5 Business-Formal Outfits That Aren’t Suits
As the pandemic led many companies to rethink what dressing for work should look like, the definition of business formal has expanded far beyond the suit.
When you think of a business-formal dress code, what do you think of? I’ll admit that before I worked at M.M.LaFleur, “business formal” brought to mind two things: boring suits and endless dry-cleaning bills. But if you’ve tried our elegant, office-ready styles—many of which are machine-washable—you know it doesn’t have to be that way. And after the pandemic led many companies to rethink what dressing for work should look like, our definition of business formal expanded even more.
In 2021 and beyond, business formal means so much more than just suits. Maybe you stick with a blazer and slacks, but you switch it up with contrasting fabrics. Or maybe you forego the jacket altogether and instead opt for a floaty silk top. Read on for five non-suit outfits that are absolutely business-formal.
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The Color-Blocked Look
Let’s start out with something simple: a classic, tailored dress paired with a cropped jacket. The Audrey-Hepburn-esque Cynthia dress was designed in tandem with the sleek Neale jacket, so you know they’ll pair perfectly with one another. A more traditional business-formal wearer would get the Cynthia and the Neale in the same color, but not you! You’re switching things up with a color-blocked look. Finish the outfit with some comfortable pumps and elegant earring jackets that can be worn with any pair of studs.
The Monochromatic Look
Dressing in monochrome, and especially in all black, is an easy way to create a formal-feeling look. Tuck the elegant Leo pullover into the stretchy-yet-structured Harlem skirt for a streamlined outfit that gives off the vibe of a sleek black dress. The strappy Ella sandals will hint at the swanky evening plans you may or may not have, without detracting from your professional appearance. Delicate gold jewelry completes the look.