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Interpreting Holiday Party Dress Codes: Business Formal

Holiday dress codes are sometimes hard to decipher. The phrases people use are sometimes a bit vague, and it leaves women stressing endlessly about what to wear!! In this series, I’m sharing insight into each dress code, as well as a few great dress choices at different price points. You can see Black Tie here and Semi-Formal here.

One of the more obscure dress codes is Business Formal. It sounds intimidating, but really it’s almost the same thing as cocktail or semi-formal, where a short formal dress is appropriate, but the “Business” part is thrown in there to tell you to keep your dress a little more tailored. No slinky or overly sexy dresses!

Click through for five fabulous finds that will keep you feeling appropriate for any party dubbed “Business Formal.”

  • Business Formal Dress Code 1 of 6
    business formal

    Click through for 5 great business formal dresses!

  • LBD Occasion Dress 2 of 6
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    This super simple, tailored dress is perfect for a business formal occasion. Because it's so simple, it can easily be paired with big statement jewelry and/or fabulous heels. 

    Find it at ModCloth for $52.99

  • Double Faced Wool Crepe Dress 3 of 6
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    Cobalt is huge this year, and this simple fitted dress in the bright blue hue is a gorgeous pick for a business formal event. Add a thin shiny belt and some big glitzy earrings to dress it up!

    Find it at J.Crew for $228 (also comes in black!)

  • Peplum Dress in Stretch Wool 4 of 6
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    When you're attending an event that requires a more tailored dress, peplum is a perfect choice. 

    Find it at J.Crew for $248 (comes in navy and black)

  • Origami Dress in Wool Crepe 5 of 6
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    A simple dress like this one is elevated a bit by an interesting, asymmetrical neckline. Adding a necklace will compete with the neckline, so opt for big earrings instead, and throw on a pair of fun metallic, sparkly, or patterned heels. 

    Find it at J.Crew for $198 (available in other colors for lower price points!)

  • Faux Leather Silhouette Body-Con Dress 6 of 6
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    A few strips of faux leather are a fun and edgy addition to a simple, tailored dress. A sparkly necklace, a sleek clutch, and some strappy heels will complete the business formal look nicely.

    Find it at Nordstrom for $98

Find more of Merrick’s style and writing at Merrick’s Art

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

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