Business As Usual: Formal Outfit Ideas That Will Certainly Steal The Show

Formal attire is not just reserved for the boardroom or a fancy evening event. We are increasingly seeing everyday fashion trends incorporate elements of formal wear, elevating our regular wardrobe to another level.

By adding a few key pieces into your clothing arsenal, like floral dresses, tailored pants, and fitted blazers, you will feel inspired all week long to create chic and easy outfits for work and to socialize.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

A Tip to Remember

In formal wear, color often plays a significant role. As a rule of thumb, more color, bolder patterns, and over-the-top embellishments typically make clothing pieces less formal and less appropriate for the environment in which you are hoping to wear them.

That is not to say you can’t wear any color or have patterns in your outfit. It is more about making one item your standout piece and building around that.

1. Pants

Formal tailored pants come in various cuts, from fitted to bootleg and cigarette cut. What suits you best is the only rule to follow when selecting a style. The joy of these is that they are appropriate as long as they are styled and fit correctly.

Always ensure the hem doesn’t bunch around the ankles, and sticking to neutral shades like navy, black, and grey will give you the most versatility.

They can be paired with a variety of different footwear options, including pumps, loafers, and boots, and can be mixed and matched with nearly any option on top.

2. Skirts

Skirts can be a little tricky when it comes to formal wear. Anything too short or tight is usually not acceptable in this way of dressing, regardless of how you style it. But that also doesn’t mean you must wear big maxi skirts that go right down to the floor.

The pencil skirt is a timeless classic, and for a reason. It has cemented itself in formal dressing for decades, created to be slightly fitted over the hips and ending at the knees.

The beauty of the pencil skirt is that you can pair it with nearly anything. And because it comes in various solid colors, checkered patterns, and materials like cotton and leather, you will never feel bored. But, of course, if the pencil skirt doesn’t quite match your taste, an A-line skirt is also very appropriate.

3. Shirts

The traditional button-up shirt will never steer you wrong in formal wear. A crisp white cotton shirt or dark neutral shades are very versatile and easy to match with any item in your wardrobe, acting as a solid neutral base on which to build. Softer pastel shades like pinks and champagne yellows are fun and flirty alternatives if you feel stuck without color.

Alternatively, select a silk blouse or shirts with added details like mandarin collars or three-quarter sleeves that can give your outfit an elevated and feminine twist. For warmer months, find lighter and breathable materials; in winter, opt for heavier cotton or wool.

4. Dresses

Dresses have always found a place in any wardrobe. Whether it is a classy cocktail party or a Sunday lunch with friends, there is a dress for every occasion. Of course, like skirts, dresses have one or two more rules to follow when styling for more formal occasions, but it is nothing too complicated.

Dresses in this environment should be well-fitted but not too tight. They should hit you just at the knees or at calf-length and should ideally have sleeves of some kind. You can quickly work around this by adding a jacket or jersey overtop.

Avoid getting anything that is too bright or embellished, and instead, look to your accessories to create a statement.

5. Blazers

A blazer is one of the best options to wear when it comes to formal wear. However, while it may have made its name in the boardroom, incorporating a blazer into more casual dressing is becoming increasingly popular. This versatility makes it an item worth investing in.

You may be tempted to spring for color with this item; if permitted, you should follow that desire. Lightweight linen blazers for summer can accommodate this bold expression. For winter, however, sticking to dark colors and minimal details allow for the broadest range of use.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels


Just like summer, winter doesn’t require an entirely new wardrobe to dress for. However, making simple swaps to some of the clothing you regularly wear will help you easily transition through the colder months.

Switch out dresses and shirts for heavier materials, pack your summer pumps away and instead choose a sophisticated heeled boot and change the traditional collared shirt for a neutral color turtleneck that will keep you feeling warm and toasty.


Perfecting the formal look during summer can be challenging, but it is not impossible. The trick is to take the staples you typically wear and swap them out for alternatives of lighter materials or different styles. For example, dresses and pencil skirts will help you feel less constricted while switching to a more breathable fabric like silk for your shirt will keep you cool.

Keep being AllDayChic!

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