Maybe you have a corporate meeting at work? Or perhaps an executive dinner? A job interview?
Or perhaps a desire to be the ultimate fashionista in the office?
Business formal is to die for when perfected, but the challenge is just that- perfecting it. The classic connotations of this dress code are all monochrome and suits which scream minimalism and boring. Here is your ultimate guide to dressing for success whilst fulfilling all the criteria of such a dress code.
The suit jacket
Think less suit and more jacket. The key to succeeding in wearing the business formal dress code is to lie on the margins of breaking the rule book. Dress appropriately, but forget dull. A jacket is a key statement piece to an entire ensemble, making it or breaking it. As long as a jacket is tailored no one can argue it’s too casual. Blazers are perfect for the office as you can experiment with colours and cuts avoiding the shapeless pieces that many opt for.
I love this pastel River Island blazer jacket which is on trend for SS14. This is perfect for events outside of the workplace that still require this particular dress code. A touch of color adds a little personality to your ensemble and these particular jackets are perfect as they are available in a variety of colors. Sure, buying jackets starts getting a little pricey but these are also exquisite for off-duty looks and can be dressed down or alternatively accessorized for evening.
A black blazer is a wardrobe essential as it goes with everything, but do not get too attached. If your workplace only allows dark colors be sure to get multiple versions of a blazer to make sure the shape stays which usually deteriorates after dry cleaning.
Cropped, cropped, cropped. That’s all we can talk about this season. When it comes to trousers tailoring is an absolute must. Trousers become a little boring and repetitive so why not variate with different patterns and styles. Even if you are relegated to black trousers, try a jacquard pattern or a dark print. If you are lucky enough to be able to wear different colors, experiment with pastels. What you must remember is to stay away from patterns that are a little too overpowering as they can often lack sophistication and class and are inappropriate for your business/formal look.
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The most appropriate dress when it comes to business formal is the shift. Accessorised with pointed courts or even ballet flats, the shift is perfect for a day to night look. Such dresses are usually tailored, well fitted and a suitable length. Block colours allow you to look striking whist retaining the grace and elegance needed for business formal.
For example, Victoria Beckham shows her mastery when it comes to the shift dress, after all she is one of the most powerful working women we will find in the fashion industry today.
Like the dress, the skirt becomes something of a question. When minis are too short and midi’s too long, where do you go? Peplum skirts are on trend and the go to colours are cream or white. They look chic and a little sassy plus easy to pair with blouses. Choose light colours when flaunting your gorgeously bronzed pins or opt for something a little darker if paired with tights.
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The pussy-bow blouse
I consider the blouse a staple wardrobe piece. The blouse says dominance and power; after all it was a beloved favorite of Margaret Thatcher’s. Pair with trousers or a skirt, a pussy bow can smarten the shabbiest of outfits. I am in love with this ASOS pussy bow, the white is crisp and the lace accents are delightful. I adore the added detail on the sleeves of the blouse.
These are everything. On trend in any season, pointed courts have become one of my favorites and are central to a business/formal dress code. A girl who wears these is ready to work, ready to dominate and ready to shine. What I love most about these is that the maximum heel height is usually no more than 4 inches, so even those who struggle a little with heels can walk in these at ease.
To switch things up for evening, barely these sandals are perfect for SS14 and the go with just about anything (be sure to have a gorgeous pedi).
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Business formal is no longer about suits and the color black. Instead we have entered a new age of modernity where any woman can shine and refrain from being scared when confronted with such a dress code.
Embrace darlings, this style guide will aid you time and time again. These staple rules are eternal!
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