24 Cocktail Dresses For Wedding Guests Over 50 That Are Sure To Impress

They're versatile and ready for the dance floor.
Wrap dress with short sleeves and floral pattern
jessica booth headshot
Jessica Booth
jessica booth headshot
Jessica Booth
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Jessica is a freelance writer who covers topics such as weddings, parenting, wellness, commerce, health and food.
  • Jessica has written for sites including Cosmopolitan, Delish, Bustle, Romper, Refinery 29, Reviewed, Parents, Brides, People, Forbes, The Daily Beast and many more.
  • Jessica has a degree in journalism and lives on Long Island in New York.
Updated Aug 31, 2023
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

If you're invited to a wedding with a cocktail attire dress code, chances are you're searching for the perfect cocktail dress to wear. Fortunately, there are plenty of über-chic options out there. So, what is cocktail attire? Cocktail attire is one of the most common wedding dress codes out there, and it's also one of the most flexible. While it's more elevated than semi-formal, it's not quite as dressed up as formal — it's somewhere in the middle. Cocktail dresses generally refer to shorter dresses with a semi-formal feel (think knee-length or mini), but midi dresses or more casual maxi dresses can work too. Basically, the cocktail dress is the midpoint between casual daytime wear and more formal evening options.

Ready to shop? Below, find editor-approved cocktail dresses for wedding guests over 50, from brands we love.

Adrianna Papell Bell Sleeve Rose Embroidered Sheath Dress

Sheath dress with floral lace and bell sleeves

This timeless sheath dress features a delicate floral lace pattern all over. Elbow length bell sleeves make the whole look more feminine.

Size Range: 0-20

Eliza J Sequinned Tiered Fit & Flare Dress

Navy Sequined Tiered Fit & Flare Cocktail Dress
Photo: Macy's

Bring on the bling. This navy sequin shift dress is a surprisingly versatile option that can be dressed up for a wedding or dressed down for another event. It's comfortable with a looser silhouette and a flowy skirt.

Size Range: 2-14

Vince Camuto Sequin Dolman Sleeve Minidress

This dazzling dress is covered in shiny sequins, making it a great option for a winter wedding. With longer sleeves and a loose overall fit, this is a stylish choice you can wear for hours.

Size Range: XS-XL

Mac Duggal Sequin Cape Midi-Dress

A classic option, this midi dress features a shimmering cape overlay top and is adorned with sequins and beading all over. It has an elegant look to it and will work for pretty much any season. Add copper, silver, or gold accessories for extra shine.

Size Range: 4-24

Sachin & Babi Sandra Dress

One shoulder fitted midi dress and statement bow

Sachin & Babi describes this as "the perfect little black cocktail dress," and they might be right. This one-shoulder dress with a slightly oversized bow detail is fun and flirty, and it's made of stretchy crepe for a comfortable fit.

Size Range: 0-22

Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon Burnout Jacquard Midi Shirtdress

Jacquard dress with long sleeves and tie on waist

A shirtdress might not always be your go-to for a wedding, but this one is formal enough that it just works. The deep emerald color is so pretty and the belted detail is a nice touch.

Size Range: 2-18

Adrianna Papell Metallic Foil Crinkled Mesh Midi Length Wrap Dress

Wrap dress with short sleeves and floral pattern

You can't go wrong with a wrap dress for a cocktail attire wedding—they're polished and universally flattering. This one comes in rose gold and black and has a lovely dark floral pattern that's perfect for a fall wedding.

Size Range: 14-30

Agnes Orinda Women's Plus Size Party Glitter Bodycon Cocktail Sequin Midi Dress

If you want to wear something with long sleeves, this evening dress is a great option. The sparkling blue hue also happens to make this an excellent choice for a winter wedding, especially if it's around the holidays.

Size Range: 1X-4X

J Taylor Short Sleeve Cape Fit and Flare Dress

Fit and flare shimmer dress with overlay

This fit and flare dress made of a shimmering silver chiffon fabric is very feminine and delicate. The cape top gives it a more formal feel and is a stylish way to pull off a more modest look.

Size Range: 4-18

Ann Taylor Tweed Button Pocket Sheath Dress

The lined fit and textured tweed of this sheath dress makes it a great wedding guest dress if you're in the market for something classically elegant. Style with black kitten heels and gold accessories for an effortlessly graceful look.

Size Range: 00-20/22

Adrianna Papell Stretch Crepe 3/4 Sleeve Boat Neck Sheath Dress

Fitted dress with boat neck and flare 3/4 sleeves

Polished and put-together, this boat neck dress hits just below the knee for a classic look. And, the bell sleeves make it a lot more interesting. Accessorize with nude pumps and baroque pearl earrings.

Size Range: 0-18

Shoshanna One-Shoulder Draped Shimmer Ponte Mini Dress

The asymmetric detailing on this textured, dark silver dress makes it look so unique. Thanks to a classic one-shoulder style balanced by draped fabric on the skirt, this is a versatile pick you can wear for a variety of occasions.

Size Range: 0-12

Phase Eight Anisa Open Back Sequin Knit Dress

This sequined pick is great for a winter wedding, thanks to the long sleeves and celebratory gold and silver design. Not only is this a stunning contemporary look, but the fabric and sequins are sourced from recycled materials to reduce impact on the environment.

Size Range: 4-14

Travelers Petal Print Dress

Solids and sequins are versatile, but a printed dress can be fun and unique. This one is no exception and comes in really nice shades of cocoa with a pop of pink.

Size Range: XS-XXL

Adrianna Papell Beaded Short Sheath Cocktail Dress

Streamlined dress with beaded floral pattern and long sleeves

Think of this flashy number as an embellished version of a little black dress. With a streamlined fit and glittering beaded designs throughout, this black dress brings the festive vibes.

Size Range: 0-20

Kiyonna Mademoiselle Lace A-Line Dress

This sapphire blue lace dress is bright and colorful, with a feminine lace pattern throughout. The mid-length sleeves make this a great pick for a spring wedding since it works well with transitional weather.

Size Range: 0X-5X

DJ Jaz Cap Sleeve Embellished Midi Sheath Dress

Cap sleeve dress with lace details

A cap sleeve dress is a versatile option that works for almost any season. This V-neck dress features draping in the skirt and embellished sleeves. It's simple enough to work for a variety of events outside of a wedding.

Size Range: 4-18

Lauren Ralph LaurenCape Overlay Dress

Ideal for any kind of cocktail party, this little black dress features an elegant cape design that would fit right in at a fall wedding. The shorter skirt length is balanced by the flowy cape that meets the dress at the hem.

Size Range: 00-18

Adrianna Papell Metallic Jersey Short Wrap Tuxedo Dress in Gold

A tuxedo dress is a chic and elegant way to do cocktail attire at a wedding. This one features a glittery gold metallic color and is more flexible since it's a wrap dress.

Size Range: 0-20

Theia Auden Floral-Print Off-Shoulder Midi Dress

The off-the-shoulder sleeves of this dress make it look so elegant and delicate. The layered skirt gives an inherently formal feel, and the midi length is great if you want a slightly dressier cocktail dress.

Size Range: 0-16

Connected Apparel Long Split Sleeve Sequin Lace Sheath Dress

The sequins scattered throughout this red lace dress mean that it would look especially festive for a wedding around the holidays. The long split sleeves are a nice way to cover up without feeling too covered up. It's also available in plus sizes.

Size Range: 4-16

Juniper Half-Sleeve Textured Midi Dress

This classic black dress features puff sleeves and a v-neckline that make it feel super feminine. It can be worn on its own, or you can add some fun accessories for more of a statement.

Size Range: 0-16

Eliza JSequin Floral Embellished Dress

This lace floral dress could easily double as a mother-of-the-bride dress if you don't want to wear a floor-length gown. The layered textured style gives it some dramatic flair, but it would also still work for a cocktail event.

Size Range: 0-18

Maya Brooke Plus Jacket Dress

This sleeveless dress comes with a matching embroidered jacket for a versatile layered look that can be worn in any season. The lace design along the neckline is a nice touch.

Size Range: 14w-24w

Up Next
  • Groom and mother of the groom having a private moment before the ceremony.
    Mother-of-the-Groom Dress Etiquette You Need to Know