What is a cocktail dress?

Elegant, sleek & suitable for semi-formal to formal occasions - the classic cocktail dress is typically a knee-length party dress to wear at a party. French designer Christian Dior came up with the term 'cocktail' for the garment towards the late 1940's, this coincided with post-war ideals that working women were able to attend more social occasions. Dior created an identity for this style of dress that designers, magazines and stores could promote with the lifestyle that it surrounded.

Search #cocktaildress on Instagram for more on-trend inspiration

High-street Cocktail Dresses

Here's a selection of gorgeous summer dresses that are on-trend this season from the likes of Matalan, Oliver Bonas, Joe Browns and Monsoon to inspire your next make!