy summer drink idea). And cocktail dresses transform from constricting and predominantly black, to fun-loving and colorful.

With Memorial Day right around the corner, I'm sure you're anxious about your first big summer party. So, after a couple seasons of stepping out in shades of black every time the invite called for cocktail attire, what's a fashionista to wear to a cocktail party in summer 2011? This summer's all about three big trends: bright color blocks (seen at Jil Sander and Prada), jungle influences (seen at House of Holland and Alexander McQueen) and lace (seen at Chanel and Ralph Lauren).

Here's a look at what we suggest for arriving in style to your first summer cocktail party. And please remember a cute look is no excuse for overindulging. Remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver!

Bright color blocks is by far my favorite trend of the season, and vibrant pink and orange -- often appearing together -- are the standout colors. Pair a solid color dress in an exceptional shade with shoes and handbag in a contrasting color to snag the effect.

Halston Heritage Off Shoulder Cocktail Dress

→ Buy the Halston Heritage Off Shoulder Cocktail Dress, $395.00, at shopbop.com; shipping and returns are free.


While the runways showed everything from feathers and raffia, to oversized animal prints as part of the jungle influence trend, a perfect real world take is a bright tribal print. This trend is ideal for a casual backyard party.

Voom Tribal Print Poncho Dresses

→ Buy the Voom Tribal Print Poncho Dress, $174.00, at edressme.com.


For a classic summer look gone modern, try a simple white sundress with lace details. Pair it with a pair of this season's stand-out wood heel sandals to do double duty with another big runway trend: '70s style.

Free People Dress, Sleeveless Lace Panels

→ Buy the Free People Lace Panels Dress, $99.99 (was $148.00), at macys.com.


** Check out our new favorite, super easy summer cocktail find -- The Bacardi Hand-Shaken Daiquiri:
Step 1: Moisten the rim of a tall glass then dip in sugar to rim the edges
Step 2: Pour over ice
Step 3: Garnish with a lime wedge
Step 4: Enjoy!
This summer, rediscover the daiquiri. Bacardi Hand Shaken Daiquiri is the perfect addition to any summer get-together — fun, delicious, and ready to pour. Bacardi Hand Shaken Daiquiri is made with Bacardi Superior Rum, tangy lime and sugar. It is a perfectly balanced cocktail that is not too sour and not too sweet. bacardidaiquiri.glam.com


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and compensation was provided by Bacardi via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bacardi.