Business Cocktail Attire That's Anything But Boring

Decoding a dress code can be a trying task, even for the most sartorially savvy. When the dress code calls for business cocktail attire, what exactly does it mean? As the name suggests, business cocktail is a balance between work-appropriate attire and a more playful party-ready spin. Hence, more modest hemlines and office-friendly fabrications (save the sequins for a different soirée) still need to be adhered to, yet you can be more adventurous than you would when suiting up for the boardroom.

Tasteful accessories (like textured kitten heels) can instantly take your business look to the cocktail end of the spectrum, and never underestimate the power of tonal dressing. While a quick search for business cocktail attire for women will round up a monotonous sequence of cap-sleeve sheath dresses, we challenge you to go beyond the business cocktail go-to and show off your style in a fashion-forward ensemble that still checks off all the boxes on the dress code. Head below for business cocktail attire inspiration that's anything but boring and shop our picks for the best selection of cocktail attire at the end. 

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Collage Vintage

Few looks are chicer than a tailored pantsuit in head-to-toe white.

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Collage Vintage

More relaxed fits can be just as sophisticated. Go tonal and belt at the waist to make the look more refined.

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Collage Vintage

When in doubt, an airy silk blouse paired with slacks and heels is a failsafe ensemble.

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Collage Vintage

Ditch the sheath dress for a more inspired iteration with comparable hemlines.

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Collage Vintage

Switch things up with a two-piece set that calls for a statement jacket rather than a blazer.

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Collage Vintage

Want to instantly infuse your look with amplified attitude? Replace your work skirt for a leather skirt with a similar silhouette, and you're party-ready.

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Collage Vintage

Give your blazer a break and wear a velvet jacket or wrap sweater instead.

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Collage Vintage

A long-sleeve blouse paired with matching high-waisted pants finished off with heels is an effortless approach to business cocktail attire.

This story was originally published on October 29, 2017, and has since been updated.