Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

by Сашка

Getting dressed up for a fancy event is half the fun, but finding the perfect outfit is rarely a piece of cake. If you’ve ever found yourself with half your wardrobe thrown on the floor, suddenly realising you have nothing to wear, there’s no need to worry — we’ve got you covered.

Whether for a wedding, engagement party or any other big occasion, we’ve rounded up our favourite cocktail dresses that will make you look — and feel — fabulous. 

The best part? 

They’re all under £70, making them totally affordable (so you can treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, too).

Affordable cocktail dresses to shop today

An easy-to-style wrap dressA timeless black cocktail dressAn ultra-glam sequin dressA flattering off-the-shoulder dress

Seriously stylish cocktail dresses

No matter the occasion, these dresses are bound to turn heads. From classic black numbers to trendy puff-sleeve options, take a look at the pieces we’re loving. 

An easy-to-style wrap dress


Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: H&M

H&M Wrap Dress

You save £6.99 (34.97%)£19.99

Available in 5 colours

Size range: XS to 4XL

Dress it up or dress it down, this H&M Wrap Dress is likely to become your go-to cocktail party outfit. Its wrap style cinches the waist with a flattering V-neckline while its long sleeves offset the shorter hemline. 

Available in five colours and patterns, we’re partial to this oversized organic pattern in black and off-white. It adds a bit of intrigue without being too busy and it pairs well with everything from statement pieces — like an electric blue clutch or hot-pink pumps — to classic options like a clean-cut peacoat and bright red lip.

A timeless black cocktail dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: Nasty Gal

Premium Bandage Cut Out Midi Dress

You save £27.60 (40%)£69

Size range: 6 to 16

A sleek black dress never goes out of style, and this one from Nasty Gal is destined to be your new go-to. Featuring a slinky, body-skimming silhouette, it’s ideal for dressing up or down. The bandeau neckline adds visual interest and a subtle flash of skin for a sophisticated feel. Wear it with a bold lip and a pair of statement earrings to really elevate your look.  

An ultra-glam sequin dress


Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: Warehouse

Sequin Side Split Fringed Bandeau Maxi Dress

You save £22.50 (30%)£75

Size range: 6-16

Now this is what we call a showstopper.

You’re sure to be the life of the party with this funky sequin dress from Warehouse. It has a flattering bandeau neckline and a thigh-high split that’s perfect for showing off your legs. 

And the pink fringe finish just adds to the fun. 

Pair with understated accessories to keep the dress the star of the show, or up the glam factor with sparkly statement earrings and hot pink heels.

A flattering off-the-shoulder dress


Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: boohoo

Bardot Pleat Detail Midi Skater Dress

You save £14 (56%)£25

Size range: 8 to 18

For an affordable dress that delivers on the ‘wow’ factor, you can’t go wrong with this stunner from boohoo.

The bardot neckline is always en vogue, and the flowy skirt adds a gentle, romantic touch. It’s effortless to wear, too, thanks to the comfortable jersey fabric and lack of fiddly closures.

It comes in two stand-out colours, but we're eyeing up this hot pink hue that's totally on-trend and will look fantastic matched with neutral makeup and a chic black clutch. 

A sassy strapless dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: ASOS

Collective the Label exclusive structured bandeau mini dress in black

Size range: 6 to 16

Add a bit of drama to your evening with this strapless mini dress from Collective the Label. The black structured bandeau neckline gives a unique, modern twist to a classic silhouette. Made from a satin style fabric, the fitted waist hugs your figure without feeling restrictive. Pair it with some gold hoops and simple, strappy heels to keep the dress the star of the show. 

Read also:
12 thermal socks best for keeping toes toasty warm this winter

A pretty puff sleeve dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: boohoo

Pleated Puff Sleeve Low Back Midi Dress

You save £32 (71.11%)£45

Size range: 8 to 18

Featuring a gorgeous flowy skirt and gentle pleats, this dress from boohoo has a truly romantic feel. The puff sleeves are elegant and totally on-trend, and the plunge neckline is perfect for showing off a little skin. It’s available in four chic colours, but we especially love this deep berry hue that’s ideal for autumn and winter events. Finish the look with dainty jewellery and perfectly manicured nails.  

A figure-flattering plus-size cocktail dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: New Look

Curves Bright Blue Twist Side Midi Wrap Dress

You save £19.99 (55.54%)£35.99

Size range: 18 to 32

If you’re all about classic glamour, this plus-size dress from New Look is the one for you. The wrap front and twist side detail help to accentuate your curves and give a cinched-in look at the waist. It also features feminine flutter sleeves and a high slit to highlight your killer legs. Style it as shown online with timeless jewellery and strappy sandals, or go for stilettos and a deep red lip for a retro feel. 

A slinky slip dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: PrettyLittleThing

Rose Strappy Satin Cowl Midi Dress

Size range: 4 to 16

Slip dresses are the in-thing right now, and this one from PrettyLittleThing is bound to bag you major style points. Made from a soft satin material, it features a cowl neckline and split leg design. The pretty rose pink colour is universally flattering and will look perfect paired with gold accessories and nude heels for a more formal look.       

A fun halterneck dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: ASOS

Miss Selfridge going out halter neck mini dress

Size range: 4 to 18

Glamourous and flirty, this halter dress from ASOS is a sassy choice for any event. The sleek design gives us timeless cocktail vibes, and the shiny red colour is ideal for brightening up even the chilliest evening. It has a low back with a cowl waist so you can stay comfy, and the halter straps can be tied however you choose. Incorporate a bit of sparkle with some glittery heels and silver hoops and you’re ready to impress. 

A stylish green dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: In The Style

Terrie McEvoy Green Satin Asymmetric Neckline Midi Dress

Size range: 6 to 24

For an elegant dress that you’ll reach for again and again, go for this flattering satin number available at In The Style. The asymmetrical neckline adds a cool, structural element, while the side split adds a little sex appeal. The gorgeous green hue lends itself to more glamorous accessories — try some diamond studs for a touch of luxury.  

A chic corset-style plus-size dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: PrettyLittleThing

Plus White Broderie Anglaise Corset Midi Dress

You save £17 (44.74%)£38

Size range: 16 to 30

All eyes will be on you in this pretty plus-size dress from PrettyLittleThing.

Available in both white and black, the corset-style bodice adds a touch of sex appeal and the broderie anglaise fabric gives the dress a feminine touch. Perfect for any formal event that comes your way, style it with a sophisticated clutch with matching heels and you’ll look ultra-polished.  

A lavish long-sleeved dress

Affordable (and stylish!) cocktail dresses to shop now

Photo: ASOS

ASOS DESIGN Wrap Front Side Tie Plisse Midi Dress

Size range: 4 to 18

Looking for a long-sleeved dress for cooler nights? ASOS has you covered with this chic and sleek midi wrap dress. The ties at the waist and sleeve hem help to give this suave number shape for a truly eye-catching design. Accessorise with some chunky gold hoops, a glossy lip, and, if you’re headed to a more low-key event, a pair of white trainers for a casual yet cute aesthetic. 

What is considered a cocktail dress?

Dress codes can sometimes be a little vague, so if you’re invited to an event that calls for cocktail attire you’d be forgiven for being a little lost on what to wear.

Essentially, cocktail attire means something that is semi-formal — definitely fancier than a day dress but stopping short of a ballgown. Look for dresses that are mini, knee, or midi length and accessorise with elegant jewellery and more formal footwear.

Our verdict

While we’d love to have all these picks in our wardrobe, we think the Bardot Pleat Detail Midi Skater Dress is a real show-stopper that looks way more expensive than it actually is, and would be perfect for practically any occasion. We also really like the Collective the Label black structured bandeau mini dress and the Plus White Broderie Anglaise Corset Midi Dress for when you’re after something sexy and stylish.

The information presented above is accurate as of 11/09/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices. The 'Best Buys featured' badge indicates sponsored content, and we may earn a commission when you make a purchase.

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