Designer cocktail dresses have come a long way. No longer the preserve of strictly evening dresses, some of the best buys are day-to-evening dresses which you might get more wear out of. Your final selection may depend on your plans for the day/evening. Certainly, if I was picking a dress to include in my holiday packing, I would let versatility be my guide.

Although I have picked a fair few black dresses for this blog post, you really are not restricted by colour or length. Wear what you feel comfortable in.

Budget Friendly Designer Cocktail Dresses

Try Wolf and Badger if you are after a budget friendly cocktail dress. It’s worth scrolling through all their dresses (not just the ones listed as cocktail dresses) – you might just come up trumps. Selling the worlds independent brands, dresses are priced from less than £200. You might pay closer to £400-£500 for a day to evening cocktail dress. They have plenty of little black dress options if that’s how you like your designer cocktail dresses. I like this Olivera sleeveless black dress. Good designs sell out. They have a sale on.

Designer Cocktail Dresses to Suit All Budgets

My Theresa has a whole section devoted to cocktail dresses. Prices start at less than £200. The Norma Kamali one shoulder Diana dress is a good value classic that won’t date. The colour is updated every season, but the design remains the same. If you prefer your cocktail dresses shorter and sparkly, try this Saint Laurent cocktail dress.

The Outnet is famed for selling designer clothing at often 70% off. While strongly associated with some of the world’s best known mega brands you may be surprised to learn their cocktail dresses are priced from less than £200. Although their cocktail dresses are lumped in with party dresses it’s easy to scroll through the listings. This sophisticated embellished tulle dress by Rotate Birger Christensen caught my eye – its only £110, reduced from £245. If you are looking for something easy to wear and have a bigger budget this Victoria Beckham stretch knit dress might fit the bill. It’s just about half price.

Over at Net-a-Porter they currently have a sale on. There is a wide range of designer cocktail dresses at varying price points, although you’ll have to sift through evening dresses and party dresses to find them. This Isabel Marant étoile floral print cotton-voile caught my eye, priced at £330. Elsewhere, this Khaite ribbed knit midi dress is very stylish. Anyone who reads my blog, knows I am a fan of ruching. If you have a bigger budget this Bottega Veneta halter neck dress is very eye catching.

Obviously, you don’t have to opt for a new dress. Here at A Good Frock, there’s a small selection of New, Preloved and Vintage dresses, mostly by Dolce and Gabbana. This preloved Dolce and Gabbana dress could easily take you from day to evening. Originally bought in Harrods, it’s in ‘as new’ condition. Another day to evening cocktail dress option is this new Geranium print fringed dress. A shorter option is this new Dolce and Gabbana fils coupédress.