Formal Wear

Business Formal Attire for Women – What you need to know to look formal

Business formal attire is something that women should try to consider nowadays. Some occasions require women to wear business formal attire, such...

Written by Salsa Faida · 3 min read >

Business formal attire is something that women should try to consider nowadays. Some occasions require women to wear business formal attire, such as in an interview, when you are giving an important presentation to the CEO or going to court. It is the most formal attire women can wear to work. For your information, I have discussed business formal attire too in another article. You can check them out if you want to. However, in this article, we will be more in-depth discussing the business formal attire for women, just like the title of this article. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Formal Business Suits


Business suits are the most basic building block of business formal attire. The business suits that you must wear consist of a blazer and either a pair of trousers or a skirt in a matching fabric. It is best to suits in a neutral colour, such as black or dark grey. You can wear it in a seasonless fabric, such as wool. Many stores offer a variety of classic and stylish coordinating suit separately. For example, you can check Talbots if you are searching for an option. The suits that they offer are appropriate for the most formal work environments. It automatically helps to ensure the best possible fit for you.

Read related article: Business Formal Attire Tips for Women

The formal suits that you wear should be well-fitting for you. You can pay particular attention to details on your formal suits like:

  • How the blazer sits on your shoulders. The formal blazer that you wear should fit snugly at the edge of your shoulders without hanging past.
  • The length of the trouser pants. Especially when you wear trouser pants with heels or flats. The trouser cuff should hit at the midway point of either type of your shoe. Also, it may need to be well-tailored based on your height and the height of the shoe you typically wear.
  • You need to pay attention to the length of the skirt and the slit at the back of the skirt. Especially when you are sitting down or walking. For the sake of a business formal environment, the skirt should come at least to the top of your knees.
  • Button closure in the front. This is important even if you plan to wear the jacket open. You should still be able to comfortably fasten any front button of your blazer. There should not be a lot of extra room when the blazer is buttoned.
  • The length of the sleeves on the blazer. The sleeves should end at your wrist without having a down over your hands.

There are many colour options for formal business suits for women nowadays. You can wear and mix-match it based on your liking and the occasions that you want to attend.

Formal Business Tops


When we talk about business formal tops for women, the buttoned-up shirt is sometimes described as the workhorse of a business formal outfit. Because it comes in a huge variety of colours, patterns, and fabrics. Also, the buttoned-up shirt is suitable for all business formal occasions. However, you can also wear your favourite blouses as your business formal attire, though. The requirements that your favourite blouses need so that they can be one of your formal business tops are:

  • The colour or pattern you choose should coordinate with your suit. Conservative tones like black, white, burgundy, hunter green navy are good. Light colours, like baby blue, light pink, and white are also good for your colour options. You need to avoid neon tones or anything too trendy and flashy to keep it formal.
  • The fabric is a cotton blend. Rayon or silk top is often the best option.
  • Any neckline you prefer is fine as long as does not plunge to reveal too much cleavage.
  • The blouses appropriate for the workplace must have sleeves and are not sheer.
  • Some of the appropriate blouses that you can wear for your formal business attire are, for example, silk or rayon shirts in solid colours, bow-tie blouses, and cowl neck blouses.

Formal Skirts


Read related article: Variations of Skirts for Formal Occasions

I have created one article entirely talking about skirts that you can wear on formal occasions. There are many variations of skirts. Not only an A-line skirt and a pencil skirt that you can wear on formal occasions. In that article, I explain that you can wear different skirts depends on the types of formal occasions that you want to attend. You have to check that article out if you want more info. But in general, pencil skirts and A-line skirts are the most appropriate options for a business casual environment. In recent years, printed and coloured skirts have become increasingly popular. So, you can also wear printed or coloured skirts if you want to. You can match the pattern of the skirts with your blazers and or blouses. Friendly reminder, you have to make sure that your skirts are having these requirements:

  • It is best to choose a wool blend or cotton-blend skirt to minimize wrinkling.
  • You should not wear a denim skirt. Because a denim skirt would not be appropriate for the office.

Formal Work Dress


There are many variations of dresses for formal wear that you can choose from. You can wear it based on the occasion that you want to attend. Many of their styles can be paired with blazers and cardigans for the colder months. You can also wear it for a polished look throughout the year. The dresses worn in warmer months should have sleeves. Because sleeveless looks are generally too casual for most workplaces. The most important thing to keep in mind is that work dresses should not be too tight, too flashy, too short, or overly revealing.

How To Build Up Your Professional Workwear Closet


These are some tips that you can take if you are a recent graduate starting in the workplace or someone looking to build up your professional workwear closet, it is best to initially purchase two suits (one pantsuit, one skirt suit) in a seasonless fabric like wool and three to five shirts that pair well with your suits. In the meantime, as you grow into your role or add to your wardrobe budget, accessories and additional trouser, blouse, and dress options can slowly be worked into your closet.

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