What To Wear To a Business Dinner

Men and women may choose to wear a business suit to a company dinner. For women, a skirt or slacks are appropriate paired with a matching jacket. Men should choose a dark-colored suit that is nice but not too formal.

When it comes to attending a business dinner, dressing the part is essential. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions. You want to make sure that you look professional and appropriate for the occasion. Whether you’re attending a business dinner as a guest or as the guest of honor, you want to look polished, fashionable and professional. So, how do you decide what to wear to a business dinner? To help you make the right choice, here are some tips on what to wear to a business dinner to make sure you look your best.

Business Dinner Etiquette: Proper Manners for Dining with Clients

What to wear to a business dinner

The majority of business dinners will be semi-formal, so you should dress a bit more formally than you would for a typical workday. This could entail switching out your dressy jeans for slacks, adding a sport coat or jacket, and switching up your shoes. Following these general rules will help you choose appropriate attire for a business dinner:


Both men and women should wear pressed, well-fitted slacks in a dark or gray color. Even though they are appropriate for the office, jeans are inappropriate for a business dinner. Pants should be hemmed for their best fit.

Dresses and Skirts

Pick out attire like pencil skirts or skirts that are knee-length or just above the knee. Solid-colored or muted-patterned dresses should be fitted but not too tight. It is best to wear a sweater or blazer with a sleeveless dress.


Both sexes have the option of dressing professionally for a company dinner. For women, a matching jacket and skirt are appropriate pairings. Men should wear a nice, but not overly formal, dark suit.


Men ought to dress in a long-sleeved shirt with a collar that buttons up for a business dinner. If the top is translucent or light in color, wear an undershirt underneath. Make sure the shirt is snug around the arms and chest but not too tight.

Women should select a blouse with a simple pattern or a solid color. Avoid shirts with low necklines or sheer fabrics. Shirts without sleeves should be worn with a matching sweater or jacket.


A business outfit can be given a personal touch with tasteful, minimal accessories. Wedding rings and other pieces of jewelry that aren’t worn every day, like watches, should be modest. For a business dinner, small cufflinks or a plain necklace are suitable options.

When worn by women with a dress or suit, simple styled accessories like scarves or brooches are also acceptable choices for professional attire. Earrings should be small and simple as well.

If the situation calls for a tie, men should don one that matches their suit and is a solid color. Match belts to shoe color. Hats are best left at home.


Shoes should complement your professional dress. A smart choice for ladies is low heels or flats. Both should be closed-toe. Men can wear leather dress shoes. Events like a company picnic call for casual attire like boots, sandals, or tennis shoes.

Why is it important to wear appropriate clothing to a business dinner?

A professional dinner is an extension of the workplace. Whether you are celebrating with coworkers or entertaining potential clients, a business dinner is an occasion to demonstrate good manners and taste that can distinguish you as a worker who is dedicated to their job. Show your business intelligence by carefully selecting your attire.

You should dress to impress the other party because a business dinner is frequently set up as a meeting to discuss potential contracts. Relationships with clients can be impacted by what you convey with your appearance and body language. Let your appearance convey that you are a courteous, professional person who they should do business with.

Tips to dress well for a business dinner

Think about the following tips to present your best professional self at a business dinner:

Always show professionalism

Keep in mind that you want to come across as professional when you dress for a business dinner. When you wear clothes with dark or muted colors and few, if any, patterns, you can definitely incorporate style into your wardrobe decisions. Clothing should appear clean and pressed. Your attire should also fit well.

Ask about the dress code

Ask your manager or an HR representative from your office if you have any questions about the appropriate attire for a business dinner. If you’re unsure of whether an event will be formal or informal, especially if you haven’t gone out for a business dinner with your company before, it’s better to inquire. Additionally, you can ask coworkers about their past fashion choices.

Model company culture

Pay attention to how your company functions. Dinner will probably follow this style of dress if they normally have one. Take a look at how your supervisor is dressed to see if they are more casual. Dressing for a business dinner will probably be a little more formal than usual business attire.

Semi-formal is not casual

The term “semi-formal” is occasionally confused with a more casual look. The term “semi-formal” actually refers to less formal attire than what you might don for a gala. With the exception of the more subdued and conservative styles that are required for business events, business professional attire closely resembles semi-formal dress.

Dress up if you are the host

When hosting a client for a business dinner, you might want to dress more formally than if you were just the guest. Dressing appropriately for a potential or existing client demonstrates your interest in gaining and maintaining their respect. Consider wearing a jacket and tie instead of just a collared shirt with buttons, for instance.

Follow the restaurant dress code

Some upscale restaurants have a strict dress code that patrons must adhere to. Make sure you are aware of the rules of the restaurant before scheduling a dinner there by contacting them in advance. You should inform your guests of your policies if you are hosting the dinner.

Elevate a typical work outfit

Simply dressing up the clothes you wear to work in order to go from work to a business dinner can save you time. Add a fresh element to an outfit, such as a jacket or accessory. For women, a blazer can be worn with a blouse and skirt and new heels. Men can put a sport coat over their collared shirt.

Add color to a classic look

By incorporating some color into a timeless suit or simple dress, you can express your personality. Professional clothing in shades of gray, navy, or black stands out when accessorized with a sweater, scarf, tie, or handkerchief in one strong color.


What should a woman wear to a business dinner?

Women should dress conservatively for business dinners in terms of color, length, and fabric Wear a suit with a skirt or with pants. Your skirt can end just above, at, or below the knee. Leather or fabric closed-toe shoes are appropriate business dinner options.

What should I wear to a casual business dinner?

This calls for men to don a dapper suit, a long-sleeved white or light-colored shirt, and a dapper tie. A professional-looking pant or skirt suit is ideal for women. Men should wear dress shoes and dark socks. Women should wear low to medium heels with closed toes.

What should I wear to dinner with my boss?

When in doubt about the attire, wear business attire. For all dinner occasions, a suit, tie, skirt suit, and formal shoes are appropriate. Make sure your skirt is not too short for women, and refrain from wearing too much jewelry.

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