Founder, CEO, Editor-In-Chief and Designer Extraordinaire | @rachelzoe
The Fall and Winter holiday seasons are the most glamorous time of the year and therefore the best time to style yourself and dress up! My most recent collection was inspired by 70’s glam rock and my love of rich jewel tones (like the dress Mary’s wearing today!), sequins and assorted metallics. I used luxurious textures and colors that exude effortless holiday glamour. All of these dresses are perfect for a winter wedding or any occasion—the length allows you to show off a sexy pair of pumps or platforms. Throw a fringe or faux fur on your shoulders and amazing jewelry and you are instantly ready for the holidays.
Before we all start hoarding Rachel’s gorgeous fall cocktail dresses in droves (my favorites are below and, fair warning, you might DIE), let’s first cover the ins and outs of what cocktail attire means, how it differs from black tie optional and any other restrictions when it comes to dressing for winter weddings that call for cocktail attire…
WHAT DOES COCKTAIL ATTIRE MEAN?
Let’s start out strong and answer the question everyone’s a teeny bit embarrassed to ask: What does cocktail attire actually mean? The definition is surprisingly simple and has to do with length more than style. A cocktail dress is any formal dress that is tea length or shorter. Just remember that this is a family affair, so you don’t want to go too short or too revealing. If the ceremony is in a church and you’ve opted for a strapless or spaghetti strap number (anything with a good amount of skin showing), I’d suggest wearing a wrap, stole or jacket for that portion of the evening. And remember, the dress has to be tea length or shorter and formal so leave any and all summery sundresses or casual sweater dresses out of the mix.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COCKTAIL ATTIRE AND BLACK TIE OPTIONAL?
People often have difficulty discerning between cocktail attire and black tie optional events or weddings, but here’s the deal: For the most part, you can approach cocktail attire and black tie optional in the same way. The only exception is that you should really only wear a formal floor-length evening gown if the invitation indicates Black Tie Optional and your date is wearing a tuxedo. If it’s Black Tie Optional and your date wears a suit, go for a cocktail dress that’s tea length or shorter. If you don’t have a date, try to touch base with other wedding guests and get a sense for whether most men in attendance (or at least the guys at your table) are wearing tuxedos. When in doubt, however, opt for a cocktail dress.
Of course, the gorgeous blue velvet frock I’m wearing today was designed by my special guest today, Rachel Zoe, and is just one of COUNTLESS drool-worthy dresses that make up her fall collection which I’ve rounded up below for your perusing pleasure. (I mean, have you seen this sucker in red?!) But without further ado, I’ll pass the mic off to Rachel to share more about her spectacular collection and her styling tips for winter weddings!