If you’re attending an event or a party that indicates cocktail attire for women, what exactly does it mean?

There’s no one way to interpret this dress code but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind before choosing your outfit.

A cocktail dress usually means a dress that is above or just at the knees. It can be sophisticated, fun or bold, depending on your personal style and the theme of the event. Avoid anything too revealing. Keep those hemlines and necklines in check.

Do not wear a gown. The last thing you want to do is upstage your host and stand out for the wrong reason. And if it’s a cocktail party, you might be hitting the dance floor later in the evening and a gown is certainly not going to make it easy.

You can, however, wear a midi dress. It’s a versatile style that strikes a brilliant balance between being underdressed and being a cocktail party overkill. When choosing a midi dress, make sure that it flatters your waist. Try cinching with a belt, especially if you’re wearing it for an event.

Unless there’s a specific visual theme that requires a pop of colour, your good old little black dress is great for a cocktail party. Accessorize with a bold pair of earrings or a statement necklace.

Avoid big bags and opt for a clutch instead. An oversized bag can make your look sloppy. And of course, wear heels.

If you are still unsure about what to wear, don’t be afraid to ask your host. You can also do a bit of your own research by checking the venue, the weather and the local fashion customs.

La Maison Talulah is an Australian brand of womenswear featuring designer, cocktail and evening dresses. Its design philosophy is defined by classic silhouettes, exciting prints, bold colours and distinctive materials.

Headed to a cocktail party? Find a Talulah dress here on eBay.