Trends & Guides

2019 Style Guide: How to Dress Up For A Formal Event

18 June 2019 | Yen Lyn Goh

“I just received a formal invitation from friends/someone I know, but there’s no stated dress code for the event, what kind of attire should I dress with?” We’ve all had this question before, and it can be a struggle to find the perfect evening dress or accessories that complement your look. No worries, we’ve prepared a simple style guide to dress your best at different formal occasions.

Formal events can be categorized into many types. Therefore, different occasions will require certain appropriate attire that blends into the atmosphere and venue setting. Here we have classified three groups of formal events so you have a better picture of what to wear and what would be appropriate for that event you’re attending.

Types of Formal Events

  1. Business Professional
  2. Business Casual
  3. Weddings / Proms / Cocktail Parties

Business Professional

Although the term is self-explanatory, some of us might have mistaken it for business casual. To dress like a business professional would include suit and tie, skirt or pantsuits with a blazer or a coat. Your work bag is especially crucial as you’ll have to bring along important documents with you. Expect moments where you have to network with fellow business professionals or senior business people and possibly exchange name cards. Marc Jacobs shoulder bag can be used as a professional work bag and its leather-made document holder is suitable for all kinds of work events. With either one of them, you’re carrying that “can-do” attitude with you that leaves others with a good impression.

Business Casual

Sometimes the concept of business casual can be very hard to grasp. It’s the in-between style of both business professional and casual. We need to be aware of not dressing overly formal or overly casual for this semi-formal event.

For Men

For Women

  • Button-down shirts (long- or short-sleeve)
  • Khaki or cotton pants
  • Polo or knit shirt (optional)
  • Leather shoes
  • Tie & watch (optional)
  • Cotton or nylon long-sleeve shirts/cotton button-down shirts
  • Khaki or cotton pants / Knee-length skirt
  • Polo shirt / knit cardigan
  • Dark color heels or flats
  • Watch or a small piece of jewellery


Pairing your business casual outfit with a watch can give your appearance a boost, other than keeping you on track with timing. Michael Kors watches would be the ideal timepiece that follows you to the event. You may also want to check out Michael Kors smartwatches if you prefer a timepiece that connects to your smartphone and alerts you with new updates from clients.

Weddings/Proms/Cocktail Parties

At joyous occasions like weddings or proms, men can either dress in suits and ties or follow a dapper style with oxford shoes and button-down shirts. Think Eggsy who’s dressed up in an orange dinner tuxedo suit from Kingsman: The Golden Circle; or you can do without the orange tuxedo suit if you’re already comfortable with a white button-down shirt. If possible, have a tailor customize a suit that fits your body nicely.

For women, dresses that are made of refined fabric will be ideal. It can potentially highlight your body shape to make your overall appearance graceful and elegant. Elevate your look with some fine pieces of jewelry like earrings, a necklace or a ring as well as a clutch.

General Rule

Make sure to get your outfit ready and laid out at least a few hours before the formal event so as to save you from panicking or making that emergency phone call to your fashion guru friend by the last minute. The outfit you’re wearing should always be pressed or neat-looking. In all circumstances, carry that inner confidence with you anywhere you go because nothing beats a great smile other than having a flawless appearance for the day!

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