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How to style a cocktail dress…

How to style a cocktail dress…

The ONE33 Social way

We asked our founders to give us their favorite tips and tricks on how to style a cocktail dress. Christine, Lara, and Kim have been fashion industry executives for over two decades, so you can bet they had some pretty exciting answers to the questions you asked. Want the founders to answer your questions next week? Shoot us an email at We’re committed to making you feel like your most beautiful, confident self… and we’d love to hear from you!

What are the most important tips for choosing a cocktail dress? 

Know your figure. Here at ONE33 Social, we start with a few key decisions: 

  1. Neckline. Do you want a more revealing, sexy cocktail dress? If so, you might want to look at a plunging v neck cocktail dress. If you’re looking for a more modest and elegant cocktail dress, we recommend looking at our ONE33 Social high neck cocktail dresses. DISCLAIMER: If you’re looking at ONE33 Social cocktail dresses for a wedding, we recommend checking the invitation before making any decisions. 

  1. Sleeves. Do you feel more comfortable in a long sleeve cocktail dress, short sleeve cocktail dress, or strapless cocktail dress? Different events have different dress codes, and we’ve seen them all. If you opt for a cocktail dress with sleeves, what type of sleeve makes you feel the most confident? At ONE33 Social, we have everything from puff sleeve cocktail dresses, to ¾ sleeve cocktail dresses, and even spaghetti strap cocktail dresses. Our ONE33 Social world is your oyster. 

  1. Waistline. Choosing a ONE33 Social cocktail dress with a cut waist seam can accentuate a slim waist. Drop waist cocktail dresses, empire waist cocktail dresses, and ruched cocktail dresses can also be very slimming along the waistline. Draped cocktail dresses and asymmetrical cocktail dresses are very efficient at concealing the waistline. At ONE33 Social, we’re committed to making quality clothing for every body type. Our stretch luxe fabrics and expert fits look fabulous on every body type––from fuller to more petite figures, we know how to make you look and feel your best. If there’s ever a size you can’t find, feel free to shoot us an email: We’ll do our best to keep it in stock. 

  1. Hemline. Got nice legs and want to show them off? We’d recommend a ONE33 Social mini cocktail dress. Our stylists always say that any closet is only as good as its black mini cocktail dress. Cocktail dresses with asymmetrical hems can also be very flattering and elongating for petite frames.

Congratulations! If you’ve made it to the end, you’ve made the four key decisions necessary to find the perfect cocktail dress. Remember that not every party is suited to the same type of cocktail dress––some special occasions require a more formal cocktail dress, while others are ok with casual cocktail dresses. Office happy hours, for example, might call for more modesty, while your best friend’s bachelorette party can handle a little more skin. No matter the dress code, we’ve got you covered. Your most confident self awaits.  

Do you have to wear a bra with a cocktail dress?

Every woman has a different body type, shape, and support needs. In choosing your ONE33 Social cocktail dress, we recommend assessing your comfort level when it comes to wearing a bra––would you be more confident in a traditional, bra-friendly dress? In that case, you might want to opt for a cocktail dress with sleeves or a high neck. Finding a cocktail dress for large busts can be difficult, but at ONE33 Social, body inclusivity is our specialty––our stretch velvet cocktail dresses and stretch sequin cocktail dresses both leave plenty of room for all bust sizes.

If you feel comfortable wearing a strapless bra, you’ll have more options––you can get away with wearing a strapless cocktail dress, bustier cocktail dress, or backless cocktail dress. There are also plunging bras for v neck cocktail dresses and plunging neckline cocktail dresses. If you’re looking forward to wearing a one shoulder cocktail dress or an off the shoulder cocktail dress, we’d recommend pairing it with a one shoulder bra. For those of us with smaller busts, you might even decide to not wear a bra. Experiment a little! Ultimately you should go with whatever makes you feel like the most confident and sexy version of yourself. 

What type of long formal dress looks best on short, petite girls?

ONE33 Social’s #1 best-selling cocktail dress, “The Mercer,” fits the bill here. It’s a long cocktail formal dress with a cross-body, asymmetrically pleated organza ruffle that creates a body-elongating illusion. We created this hem with a sweeping ruffle––high on one side, and low on the other. The Mercer shows plenty of leg so as to not overwhelm petite figures. It’s the perfect innovative solution to an age-old problem. As a petite woman, you should be wearing your cocktail dress––your cocktail dress should never wear you. 

When looking for a long formal dress for a special occasion, we recommend paying attention to the hem. Do you feel suffocated or are you still able to show some leg? Our ONE33 Social cocktail dresses with slits are very flattering for petite body types––helping you stay elegant and sexy. 

Is it okay to wear stockings with a cocktail dress?

Absolutely. We love pairing stockings with our ONE33 Social cocktail dresses––we firmly believe that they can enhance an overall look. Take “The Sandra,” one of our signature little black cocktail dresses. If you wanted to elevate this look from day to night, we would recommend pairing it with some sheer black tights and pumps. This is the ideal solution for those evenings when you’re rushing straight from the office to drinks and don’t have time to change. Now all you have to do is throw on some tights and hail a cab! It also doesn’t hurt during those colder months to have an extra layer. 

If you want to add even more flair, choose a pair of tights with a thin line down the back. This is one of our favorite fashion hacks––a small line makes a big difference. It has the power to slim, elongate, and make a more conservative outfit look sexier. 

Have fun with it! Give yourself permission to constantly develop your sense of style. You can pair sheer tights with “The Sandra” one day and opaque ones the next. Play it up and follow what brings you the strongest sense of joy and confidence.