10 flattering cocktail dresses for over 50s

We are here to help you find the best cocktail dress for every social event.

cocktail dresses for over 50s

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

If you've got a couple of fabulous parties in the diary coming up, you're probably on the hunt for a selection of cocktail dresses for over 50s to have you looking and feeling your best for this special occasion. After all, cocktail parties offer a great excuse to dress up and enjoy delicious drinks and nibbles with friends, loved ones, colleagues or associates. To help you find the best dresses for mature women for your upcoming parties, we have selected our favourite cocktail dresses that are flattering, versatile and can be worn again and again.

One question you may be asking yourself is, 'What is a cocktail dress?' Well, the modern definition has come to mean a shorter, above-the-knee style that is sophisticated but party-ready. We often associate cocktail dresses with darker colourways and tailored designs but the truth is, cocktail dresses for over 50s can come in such variety.

As your designated special occasion dress, it might be best to select a dress that's versatile. That way, you can wear your cocktail dress to more than one event. A simple trick you can use is switching up your accessories to keep your outfit feeling brand new every single time. But what exactly should you look for in a cocktail dress?

Best cocktail dresses for over 50s at a glance:

• Our favourite cocktail dress: Phase Eight Piper Ombre Maxi Dress - View offer on Phase Eight
• Best popular cocktail dress: Satin Jacquard Green Floral Keyhole Maxi Dress - View offer on JD Williams
• Best versatile cocktail dress: Karen Millen Soft Tailored High Low Midi Dress - View offer on Karen Millen

A cocktail dress can be similar in style to dresses worn to the races, so picture an Ascot-ready number when you're thinking of a dress to wear to your next cocktail party. Anything that's smart, sophisticated and polished will mean you're dressed for the occasion. So, here are the best cocktail dresses for over 50s for your next party.

Best cocktail dresses for over 50s

Our favourite cocktail dress

Phase Eight Piper Ombre Maxi DressPhase Eight
Price: £99 (was £150)


If blue is your colour, this ombre dress with cascading blue hues will surely make a statement. Perfect dressed up with a blazer or cardigan in winter or wear as it is in the summer months. Featuring a flattering waistband and a pleated skirt which falls mid-calf, the Phase Eight Piper Ombre Maxi Dress has to be our favourite cocktail dress.

Customer review: "Beautiful dress. The only negative is it could snag quite easily."

Best popular cocktail dress

Joanna Hope Satin Jacquard Green Floral Keyhole Maxi DressJD Williams
Price: £47.50 (was £71.25)


Crafted from a premium satin fabric with a subtle animal jacquard finish - the Joanna Hope Satin Jacquard Green Floral Keyhole Maxi Dress is cut to a flattering tea shape with an empire waist seam. We love the beautiful flowing kimono sleeves and lovely floral print on green fabric. As it's selling fast, we've shortlisted it as the best popular cocktail dress at the moment.

Customer review: "Beautiful dress, was worn to my niece's wedding. Received many compliments on how good it looked."

Best versatile cocktail dress

Karen Millen Soft Tailored High Low Midi DressKaren Millen
Price: £79.20 (was £99)


Karen Millen never disappoints when it comes to elegant high-quality dresses, and this Soft Tailored High Low Midi Dress comes in eleven colours so that you can pick your favourite (or two)—designed in a mid-length with a fitted waist, a high neck and an asymmetrical hem for a unique touch. We've selected it as the most versatile on our list, as we believe this could be worn to a number of events.

Best affordable cocktail dress

Roman Teal Embellished Twist Waist Stretch DressRoman
Price: £40 (was £60)


This stunning Teal Embellished Twist Waist Stretch Dress from Roman comes in three bold colours that scream sophistication. Embellished with delicate beading around the neckline, this short-sleeved piece has a twist detail around the waist that is flattering and elegant.

Customer review: "Love everything about this classy pencil style dress, however, would recommend sizing up as there is no stretch in the fabric only in the lining, and it has a back zip fastening. Apart from that would love to own this in every colour."

Best occasion cocktail dress

Green Sequin Wrap Maxi DressRiver Island

Available in three pastel colours, this beautiful Green Sequin Wrap Maxi Dress is perfect for occasion wear across all seasons. It is both flattering and bold and designed with fluted cuffs, a wrap design, and tie fastening. Adding timeless elegance and glamour with added sequins, it's an eye-catching choice for your next event.

Best glamorous cocktail dress

Adrianna Papell Beaded One Shoulder DressJohn Lewis
Price: £144.50 (was £289)


This stunning Adrianna Papell Beaded One-Shoulder Dress is the perfect way to make a statement if you want something with a real wow factor. An eye-catching take on the little black dress, this asymmetrical dress with sequins is the ideal way to liven up a social event.

Customer review: "Bought for a new year party and just loved it, it had enough sparkle but not ott glitter and the fit was just perfect. Highly recommend!"

Best standout cocktail dress

Baily Pleated DressPhase Eight
Price: £119 (was £159)


The Bailey Pleated Dress, another showstopper from Phase Eight, is perfect for your next cocktail party. A belted waist creates a flattering silhouette. Not only is the choice of colour simply stunning, but the waterfall details and pleated skirt make this dress truly special.

Customer review: "Good colour and quality. Item packed well."

Best classic cocktail dress

Soft Tailored Short Waterfall Mini DressKaren Millen
Price: £94.50 (was £189)


Perfect for summer functions, this gorgeous Soft Tailored Short Waterfall Mini Dress from Karen Millen comes in eleven different colours to choose from. The cut-out accents are a lovely detail, and the self-tie belt allows you to control the fit as you desire. A floaty and flattering skirt adds some movement as you walk.

Best traditional cocktail dress

Guess Pleated Sweater DressGuess
Price: £55 (was £110)


This gorgeous off-the-shoulder, fit-and-flare Pleated Sweater Dress from Guess is a staple that you can go back to again and again. A classic silhouette that's flattering on all shapes, this cocktail dress is what we think of immediately when we think of a showstopping cocktail dress.

Best printed cocktail dress

Phase Eight Clarisse Jacquard Skater DressPhase Eight

Looking for a sophisticated dress with a funky fresh print? This cobalt blue Clarisse Jacquard Skater Dress with a red leopard print design from Phase Eight will look fantastic for any formal occasion. Made with a fit and flare silhouette and a feminine V-neck, this dress falls effortlessly over your shape.

Customer review: "So beautiful - I had the best look ever. So elegant."


How to choose the best cocktail dresses for over 50s

We firmly believe in wearing what makes you feel good over what is traditional. So, if you would rather opt for a longer dress or trouser suit, then absolutely wear what makes you feel fabulous. The best cocktail dresses for over 50s could be anything from a simple silk shift, perfect for a summer dress look, or an embellished skater dress – it is totally up to you.

Don't be afraid to pull out flashier pieces, like sequins and beaded items for fancier events. If you want to look to celebrities for inspiration for a cocktail dress look, Royals such as Kate Middleton frequently wear these types of dresses for their engagements, and look good doing it.

Another Royal we've had our eye on lately is Sophie Wessex for her smart sense of personal style, and someone to look to for some style inspiration. If your event is during the chillier months, be sure to finish your cocktail dress with a nice blazer to keep warm. So, feeling party-ready yet? All you need to do is RSVP 'yes'. Cheers to that!

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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