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Dressing for a business event can sometimes be difficult, especially is there is limited guidance on dress code. Different types of events call for different type of dress, so we’ve put together a rough outline of what to wear for your next business event…

Black Tie

Arguably the most obvious dress code, black tie events are the most formal dress code in the business (or social) calendar. For men, a tuxedo, complete with bow tie. For women, it is slightly vaguer. A longer dress is normally preferred over a short, cocktail dress although generally speaking any respectable, formal dress will do if paired with the right accessories.


Normally for a slightly less formal evening event. Cocktail dress code normally requires men to wear a dark suit with tie, and women to wear a shorter cocktail dress.

Business Formal

This is the dress code most commonly found for formal day time events, such as conferences. These occasions are often more work than social and therefore you are representing yourself and your business. Suit and tie is normal for men, and for women, a tailored dress or skirt and blazer are perfect. Remember you always want to feel comfortable in what you are wearing.

Business Casual

For a more relaxed feel some offices opt for the business casual dress code. For men this could be trousers and collared shirt, but no need for tie. For women trousers and a nice skirt, or a more casual dress are appropriate. Remember though, you are in an office so no jeans or trainers!


A dress code that tends to pop up on invitations around the holidays, festive attire is similar to cocktail attire, but with a holiday bent—say a sparkly sequin dress or a red satin skirt.

Casual Dressy

This dress code calls for a just slightly dressier version of your most casual look. For women, dress up your go-to pair of pants with a fun pair of ankle boots, add heels to elevate flared jeans, or pair a jumpsuit with a collared shirt. For guys, dress up your favourite pair of jeans with a blazer and you’ll be good to go.

Always remember that you are representing your business and your clients. If in doubt, make sure you are wearing something comfortable, and that it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed…

Wordsmithery by Emily | We Are Perception

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