Do you have events, parties or weddings to attend this year? Then a semi-formal look could be perfect. If your invitation doesn’t stipulate a dress code, semi formal attire for women is usually a safe bet.
Or, if your invitation does say “semi formal” what exactly does it mean, what should your wear, where should you wear it, and how should you wear it? Let’s take a look at semi formal attire for women.
What is semi formal attire for women?
The clue is definitely in the name. As you would expect, semi formal is dressy attire that falls below a formal or black tie dress code, but still a big step above casual wear. It’s different to business casual, as you can be more playful, and add your own expressive twists to suit your style personality.
For example, rather than wearing a long, formal gown, you might choose a cocktail dress, pants suit or jumpsuit. You can think about knee and midi lengths, prints, and elevated separates.
Julie @stylishparadox above (read her style interview here) puts together a stylish look that mixes tones of red and burgundy.
Steal her look with this similar blazer dress (another option here), pants, booties, handbag, earrings and belt.
When might you wear it?
Unless your invitation asks you to dress in a specific formal way, then semi formal is perfect for all sorts of occasions, from weddings to parties to dinner.
Cathy @themiddlepageblog above (read her style interview here) shows how a pair of wide leg pants can be perfect for a semi-formal look. You can elevate your look even further by chooses a luxurious fabric such as velvet or silk.
She is wearing a printed blouse from EVEREVE (another option here) and pants from Ulla Johnson (other options here and here). Check out this similar belt, necklace, sandals, sunglasses and shoulder bag.
Your semi formal attire for women capsule wardrobe
Below, you’ll find all the clothes, shoes and accessories you need to put together your own semi-formal look. Read on for a capsule semi-formal capsule wardrobe that should give you plenty of inspiration.
If you prefer to wear separates, look out for luxe materials such as silk and satin for your tops. You could also add a print to bring some personality into your outfit.
KOBI HALPERIN Liv Stretch Silk Blouse – Ted Baker London Joanha High Mock Neck Satin Blouse – Ted Baker London Jamyna Metallic Abstract Floral Blouse – Ted Baker London Arelln Floral Mesh Top
Jamie @moreturquoise (read her style interview here) teams different textures in her outfit by mixing leather and lace. She elevates her outfit with her metallic accessories and statement earrings.
Check out this lace top (other options here and here), pants (other options here and here), pumps, clutch and earrings.
Jackets and cover ups
Unless you’re heading to a beach wedding in tropical climes, then you’re likely to need a cover-up for your semi-formal look. Look for blazers, belted styles, draped ponchos and wraps.
For more ideas take a look at how to cover up a formal outfit.
ANINE BING Quinn Blazer – Karen Millen Drape Detail Belted Soft Blazer – Nordstrom Shimmer Wrap – Nordstrom Cotton & Cashmere High-Low Poncho
ANINE BING Quinn Blazer – Ted Baker London Abriee Floral Puff Sleeve Handkerchief Hem Midi Dress – MIA Muna Block Heel Sandal – ANINE BING Colette Bag – ANINE BING Link Ball Drop Earrings
dresses and skirts
A dress is always a beautiful choice for a special occasion, but if you prefer separates, you could also choose a skirt. Look for dresses or skirts with draping, in satin, silk, lace or with a stylish print.
ANINE BING Samantha Dress – Ted Baker London Abriee Floral Puff Sleeve Handkerchief Hem Midi Dress – Eliza J Lace Asymmetric Cocktail Dress – Open Edit Asymmetric Satin Midi Skirt
Rita @ritapalazzi above (read her style interview here) chooses a floral midi dress with a square neckline. She matches her earrings to the flowers in her dress.
Recreate her outfit with this similar dress (other options here, here and here), pumps and earrings.
You don’t have to stick to dresses and skirts for your semi-formal outfits. Pants, particularly wide legs, can add drama to your look.
ANINE BING Classic Pant – Steve Madden Addy Plissé Pants – ANINE BING Carrie Pant – Karen Millen Pleat Detail Wide Leg Trouser
Ted Baker London Jamyna Metallic Abstract Floral Blouse – ANINE BING Classic Pant – Massimo Dutti Mules – COACH Luna Soft Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag – BaubleBar Evie Necklace – ANINE BING Link Ball Drop Earrings
Choose a pair of special shoes to really make your outfit stand out, and ensure you look ready for an event rather than a business meeting. You can choose heels or flats, either open or closed toe, just make sure that your shoes are as beautiful as the rest of your outfit.
ANINE BING Invisible Sandals – Massimo Dutti Mules – MIA Muna Block Heel Sandal – Veronica Beard Lisa Pointed Toe Pump
Kim @kimair (read her style interview here) opts for a polka dot dress. Polka dots are particularly on trend this season, as you can see in our round-up of the best trends for spring and summer 2023.
Check out this dress (other options here and here) that you can wear with this similar pair of sandals, handbag (another option here), earrings and sunglasses.
Your accessories will really finish your outfit. You’re likely to want a small carry handle or clutch bag to fit in your essentials. And, add a stylish pair of earrings and an on-trend necklace.
COACH Luna Soft Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag – ANINE BING Colette Bag – Nina Gelsey Crystal Embellished Minaudière – BaubleBar Evie Necklace – ANINE BING Link Ball Drop Earrings
Karen Millen Drape Detail Belted Soft Blazer – KOBI HALPERIN Liv Stretch Silk Blouse – Karen Millen Pleat Detail Wide Leg Trouser – MIA Muna Block Heel Sandal – Nina Gelsey Crystal Embellished Minaudière – BaubleBar Evie Necklace – ANINE BING Link Ball Drop Earrings
Your semi-formal attire for women together in one capsule
Below, you can see some of the clothes, shoes and accessories together in one capsule. You could easily alter the level of formality of each outfit to suit the occasion. Then, you can get more wear out of these options by wearing with your more casual day-to-day looks.
For example, you could wear any of the tops and blazers with your favorite jeans. Or you could wear your denim jacket with the floral dress.
shop the semi formal attire for women outfits below:
- What To Wear To A Cocktail Party
- The Best Casual Party Outfits That Make An Impact
- How To Dress When You Are The Mother Of The Bride (Or Groom)
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Feature image by Cathy @themiddlepageblog
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