Formal shirts for a woman are often worn for a high-powered executive look with a work suit or a special occasion. A mother of the bride can wear a formal shirt with a mermaid skirt instead of the usually formal suit. A woman can wear formal shirts paired with trousers to a cocktail event, instead of a work suit or the ubiquitous little black dress. And finally, a professional woman can wear a formal shirt pared with or without a work suit for a presentation in a conservative office.
Several attributes set a shirt apart as formal shirts. One attribute is the fabric. We can take a clue from men’s formal shirts – which are often a crisp, high quality white cotton. Silk, while more expensive than most cottons, does not automatically denote formality. Formal is sharp lines, strict tailoring, usually skimming the body. Silk is a challenging fabrication for employ sharp tailoring since the fabric has so much drape to it. Silk twill or silk faille are the better options for sharp lines.
Tuxedo shirts are great examples of formal shirts. As is a highly blouson style, or a kimono stop with dramatic sleeves. Style characteristics that make a shirt inappropriate for day wear make it acceptable as a formal shirt. An oversize collar or statement neckline are great options. For more on ways to make shirts more fun, visit our Custom Button Down Shirts page!