Business Semi-Formal Attire

In a business semi-formal environment are included various occasions from corporate events and cocktail parties to holiday gatherings. Also, evening events such as weddings are in the semi-formal category. You might be thinking that this gives you more freedom and allows playing with colors and experimenting more.

Furthermore, you may feel encouraged to wear what you usually don’t and end up arriving at a semi-formal event too dressed up or on the contrary – too casual. This can cause the embarrassment, as it is quite common that people misinterpret the dress code, and find about it upon their arrival when nothing can be fixed.


Therefore, smart businesswomen always carefully select their clothing for company-sponsored events.  Small businesses will use the designation ‘semi-formal’ on the invitation. However, it should read ‘business semi-formal’ as it adds more clarity to it.

In that case, women should wear a tuxedo (or a tux jumpsuit, like the one in the picture below) or dress pants with a dressy top, made of appropriate fabric, a skirted suit, a long-sleeved, knee-length dress or a dress with a jacket. Semi-formal fabrics include chiffon, velvet, satin, sateen, velour, silk, polyester and cashmere.

Don’t go over-the-top with trendy earrings or sparkling jewelry. Instead, wear a scarf pinned at the shoulder of your suit. For this type of business wear ideally would be wearing large silk flower pins, classic pearls, and a simple black clutch purse.

When it comes to a regular semi-formal event, women should avoid wearing jeans and pants, but rather choose an inevitable black dress or a cocktail dress. Evening gowns are recommended when it comes to weddings, however, make sure you wear minimal accessories if you’re in a long dress.

Shoes should be paired with your dress choice. Still, there are some recommendations. For a business cocktail hour, low heels are ideal. DO NOT wear sandals, tennis shoes or flip-flops at the semi-formal event.

Pantyhose that lift and support you all over, and stockings are appropriate (as long as the gathers cannot be seen). Pantyhose in nude, plain or black are a good choice. In that case, choose closed-toe shoes. Heels are a necessity when it comes to weddings unless you want to go in flat. In that case, try to extra polish your shoes.


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