Workwear Chic: How to Dress for Business Events
If you’ve ever had an office job, attended a professional interview or been to a corporate meeting, you will know the challenge of dressing appropriately for business. With so many different stylistic options available, business attire can be a little trickier for women. Although the range of choice can be a great thing, striking the perfect balance between professionalism and style can be tricky.
If you’re feeling confused about putting together the perfect outfits for work, then look no further. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you choose chic but appropriate workwear. From smart suits to sophisticated accessories, we have some top tips on corporate wear for women.
What is Business Attire?
First things first, let’s get to grips with the definition of business attire. It is a formal dress code for many offices and corporate events, denoting a professional, smart style of dress that appears sophisticated. For men, this typically means a suit, but women are able to interpret business attire in a wider variety of ways. Trouser suits and skirt suits are safe options, but business dresses and polished separates can also work extremely well.
Business Casual vs Business Formal:
There’s a significant difference between business casual and business formal attire, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re clear on the exact dress code before you start putting an outfit together. Business casual is a more relaxed form of office wear; for example, smart black jeans and a floaty blouse is likely to be appropriate for business casual, which is usually called for in more contemporary workplaces, or for ‘casual Fridays’ in more conservative offices. On the other hand, formal business attire is more sophisticated than casual business attire and is typically reserved for more traditional offices. Even if you work in a contemporary office where casual business attire is worn, you may be required to dress more formally for certain aspects of the job, such as client meetings.
Business Attire for the Office:
If you’re putting together an outfit for the office, comfort should be a top priority, as you will be wearing these clothes all day long. Trousers make an excellent choice, as they are usually easier to move around and sit down in than a fitted skirt or dress. If you have been in your job for a while, you will likely have a better idea of what works well in your office. If you’re just starting out in a new position, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the office dress code to help you get a better idea of what to buy.
Dressing for an Interview:
Business attire is a fantastic choice for a professional job interview. Even if you’re interviewing at a contemporary company where you’ll be allowed a casual and relaxed dress style on the job, dressing formally and appearing smart and sophisticated can help you make the best impression. For a job interview, choose an outfit that helps you stand out from the crowd. Conservative yet flattering are the best options to go with. For example, a slim-cut trouser or skirt suit with a white shirt or blouse can do the job particularly well. Don’t forget about accessories, either – a statement necklace or scarf can work wonders for helping you stand out without being in-your-face for the interviewer. It’s a good idea to try to tailor your look to match the job and the office that you are applying for.
Business Attire for an Event:
If you’ve got an important business event to attend that could particularly boost your career, you’ll want to make a better impression than ever. Cocktail business attire is often required for work events after-hours and you’ll want to appear dressier than you would at work, but also somewhat conservative. A dress that has a business-appropriate cut, as well as a little personality, should do the job perfectly. Features such as flounced sleeves, a jeweled neckline, or a unique pattern are all great ideas. Don’t forget to select the perfect accessories to finish the look too; try minimal jewellery, a matching clutch bag and high heeled shoes for your next event. If dresses aren’t for you, a slim-fit suit is a good alternative option. For after-five events, avoid pairing a suit with a collared shirt – instead, opt for a flouncy, coloured or patterned blouse to create a dressier after-work appearance.
Business Attire During the Summer:
Lastly, dressing appropriately for business can be tricky during the summer. Lightweight trousers, skirts, and dresses are key to creating an impressionable look that won’t leave you feeling hot and bothered at work. Keep a smart cardigan or blazer on hand for meetings throughout the day.
With so many outfit options available, choosing the right outfits for work can be a tricky process, but follow these tips and you’ll be fine.