Business Attire for Women – How to Dress Professional

Smiling business woman standing in office with crossed arms

Smiling business woman standing in office with crossed arms

What is professional business attire for women? If you want to improve your image for work or business, here is some advice for creating your professional look.

BUSINESS ATTIRE FOR WOMEN: GENERAL TIPS

  • Suiting is best for professional business attire.
  • Your suit and jacket don’t have to match. Break up your suiting pieces, and coordinate them with the appropriate alternative.
  • A suit and blouse is not enough. Be sure to incorporate coordinating accessories for a complete look.

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN WEARING BUSINESS ATTIRE

  • Too much glitter, curls, bright colours or bold prints.
  • Denim is not professional business attire. Instead try corduroy or tweed.
  • Clothes that are too trendy or fashion forward. They are distracting to your employees and/or clients.
  • Skirts that are too short and necklines that are too low.
  • Tops and bottoms that are too tight.
  • Platform shoes or heels more than 3 inches high.

Blazers and Over Pieces

  • Classic, tailored or structured styles
  • Made of any smooth or textured material except for denim or knits
  • May include any color
  • Stripe, solid or check patterns

Tops

  • Can be classic or creative styles
  • Neckline at least 2” from the base of neck
  • Made of any material except for denim
  • May include any colour
  • Choose small to medium scale patterns

Skirts and Pants

  • Classic, tailored or structured styles
  • Pant or skirt suit is appropriate
  • Made of any smooth or textured material except for denim or knits
  • May include any colour
  • Stripe, solid or check patterns

Shoes

  • Pumps or dress shoes
  • Fabrications in leather including suede

Accessories

Purses

  • Consider classic styles over creative bags
  • Made of leather
  • Neutral or conservative color
  • Choose solid colors or a small scale patterns

Jewelry

  • Can be classic or creative styles, but avoid gaudy pieces
  • Made of metal materials (no plastics, wood, etc.)

Hosiery

  • Hosiery is recommended
  • Choose neutral tones, flesh tones or colors and patterns that match your shoes
  • Sheer or semi-sheer transparency

Hair, Nails and Makeup

  • Natural makeup shades are best: pinks, peaches, reds and plums
  • Avoid  bright shades in yellow, orange and green
  • Any hairstyle is usually acceptable except for the few that require excessive curling or molding
  • Nails can be any color, but avoid nail art
  • Try to be more classic than creative

Follow Cherene Francis – Stylist Toronto | Image Consultant | Personal Shopper’s board Professional Career Fashion | Stylist Toronto Picks for Work, Business, and Office Settings on Pinterest.

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