Cocktail Dresses For Women Over 50 + Best Style for Your Body Type

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Cocktail dresses for women over 50? Oh, I’m here for it! When we got invited to a fancy-schmancy party, I started shopping immediately.

And then I went a little crazy!

And I bought TWELVE dresses! Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. 🤣 I had them sent to my house, and tried them on in the comfort of my own home! I highly recommend this method! I was able to find a much better selection in a wider variety of sizes shopping online, and most of the dresses came with free shipping/returns.

Whether you’re shopping for a dress for a cocktail party, a wedding guest dress, a mother-of-the-bride (MOB) or mother-of-the-groom (MOG) dress, or a dress to wear to another special occasion, I’ve got you covered!

How to Select the Right Cocktail Dress

First things first. When it comes to figuring out the best cocktail dress or special occasion dress, there are several things to consider.

Consider Your Event

  • Do you play a special role in this event? (For example, the MOB or MOG?)
  • Who is hosting? (Is it you?)
  • What time does it start? (This makes a big difference!)
  • Where is it being held? (Indoors? Outdoors?)
  • Who will be there? (What kind of crowd is this? Partiers? Conservative?)
  • What’s on the agenda? (Dinner? Dancing? You want to be comfortable!)

Identify the Type of Dress You Feel Most Comfortable Wearing

  • Is color a consideration? Are you trying to coordinate with the bride? Your husband?
  • A little black dress (aka LBD)? Unless it’s a cocktail-style evening wedding, I wouldn’t recommend black.
  • Would a white dress be appropriate or not? (If it’s a wedding, then no.)
  • Long Sleeve? Short Sleeve? Sleeveless?
  • Long? Short? Mini? Midi?
  • What are your best features? Are there features you’d like to conceal? What style of dress makes you feel beautiful?

Which Cocktail Dress Style is Best for Your Body?

Start by identifying your body shape, and go from there. God made every body beautiful!

graphic of women's body types


Pear-shaped bodies are fuller at the hips and bottom and smaller on top. One-shoulder or strapless dresses will draw the eye up and enhance your upper body. Full or A-line skirts help hide wider hips.

Inverted Triangle

Inverted triangle bodies are fuller in the bust. Halter neck, V-neck, or scoop necklines will create a slimming effect by drawing the eye downward. Look for A-lines, full skirts, and details at the hemline (even if it’s just a sheer panel) to help balance out the bottom half.


Weight is carried around the middle, without a well-defined waist. Babydoll dresses and dresses with an empire waist, or neck detailing draw the eye up, taking attention away from the middle and allowing for a looser fit. A-line styles and full skirts can create an hourglass illusion.


(Also called “Athletic” or “Straight”) Little definition between bust, waist, and hip measurements. Fitted sheath dresses, baby dolls, fit & flares, and A-line styles will accentuate the curves you do have and create the illusion of more. Look for dresses with embellishments, gathers, a belt (real or faux), or ruching. This is my body type!


Curvy with a full bust, defined waist, and full hips. Dresses with fitted waists enhance this classically feminine shape.

I hope this post has helped you shop for the perfect special occasion or cocktail dress for your body type. I love sharing helpful content that inspires and encourages you! Style is just one of the things I share on Empty Nest Blessed! While you’re here, be sure to check out my other content:

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Below is a curated boutique of all of the dresses I’ve shared in this post. Many of them come in various other colors, and some of them are on sale. So if you see a style you like, be sure to click on it!

Click on any image for more information.

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  1. Susan,

    Wow! I feel like I’ve had a session with a personal stylist! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. They were fantastic! I’m so grateful!


  2. Susan,

    Thank you for your insightful words! I couldn’t look like a movie star if I tried! (But I can’t wait to tell Bob you said that!) HAhaha! I appreciate you so much!


  3. Vicky,

    Thank you! You might need #5 in your closet! It’s a classic and would work for so many occasions. I may snag it whether it wins or not.


  4. I agree with Bob and vote for #11
    It looks great on you, it’s stunning and very flattering. I love the style and the full skirt is so cute. Thanks for sharing all those choices. Hope you enjoy the evening.

  5. Helena,

    Wow, that’s ambitious! I love the way you painted a picture for me to step right into! You sound like a great hostess. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite!


  6. Tracie,

    Thanks so much for your good input! Bob will be fine! Men don’t think about the occasion as much as we probably do. He just liked the dress on me! Hahaha!


  7. Mary Beth,

    You are so good! I actually hadn’t thought about having Bob coordinate! What a great idea and he will be fine with it! (SUCH a good guy!) Thanks for you input! Loved it!


  8. Holly,

    I know exactly what you mean! I thought the 2nd dress would be a great tribute for a Golden Anniversary! It’s so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I loved them!


  9. Nancy,

    You are the sweetest! We had a great time at our event and it was so special! I ended up deciding (as many people mentioned) that #11 looked a little too holiday-ish! I wore #1 and felt perfect in it! I got so many compliments!


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