When the invitation calls for business attire, and you are quite tired of basic black, why not amp it up with a cute plaid dress and matching coat? For me, this one by Alice and Olivia gets high marks.
I feel like I have definitely raised my hemlines of late, but I am still of the belief that if you wear something with confidence and it is not outrageously inappropriate, your wardrobe can expand exponentially. My fashion advice to my readers is this: you must stay true to yourself and not venture too far from your comfort zone. If this length fits within your comfort zone, then go for it. If it does not, try the coat, because that is something that you will wear multiple times and will remain in your closet for many years, since it is well made and timeless.
This leads me to my next point; suits are meant to be worn as separates. I have shown this ensemble together because it looks good this way, but the dress and the coat would look equally great when worn on their own. For instance, I will likely wear this dress to synagogue for the high holidays and add a little black cardigan to keep me warm in the air-conditioned sanctuary. I will wear the coat with the dress when I attend a “business attire” event. I will also wear the coat with jeans or black pants when the temperatures take a dip. It’s the perfect coat for winter in Los Angeles or autumn in New York.