Quite frequently (especially during this time of year) we receive invites for cocktail parties or invitations with a dress code stating “cocktail attire,” but what does that really mean?  We’ve come to know that slipping into a slinky LBD (little black dress) is the way to go, but shall we take a little trip back in time?  Well, you have no choice… cause we’re gonna.

Cocktail parties first gained popularity in the 1920’s during prohibition (aka when alcohol was illegal).  So, since the sale and consumption of alcohol in public would land you behind bars (no pun intended), cocktail parties popped up as private social gatherings.  And just like us modern girls, the ladies of the 20’s realized that they needed a little something special to wear to these functions.  Alas, cocktail attire was born!  The first cocktail dresses were waistless, knee length, and reminiscent of the flapper (cause a lot of them were flappers).  And these ladies knew how to accessorize!  Small embellished bags, gloves, and hats were all a part of the attire.  Shoes were slipper like and often dyed to match the dresses.

By the 1950’s, cocktail hour was part of the culture and while the tradition continued, groups opted to go out rather than stay in, which is more in line with what we consider our modern day cocktail hour or “happy hour.”  This week, let’s check out some frocks that would have made even the tartiest flapper smile.

1. Oscar de la Renta Feather Trimmed Silk Mesh Dress, $5,390, 2.  Red Valentino Bow Dress, $611, 3. Kova & T Windsor Cocktail Dress, $429, 4. French Connection Winter Bex Beads Dress, $328, 5. Juicy Couture Guipure Lace Dress, $328, 6. Vanessa Bruno Athe Dress, $360, 7. Top Shop Scallop Embellished Drop Waist Dress, $330, 8. Top Shop Lace Panel Pleated Tunic, $76, 9. Accidentally in Love Crinkle Popover Dress, $54, 10. Tibi Rococo Print Silk Twill Cap Sleeve Dress, $462

It’s five o’clock somewhere, right?