Style Guide for Ladies Business Formal Dress Code


Business Formal dress code is most likely the strictest dress code of all. All aspects of your attire should be highly presentable and as professional as possible. Due to some restrictions this dress code has, many feel demotivated to dress up for work. Well, it’s time to change that mindset! Business formal attires can be stylish yet professional at the same time. If you’re just starting to build up a business formal wardrobe of your own, there are a handful of staples that every woman should own.



This is a must have when it comes to business formal dress code. The fit has to be perfect, not too big nor too tight. This helps to elevate your entire outfit.

• No more black jackets! Opt for grey or navy blue instead. Especially if you are over 40 years old or if you have a fierce demeanor.
• Concerned about heavy thighs? Have your jacket fall until the widest part of your thighs.
• Princess cut will make you look slimmer. It’s like magic.
• Tweed blazers are great for ladies who want to appear bigger.
• Unlike men, ladies do not need to button their jackets.



There is one classic staple that is very popular for any office lady, and that is black trousers. Look around at the ladies in your office now and you’ll find someone with black trousers.

Make your life more interesting than just a pair of black trousers! Have a look at some of the different styles of ladies trousers and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to style your trousers differently!

• No leggings/skinny pants for work! Even if your office doesn’t practice business formal, your workplace is still a professional business platform.
• Slim fit pants are great for ruler and cone body shape who generally have slim legs. Slim hour glass body shape may look great too!
• Flared / A-Line / Wide leg pants are great for spoon and figure 8 body shape who generally have heavier bottoms.
• Pleated pants are in fashion and are great for those who need to add volume on the bottom.
• If your bottom is heavy, avoid heavy patterns and stiff fabrics.



A great alternative to trousers is a pencil slim skirt. Unfortunately, a common mistake many women make when finding a skirt for work is too short of a hemline. A professional length skirt shouldn’t hit higher than right above the knee. It is extremely important to adhere to this rule as it all comes down to being respected at the workplace.

• You will never go wrong with knee length pencil slim skirt. The cutting of this skirt is suitable for all body shapes.
• If you are concern about heavy bottom, avoid big prints and bright colours. Go for plain and dark colours.
• Avoid calf length skirts if you are not tall.



Let’s talk about your tops, ladies. When it comes to business formal, it’s best to raise your neckline and avoid revealing your cleavage. Showing too much skin at your chest area can be a distraction for both men and women! Check with your company whether showing arms are acceptable in your workplace. If you have sleeveless tops for work, don’t worry! You can always use an outer piece such as a cardigan, tunic or jacket to hide your arms.

You won’t go wrong with solid colours and subtle prints. Avoid wearing too much chili red and keep away from busy patterns. It is best to invest in plain tops. That way, you can have a variation of mix and match. If you are the “lazy” type, you can try ready accessorized blouses/patterned blouses/peplum tops.

What sort of blouses do you normally go for? Plain or Pattern?


• If you belong to the curvy body shape, wear tops that are form fit.
• If you belong to the straight body shape, you can wear both straight cut and form fit tops.

Outer Wear


On days you are not required to wear a jacket, you can opt for other outer wear such as a cardigan, tunic and vest. It adds creative layers, dimension and a different style to your whole ensemble. You can also achieve a slimmer silhouette or a fuller body when worn correctly.


• To achieve a slimmer silhouette, try a longer outerwear and have a soft but heavy fabric.
• To achieve a fuller body, try short cardigans or thick and heavy fabric (such as tweed).

Ensure colour and pattern is suitable for business to portray professionalism at all times.



When we meet someone for the first time, we get judged from top to toe. Our shoes in particular, reveals a lot about us. Thus, it is extremely important that our footwear for business is right.

Here are 9 types of shoes every woman must have for the workplace. Ranging from ballerina flats to stilettos, you are work ready every day!

Every woman must own a pair of pumps. The two colours that will never go wrong is nude and black. If your bottom piece is dark, go with black pumps. If your bottom piece is light, go with nude pumps.

If you can’t handle too high of a heel, try a heel height of 1.5-2 inches. The added inches will give you extra elegance and sophistication. If you require to stand for long periods, stack heels are great.

Ballerina flats are every woman’s favourite as they scream comfort. However, they may be TOO comfortable for the work place. Women tend to walk carelessly when wearing flats, so be careful! When meeting clients or attending meetings, it’s best to put on a pair of pumps.

Check with your company on the dress code. Not all organizations allow peep toes or too fancy shoes. If you’re not sure, play safe and go conservative or you may lose an opportunity.


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