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Semiformal attire is a happy medium between formal wear and casual wear. Sometimes also referred to as "cocktail attire" or "business attire," the semiformal look is dressy without dressing to the nines. When in doubt, consider the advice of Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfield -- “One is never overdressed or underdressed with a little black dress.”

Semiformal for Women

Head to the evening wear section of the department store for semiformal options. Look for knee-length or shorter cuts in finer fabrics such as silk, chiffon, lace or satin. Alternatively, you could opt for a dressy skirt suit or upscale separates. The semiformal look is similar to what you might wear to a chic restaurant or New Year's Eve party.

Options for Men

Guys will look sharp at a semiformal event in nice, tailored suits that would be appropriate in a business formal setting. Stick to darker shades and add a splash of color with a dressy striped shirt or a colorful but tasteful tie. Dark leather dress shoes and dark socks complete the look.

About the Author

Claire McAdams

Based in Los Angeles, Claire McAdams has been writing professionally since 2006. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and also online at and She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Belmont University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from King College.