When wearing cocktail dress, first and the only thing comes out in your mind, is it gonna fit the party's attire. Am I over or under dress during the party. Let's make this all simple using three basic knowledge while we're still on a doubt of what you wear.
Rule 1: TIME - if you have enough time to foresee or think what will be available on hand or what is not, sources are the first main thing we have ex. accessories, make-up and the dress you're targeting to wear.
Rule 2: FEMININITY - yes you're right, how come it is counted? some ladies don't prefer much with this, some chooses to just have what they feel like wearing, and some or majority they intend to be more from what they wear, it then fall to wrong category.This thing will make you be either flattering or not at all.
Rule 3: ACCESSORIES - try to wear something that would really boost your dress up, sometimes it's not wrong to ask someone about yourself for their reaction about your whole you. A simple vintage black hat, with right heels and a small bag could do.
try to look the figure below:
A simple cocktail dress or not??? it's indeed a simple dress, it's because the figure above doesn't just focus on the dress itself but she used some accessory and a right shoe pair to make it look glamourous instead. Particularly shades of purple or red makes it more to show off your curves. From this as what i've said earlier a simple earrings and a pair of good heels would do the trick.
Figure 1.2 shows another simple cocktail dress with a stunning ribbon style to make it more dramatic, this kind of dresses fit for a long legged ladies. Why? I'm not here discriminating a short legged ladies. Just want to tell you ladies the work of this kind of dress focuses more of the legs.So that's my main point here my dear ladies.:)
Make a statement from your curves, from the top to the bottom part of the dress. How? like the figure 1.3 it does not really over flattering but be careful, if you are a one in a hundred ladies who have a really petite body it would somehow overwhelm you, wear a style or pattern that would work for your body shape. Sometimes idolizing some stars and you want to copy them a lot it wouldn't make it any right if it doesn't right for you and your body of course.
"We are all guilty in some measure of the same narrow way of thinking.... when we fancy the customs, dresses, and manners of other countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own. "- Joseph Addison