There’s a lot more you can do than stick to the same old black suit when dressing up for a corporate event. There’s also a limited number of other things to choose from, because of the formal attire dress code nature that these events impose. It means that you have to be professional, classy but still elegant and dressy. It’s hard to make a difference between business casual and formal casual because sometimes these dress codes are intertwined and the line between casual and formal gets blurry depending on the time of the day, size of a party etc. To make it simple, here are a few outfit tips that won’t make you look underdressed or overdressed, and a few useful hacks if you’re on a tight schedule, but you welcome practical solutions to styling your outfits.
If you’re ever in doubt about what kind of dress code is required for an event, and it’s not stated anywhere, check out the time. If the said event is during work days, in the late afternoon, it’s probably nothing too fancy. If the event is happening on weekends, late hours, after 7 pm – think more like business casual look.
Stick to classics. Ladies’ suits are a safe option, but don’t make it boring. A well fitted tailored suit with a structured shirt can do you wonders. A solid color satin blouse underneath with one or two buttons undone is alright, as long as it’s not too revealing. Dresses and skirts just below the knee are also very suitable, paired with a nice blouse and a blazer, or an elegant long coat if you like. You don’t need any showy jewelry except what you wear every day, or a nice ladies’ watch on your wrist.
If it’s a night time event, you can accessorize a bit more, and wear sky-high heels in a nude color. Pants and suits are still acceptable, but rather opt for a dress so that people can see you in a different light. Still, the dress should be composed and elegant, nothing too flashy or revealing. Lace is a perfect medium if you want to point out your fashion sense and attract just a little bit of (positive) attention to yourself. If you want to look “expensive”, there are many ways to do it without spending your whole salary on a single dress. If you don’t have time to cruise around enormous shopping malls, you can browse the internet much faster, and you can find dresses for sale if you’re lucky enough.
Statement accessories should be reserved for big gala nights, but for a corporate event, keep it simple. Rather opt for a single ring, bracelet or a nice pair of earrings. A handbag is every lady’s essential item, so pick a nice soft leather or suede envelope clutch.
Hair & Makeup
If your outfit is neat and elegant, your hair should be in line with that too. If you have longer hair, you can put it in a nice low bun, or get a nice blowout. Either way, nothing too messy or untidy. And it’s not a bad idea to keep a comb in your bag with the rest of necessities. You’ve probably got it by now that heavy makeup is also a no, but if you don’t want to look to washed out, a classic red lipstick will lift you up, and it looks super classy.
That being said, if you work in an office and you often go to business dinners and parties, you should have a stash somewhere with all the things you might need at the last minute. Blazers, a pair of heels, flats, one pair of extra pants, makeup, jewelry (nothing too valuable, just in case), you never know when you’re going to need something for a quick dress up or dress down.