Style Advice Q & A

Question: What to Wear Over a Cocktail Dress?

Black cocktail dress
What type of jacket or cover-up do you wear with a cocktail dress like this?

Hi Deborah,

 I’m hoping you can help me settle on what sort of jacket to wear with a cocktail dress. I’m making it in a rich blue-violet matte jersey with an almost crepe-like texture. It’s got a high neckline and cutaway shoulders. It also has a draped detail on both sides at the mid-hipline. The back is open to the very structured, pieced waist.  Instinct tells me something waist length or a bit shorter, clean front, narrow or no lapels – maybe a tuxedo style jacket or a jewel neck jacket in black woven, crepe, or velvet or sequined black or bronze. Am I on the right track?

Oh – shoe advice would be grand, too. Thank you in advance for your keen eyes!-Bridget.

Hi Bridget,

I’m certainly impressed that you are going to be making your dress! To be able to sew is a lost art!

Well, this dress is just FABULOUS, but it does have some constraints when it comes to wearing a jacket.

The biggest issue you are going to be dealing with is those pockets on the hips.

  • If you wear a cropped jacket, those pockets are going to stand out and look out of place.
  • Because the dress will be a thin crepe, stay away from velvet, it will be too heavy looking.
  • I like your idea of a long, black tuxedo jacket. It will be elegant and echo the formal clean lines of the dress.

As for shoes, since the dress will be a rich blue violet (Oh, that just sounds gorgeous!), I suggest that you go with either a black or metallic shoe. Depending on the weather and the formality of the party, you can dress it up or down.

  • If you wear sandals, remember, you can’t wear those.
  • A closed toe, the pointy pump would look lovely with nude or sheer black hose
  • If you go with metallic shoes, only wear nude hose.
  • Your earrings should be the same metal as the color of the shoe. (No necklace is needed!)

Good luck and please send me your photo when you finish the dress and are all set to go to your party!



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One thought on “Question: What to Wear Over a Cocktail Dress?

  1. How do I ask you a question about shoes? I am no longer to wear a heel due to lumbar issues (doctor’s orders) and “think” I might be able to get away with a kitten heel. I have a few nice flats but am unsure how to have my jeans and slacks altered to make them work! Any suggestions on this, also any tips on where to find cute kitten heels (or are they even in at all?) Marcia, pining for even a slight heel in Texas

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