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20 Ways to Rock Business Formal Attire for Women

The tippity top of formal workwear, done 20 ways for modern women

Brandi Dye
Contributor

By Brandi Dye

Business formal attire can seem a little intimidating. The phrase conjures up images of catalog models in boring, black suits. While business formal is a little dressier than business professional, it doesn’t have to be stuffy or plain. Modern business formal allows for color, a little bit of pattern, and lots of fun!

Power suits are the perfect embodiment of business formal wear. Plus, they make you feel like you can run the world. Pants are no longer the only way to express your boss vibes. Skirts or dresses can also be paired with a structured jacket to let everyone know that you are calling the shots and taking names.

Tips for building a business formal wardrobe

  • Grab a jacket. Business formal looks often include blazers and structured silhouettes.  This is your opportunity to bust out the power suit.

  • Become besties with your tailor. You always want to make sure you’re wearing the outfit and it’s not wearing you. A tailor can make sure your professional wardrobe fits juuuust right.

  • Start with neutrals. Build your attire with black, tan or navy and accentuate with colorful accessories once you have a solid feel for what is acceptable at your workplace.

  • To hose or not to hose? It depends on what makes you most comfortable.

  • Shop in outfits, not separates. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a suit. A suit in a neutral color or classic pattern can be styled in so many different ways.

  • Keep it simple when it comes to accessories. Make sure any jewelry or accouterment is an addition, not a distraction.

20 ways to rock business formal

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Sure, a well-fitted jacket will help you conquer the corporate world… but coffee never hurt.

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New Monday, New Week, New Goals! ๐Ÿ’•โœจ ————- Pants: @express Top: @Hm Blazer: @Hm Heels: @aldo_shoes Necklace: @aldo_shoes

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Proof that white-on-white can be both professional and fun.

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One word: confidence (because nobody else is you - and that is your power)

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Bowtie for a boss babe? Yes, please.

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Does anybody have the number for Shweta’s tailor? Because this skirt suit is a perfect fit.

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May your meetings be short and your coffee strong โ˜•๏ธ

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A subtle bracelet adds a pop of color without distracting from the classic neutral tones.

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This navy suit is undeniably classic.

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A simple patterned blazer amps up this entire workwear look.

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Not gonna lie: these photos make me feel like an Easter Bunny... but I wanted to take advantage of the last couple weeks of Summer to wear this pastel suit (@renttherunway since this definitely won’t work for my autumn wardrobe!) How are you preparing for fall/winter?? #renttherunway #workwearwednesday #workwear #workwearstyle #ootd #lilac #suit #businessprofessional #businessformal #colorfulprofessional

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This waist tie puts a fun twist on the classic pant suit silhouette.

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pink suit energy, carry me through this week โœŒ๐Ÿฝ . . ๐Ÿ“ธ: shot on film by @lydiahudgens โœจ . . . . #growwithgrace #californiagirl #newyorkcity #latina #nyclatina #curvemodel #plusmodel #selfcompassion #latinacurvecollective #celebratemysize #pmmlovemybody #spiritjunkie #cultura #plussizefashion #visiblyplussize #bossbabe #powersuit #entrepenuer

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Bubblegum pink is all grown up.

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S T Y L E ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ #ctomboys #androgynous #styLe #fashion #trends #suits #formal #street #casual #businessformal #LookGood

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Making money moves in this patterned look.

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As Head of Sales at dลTERRA Malaysia, I do a lot of events to help people discover the power of essential oils. This weekend will be my last work event. I know I would miss my corporate job when I look back. But I am also excited to be moving forward. ๐Ÿ’œ Are you making any changes in your life? Let’s connect and support each other!๐Ÿ˜„ . . . . . . . #essentiallyinlovewithoils

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Become your own superhero with a structured cape blazer.

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This look serves as monochromatic inspo for all of us.

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In love with this power/statement suit from @tuclothing and I mustn’t forget my @vionicshoes.uk making #bossmoves . . . โœจ๐Ÿ’‹ #Jaydelikes . . . ๐Ÿ“ธ: @susiemacca . . . #powersuit #statementsuit #TuWorkIt #TuTrending #vionicshoes #womensuit #corporatewear #womensuits #workchic #workwardrobe #dresstokill #9to5style #whattoweartowork #workootd #myfeelgoodfashion #weartowork #corporatelook #corporatestyle #plussizemodel #workwear #model #pantsuit #tailoring #instagood #fashion #autumnfashion #plussizefashion #mystyleessential

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A classic pattern with a modern silhouette is the perfect way to rock a suit.

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Feeling like a BOSS ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพ‍โ™€๏ธ If you want to a statement (at work), I definitely recommend a matching pant suit! If you want to make a bold statement, get a matching set in a fun color (such as rust, green, red, or blue)!

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Don’t be afraid to make show your wild side with color or accessories like Jonia.

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Work outfit of the day: Head to toe in my favorite color . . . . . . My entire outfit is 40% off until 09/15 with code FRIENDS40. Shop it (and my other sale picks) here ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป http://liketk.it/2ESZu . . . . . . . . . . #liketkit @liketoknow.it #LTKunder100 #LTKunder50 #LTKsalealert #LTKstyletip #LTKworkwear #thisisann #anntaylor

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Consider us officially convinced: green is the new black.

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๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โ We love pink, and this blazer-skirt combo is just perfect! ๐Ÿ˜โ  โ  ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ โ ๆˆ‘ไปฌ็ˆฑ็ฒ‰่‰ฒ๏ผŒ่ฟ™ๆฌพ็ฒ‰่‰ฒๅฅ—่ฃ…ๅฎžๅœจๆ˜ฏๅคชๅฎŒ็พŽไบ†๏ผ๐Ÿ˜โ  โ  โ  โ  โ  Credit: @original_manguโ  #bosstyle #corporatewear #businesswoman #corporatefashion #businesscasual #officestyle #officewear #officeoutfit #corporateoutfit #whattoweartowork #workootd #outfit #fashion #corporatestyle #businessoutfit #officework #officeday #9to5 #9to5clothes #9to5outfit #9to5outfits #dressforwork #workchic #workfashion #whatiworetowork #workwearfashion #workattire #officeoutfits

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Polished, professional, and pink. What more could you want?

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Vibrate so high that the toxic people in your life fall back, because they no longer know how to approach you . . . . . . #9jaworkchic #9to5chic #styleforwork #workfashion #officestyle #africanhairstyles #urbanoutfit #dressforwork #workoutfits #simplefashion #dress4success #blackgirlskillingit #greenwithenvy

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Who said that your suit needs sleeves?

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180_Days_Outfit_Challenge ๐Ÿ‘— Day_169 One Style a Day for 180 Days ๐ŸŒŸ Businessoutfit๐ŸŒŸ * * * * * #dressoftheday #businessoutfit #mystyle #fashionista #luxury #inspiration #businessoutfit #lovefashion #loveoutfits #outfitchallenge #everydayoutfit #lovestyling #lovedresses #amazingwomenoutfit #dressforwork #businesschic #suitup #officeoutfit #wonderwoman #stilberatung #lovepumps #higheels #applewatch #hugobosswoman #hugobossfemme

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Patterned tights and hosiery are another way to flaunt your fun side.

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Just 2 African peas in a Dutch pod. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ #sisterhood #dametravelers. Red suit is Zara but some options here: http://liketk.it/2FG0B #liketkit @liketoknow.it #LTKunder100 #LTKstyletip #LTKworkwear

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Two badass power suits, two unstoppable forces. 

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#MondayMotivation: I believe the prospects of ‘winning at life’ is possible for everyone, once we all change our mind about what the prize should be and how we perceive the other players at the table. #diversityandinclusion #seatatthetable #eatow . Thank you @eatowglobal for having me as part of your ‘Bold, Beautiful & Influential’ panel alongside these inspirational ladies @vintynellie & @mamayets who are really making moves ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’– Also thank you @erycafreemantle (my new family) for really seeing me and choosing to support me. . โœจGet The Lookโœจ http://liketk.it/2FOSc *You can instantly shop all of my looks by following me on the @liketoknow.it app ‘ericafmstyle’. Brown tan double breasted suit (size 16) . The entire event was filled with practical ways to become my best self through your thinking (@afuathescot ), finances (@ameyfinanceacademy) & even social media (@patrice.camille). โœจHead over to my IG HIGHLIGHTS to take a peak on the best tips!โœจ . Should I put my panel talk on my YouTube channel? Did you watch it? What did you think? Let me know!! ๐Ÿ’– . . . @allbright #womenempoweringwomen #eatowbeautifulmeconference #ootd #fashionblogger #styleexpert #powersuit #liketkit #neutrals

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Consider this your memo that khaki is chic now.

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