Business Formal Attire for Women: A Guide to Looking and Feeling Your Best

Business formal attire is the most professional dress code, and it is typically required in corporate and other workplace settings. It is also the dress code of choice for many formal events, such as job interviews, business meetings, and galas.

While the specific requirements of a business formal dress  may vary depending on the company and industry, there are some general principles that all women should keep in mind when dressing for work.

Overall Appearance

The most important thing to remember when dressing for business formal attire is to look professional and put-together. This means choosing clothes that are clean, well-fitting, and in good condition. Avoid anything too revealing or too casual, such as jeans, shorts, or T-shirts.


A business formal dress code for women typically includes a skirt suit or a dress. The skirt or dress should be knee-length or longer and should not be too tight. Other acceptable business formal attire for women includes:

  • Dress pants and a blouse or button-down shirt
  • A tailored skirt and blouse or button-down shirt
  • A dressy sheath dress

Shoes and Accessories

Closed-toe shoes are a must for business formal attire. Heels are acceptable for women, but they should be no higher than 2-3 inches. Avoid sandals, flip-flops, and other open-toe shoes.

Accessories should be kept simple and understated. A pair of stud earrings or a small necklace is typically appropriate for women. Men may wear a watch, cufflinks, and a tie clip.

Hair and Makeup

Your hair and makeup should also be neat and professional. Avoid anything too trendy or too over-the-top. A simple hairstyle and natural makeup are typically best.

Here are some additional tips for dressing business formal:

  • Choose neutral colors, such as black, navy, gray, and brown.
  • Avoid patterns that are too loud or busy.
  • Make sure your clothes are well-fitting and tailored to your body.
  • Avoid anything too revealing or too casual.
  • Pay attention to the details, such as polished shoes and a neat hairstyle.