conservative office style Apr 19, 2016

What to Wear to a Business Presentation

Whether you’re speaking at a conference or making a big presentation at the office, you need a dress in your arsenal with a little extra oomph for those workdays where you want to stand out from the crowd.


As you may recall, I featured this dress in the Spring / Summer 2016 Dress Memo as my favorite dress for business presentations.  With capped sleeves and a classic sheath silhouette, it’s perfect for most conservative professional environments (easy to add a black suit jacket if need-be), yet elevated enough to stand-out from your everyday work style.

As discussed in my recent post on what to wear to a client meeting, the best way to up the ante when it comes to conservative workwear is to choose a classic silhouette (sticking with longer hemlines and higher necklines) while having fun with color and print within those bounds.  The result can be striking and anything but “blah workwear.”


DRESS: The Limited (30% off!)  |  SHOES: Jimmy Choo (similar HERE)  |  BAG: Kate Spade New York  |  NECKLACE: Melinda Maria  |  WATCH: Daniel Wellington  |  EARRINGS: Mejuri  |  LIPS: Buxom (San Francisco)

This beauty I’m wearing today comes in petite and tall options, is shockingly well-made, and is inexplicably under $100 (WHAAA?!).  I’ve also rounded up many more of my favorite dresses perfect for work presentations below!

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14 Responses to What to Wear to a Business Presentation

  1. MARTA says:

    Really stylish look! And i love your dress!

  2. Meg says:

    Love this dress. But how about some non-dress options? I almost never wear dresses to work. As a medical librarian at a large hospital, I can easily be on the floor with children during a morning story time and then be presenting to a genetics research group in the afternoon.

  3. Kathy says:

    Beautiful dress and the other options you present are great as well.

  4. Natali says:

    Minimalistic perfection! Such a classy look!

  5. That dress is stunning! And under $100, and in petite? Sold!

  6. Monika says:

    This is absolutely lovely!

  7. Fine selection, but the one you wear is my favorite.

  8. Thuy says:

    I agree with picking classic silhouettes like the sheath and working around that. I also think it’s smart to stick to tried and true colours like black and white if you really want to play it safe. And this number is not boring at all! A modern twist! 🙂

  9. Anon says:

    Hugo Boss has a much more expensive version of the same dress.

  10. Anne Benton says:

    So polished and sophisticated. Dressed to impressed!

  11. Rose says:

    I’m a bit late to comment on this one, but I’m curious on your view of sleeveless dresses for presentations or client meetings. I’m noticing more and more otherwise-work-appropriate dresses on the market that are sleeveless. Is this acceptable now? I would always have a jacket with me just in case, but can I take that jacket off if the room is warm or my presentation is over? I’d love to get your thoughts!

    • Mary Orton says:

      Like anything, it really varies across offices, industries and geographies. I wish there were one hard-and-fast rule! But you’re right, sleeveless dresses are now acceptable in many offices–even many formal ones. However, if your office (or presentation) is particularly old-school and conservative, best to keep a jacket on!

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