Implementing a Dress Code: Part 2 – Business Formal Attire

2 mins read

This article is written to describe a Business Formal dress code.

Business Formal attire is common if you work in law, hold a high profile position, or regularly meet with company executives or government officials. This type of attire is considered to be the highest level of professional dress.

Dress Attire Consists of:

    • Tailored Suits:
        • Fine tailored, well-cut suit, pantsuit, or skirt suit
        • Fine tailored, well-cut one to three button-up suit jacket
        • Solid and neutral colour like black, gray, or navy
        • Skirts never more than two finger-widths above the knees
    • Ties or other accessories:
        • Must accentuate or complement the overall ensemble
        • Modest in colour and style, including muted patterns
        • Conservative jewelry – for instance, diamond studs rather than chandelier earrings
    • Tailored dress shirts:
        • Solid white collared button-up shirts
        • Must be tucked in, pressed, and clean at all times
    • Shoes and Footwear:
        • Closed-toe oxfords in colours like brown or black, not loafers
        • Closed-toe heels in neutral colours like taupe, black, grey, or brown
    • Leggings:
        • Tights, preferably in a dark colour
        • Under no circumstance should exercise leggings be worn (i.e. Lululemon)

Pro Tip: Attire is generally high-end quality and refrain from novelty patterns or images.


    • Head Hair:
        • Must be well-groomed, clean, and natural in colour
        • Conservative hair cuts and styles are preferred
        • Males:
          • Short hair is most acceptable
          • Long hair is acceptable, as long as it is tied-back
        • Females:
          • Short Hair is acceptable
          • Long hair is acceptable and can be worn down or tied-back in a neat bun, braid, or ponytail
    • Facial Hair:
        • Must be well-groomed, cleaned, and natural in colour
    • Nails:
        • Must be well-groomed, well-kept and even in length, buffed
        • Nail polish that is clear coated, neutral or muted in colour, bright solid colours (red) are acceptable

Pro Tip: Do not be shy about getting a regular professional manicure. This is quite common in the business world.

Now that you have a snapshot of what is typically considered Business Formal dress attire, please stay tuned for part 3 of this series when we outline what is considered Business Professional.

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