Cocktail attire is considered dressy-casual for both men and women. For example, a nice dress shirt and pants suffices for men; a moderately decorative top and pencil skirt works well for women. No matter which region people live in or what type of event they are attending, cocktail attire follows the same guidelines.
Cocktail attire does not include fabrics that are thought of as casual, such as chino, denim and jersey. Men should wear a suit without the jacket, while women should focus on bringing a bit of flash in their outfits. Pantsuits can be worn as long as they don't look too corporate. In addition, women can wear a skirt or dress as long as they pair it well with shoes and accessories.