Cocktail Dresses are also referred to as cocktail gowns. These are the dresses which are worn by the women during cocktail parties. They can also be worn in black tie or semi formal functions. Since the past, these dresses are usually considered to be long in length. They often touch the length of the ankle. When these dresses are around 2 inches or 5 cm above the length of the ankle, they are known as the tea length dresses. However, if they touch the length of the ankle then they are known as the ballerina length dresses. It is also believed that the ballerina length dresses belong to the category of evening gowns.
The current description of Cocktail Dresses is considered to be believed as a dress with a short length around the length of the knee. This gives it a smart look similar to the little black dress and might have some embellishments on it too. These embellishments include laces, sequins, beads and a lot more. In the semi formal functions, the length of these dresses is a shorter one and it is less elaborate. Before the middle of the twentieth century, this kind of dress was referred to as the later afternoon dress. In this kind of function, the men are dressed in business suits while the women a dressed up un good afternoon dresses, skirts or dress suits.
However, in the middle of the twentieth century a few of the couturiers started mentioning the full skirt Cocktail Dresses as the dancing costumes. They were appropriate for formal dance parties but they were not suitable for balls and various other white tie occasions in which the ball gowns are worn. This term was first used by Christian Dior in late 1940s.