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Chic Business Dinner Attire Ideas for Women

Brilliant Ideas for Women to Look Chic in Business Dinner Attire

Whoever said that your outfit for a business dinner needs to be staid (read: boring)? Imbue some life and vivacity into the ensemble you pick for an official dinner. This article gives you some stylish, yet completely appropriate ideas.
Tulika Nair
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2018
Keep it Plain

While printed tops have been all the vogue for the past few seasons, we suggest that you opt for plain blouses and tops for a business dinner. This keeps the look professional, and gives you the freedom to experiment with brighter hues.
Dressing for the workplace is an easy affair. Most offices have a dress code, and you need to abide by it, come sun or rain. But what do you wear when you have a work-related evening engagement? Do you go all out and dress like you would for a dinner with your friends, or do you take your 'propah' look into the night as well? We say neither. An evening with your colleagues and/or clients calls for a certain amount of refinement, elegance, and subtlety. It is essential that you dress the part and carefully cultivate the impression you want people to get. You want your outfit to say that I am smart, I am a professional, and I am here to talk business just like you are. Under no circumstances do you want to give out the wrong impression. But that in no way means that you should let your nine-to-five work wear extend their working hours.

Keeping things professional, and yet looking gorgeously dressed to the T is no mean feat. Often, while dressing for a business event, women tend to put the style bit on the back-burner in an attempt to be taken seriously. We suggest that you stop doing that. Being well-dressed and appropriately so is equally important in a business setting. In order to do that, all you need are some good tips, and we give you that (and more). Not only do we give you advice on exactly what you should pick from your wardrobe for a business dinner, we also give you some much-needed outfit inspiration.
Dressing for a Business Dinner: The Dos and The Don'ts
Let's get some things straight first. Dressing for an evening with your boss or prospective/present clients, or colleagues (unless they are close friends) needs a certain modicum of professionalism even if the event in itself is a fun one. So, if you were planning to wear that sexy nurse outfit to the annual Halloween party, please put that thought out of your head. You are going to dinner with people you work with, and you want them to think of you in the right light. Here are some other things you need to keep in mind.
  • The kind of outfit you wear will depend on the type of dinner you are attending. If it's a formal event like an awards ceremony, there may be a specified dress code or a theme. Follow it. If there is no specified code, then dress conservatively.
  • Take time stipulations into consideration. For business dinners scheduled later in the evening, where you find the time to go home and change, you can wear something with a little more color, and something more feminine. But if the dinner is scheduled in such a way that you have no time to change, then accessories can often liven up your outfit.
  • Take your office culture into consideration. If your office discourages non-traditional office wear, then don't dress in a way that will be considered too forward. Also, regardless of office culture, never dress provocatively.
  • Select colors and fabrics according to the season. Since evening events tend to be dressier, wearing the wrong color for the season could make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Having said that, don't restrict yourself either. While traditionally, black, blue, and gray are considered fail-safe colors for office-related events, you can play around with brighter hues and shades. Just ensure that you stick to conservative silhouettes and traditional cuts.
  • While opting for trousers, stick to tailored ones that are wrinkle-free and are cut well. Don't wear pants that are too tight.
  • With skirts and dresses, ensure that they aren't too short. If while sitting, you can see too much thigh, then the dress is too short. If the skirt has a slit, ensure that it is small and right at the back.
  • For shirts and sweaters, always pick those that don't show any cleavage. Also ensure that they aren't see-through or clingy.
  • This may seem a little repetitive but we can't stress enough on how important it is to accessorize well. In situations where you need to wear outfits that are similar to your work outfits, the right add-ons can make all the difference. Dressy shoes, a chunky necklace, a silk or brocade jacket in a jewel tone; these are all essentials in the wardrobe of a woman whose position requires her to attend many such events.
The Outfit Inspiration You Need

The three basics that are the go-to for any woman are a nice top with a pair of trousers, a feminine blouse with a well-cut skirt, and a sheath/wrap dress in a dark shade. We suggest that you make these your mainstay. Here are the different ways in which you can dress up your regular office wear or even opt for something slightly less uniform(y).
Regardless of the profession you are in―the arts, law, finance, astronomy―it is important that you separate your dinner-for-work wear from your regular party wear. Not only can regular wear be sometimes completely inappropriate, in my personal experience, when you mix the two, you often end up with having nothing to wear for regular, yet dress-up occasions. So, just keep that little problem at bay. Just remember, style and professionalism can be quite the BFFs, provided you introduce them well.