How to Wear a Women's Pantsuit to a Formal Event

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The invitation inviting you to a formal event will usually indicate the dress code for the event. When an invitation stipulates “formal dress,” this tells you that men should wear a tuxedo or a dark suit and women should generally choose a cocktail-length or floor length gown. Instead of a gown, select a conservative, high-quality pantsuit that exudes a formal style suitable for the event. Although tradition dictates a gown, a woman can wear a pantsuit provided it is fashionable.

Select a pantsuit in a color, fabric and style that is both sophisticated and fashionable. Look for a pantsuit with a fitted and tailored waist, stylishly cut pants, intricate collar and added embellishments (such as sequins, buttons, beads or embroidery). Choose a bold color and high-quality fabric such as linen or satin). A pantsuit with an unusual jacket, such as an oversized and flowing jacket with angel sleeves, deeply cut neckline or a contrasting color can make a pantsuit especially suitable for a formal event.

Wear a stylish blouse beneath the pantsuit in a neutral and complementary color. Allow the collar or neckline of the blouse to peek out from beneath the suit jacket. Some pantsuits may be such that they do not require a blouse layered beneath the jacket, so add a blouse only if it works beneath your pantsuit.

Add a necklace, bracelet and earrings in bold colors and sizes to set off your outfit and give your look a special touch.

Wear strappy high heels with open toes to give the pantsuit a dressier touch. Select high heels in a complementary color, or select shoes with sparkles, jewels or sequins.