Packable Cocktail Dresses

woman wearing black cocktail dress

The practicality of packable cocktail dresses is unsurpassed. Perfect for frequent travelers who may require a dressy garment for a special occasion away from home, the packable dress offers effortless, wrinkle-free elegance.

About Packable Dresses

The packable dress is one of the most functional garments a woman may ever own. While it's not the type of thing most hone in on when building a timeless, wearable wardrobe, it's a good idea to invest in one. Many materials simply don't travel well - they display unsightly creases or deep wrinkles as soon as they are unfolded.

A packable dress, though, can actually be "crushed" inside a suitcase. Even if it is crumpled into a ball and stuffed in the corner, it will unfold and look as fresh as it did on the store rack. A dress like this differs from others because it is made from a wrinkle-resistant fabric, such as microfiber, cotton/spandex, nylon/spandex or Tencel.

Going Dressy

Though it's quite easy to find packable dresses for casual occasions, it's a bit more challenging to track down styles that are worthy of special occasions. If you are attending a formal affair while on the road, you may need to do a bit of legwork to find something that is both packable and elegant enough to suit the occasion.

Going dressy involves seeking the appropriate details. Material is one thing, but a cocktail dress must also meet certain criteria to be considered "dressy." Look for classic colors, minimal details and timeless designs that will remain relevant for years.

Purchase Packable Cocktail Dresses

From travel specialty stores to major department stores, there are numerous retailers that carry packable dresses with an elegant twist. Consider these retailers' cocktail dresses, which are designed to travel well:


Glamour, glamour and more glamour is the cornerstone of DKNY, the label that brings effortlessly chic looks to every facet of a woman's wardrobe. The Cascade Jersey dress is an impeccable, wrinkle-resistant choice for evening wear. In black, it's sleek and simple, yet offers unique detailing with the mesh inserts.

Exclusively Misook

Comfortable and timeless, Exclusively Misook's garments are the epitome of stylish travel wear. The company's dresses are made of a synthetic acrylic yarn, which maintains its integrity no matter how it is stored. The selection is vast, and includes everything from work- to evening-appropriate sheath dresses, mandarin collar dresses, summery tank dresses and long, ankle-grazing cuts. All are designed with special events in mind.


When in doubt, opt for simplicity. You can never go wrong with the indispensable little black dress, which moves from day to night with ease and can be paired with all kinds of accessories. Travelsmith's Trudi Stretch-Lace Black Dress is made from lightweight fabric that resists wrinkles - and also looks the picture of instant elegance.

Shopping, Packing and Styling

Material and style are the most important factors involved in purchasing a cocktail dress that travels well. Look specifically for garments that are designated wrinkle free. Though they're available in retail stores, they're much easier to find online, where descriptions typically specify the material quite clearly.

If you just can't find the right cocktail dress in time, you might be able to make do with something you already own. The key is to pack your dress properly. Place it in a plastic bag (a dry cleaner bag is ideal for its length) and fold it into your suitcase. This generally saves the dress from wrinkling while in motion.

Don't forget the accessories. Many packable dresses are of the simple black variety, but you can easily transform it into something glamorous with the addition of a glitzy clutch, a sparkling bracelet and a pair of dazzling earrings. With all of the elements in place, you're destined to look your best.

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Packable Cocktail Dresses