With the festive period upon us, it’s officially party season. Chances are that you’ll have more than one party to attend, one of which will likely be your office Christmas party. The million dollar question is - what should you wear? This is your chance to dress up and let your coworkers see another side of you. Enjoy the opportunity and have some fun with it.
Before you can decide on an outfit, though, you’ll need to know the details of the party. Will it be a formal sit down dinner, buffet, or cocktail party? Will it be hosted at someone’s home or will you be going out? These details are all important as they’ll have an impact on what you choose to wear.
Here are some tips for both men and women to help you pick the perfect outfit.
Keep it tasteful
This applies to both men and women. While you should try to show your personality in what you choose to wear, we have one caution: keep it tasteful. It’s always best to err on the conservative side. You don’t want to be the talk of the office on Monday morning. There’s no reason why you can’t look great while still keeping your professional reputation intact. The rule of thumb is that if you have to ask yourself if it’s appropriate, it probably isn’t.
For men, we recommend casual elegance. It’s a great idea to look a little different to your coworkers than you normally do. This could be as simple a change as wearing a dark shirt instead of a light one, or wearing a bowtie instead of a necktie.
Wear a different jacket
You may wear a jacket around the office all week, but there’s no reason you should wear the same thing after hours at a party. If a jacket suits the occasion, then wear a coloured one to add a little variety to the style. It’s also a good idea to wear an unstructured blazer to help straddle that line between professional and personal - their baggier lines and softer feel emit a more relaxed vibe. Wearing something with sheen or a different texture than your usual blazer is also a great way to add a pop of fun.
Add a bold tie
Adding some personality can be as simple as making a bold choice with your tie. Choose a bright colour to contrast a dark shirt and you’re good to go. A tasteful holiday themed tie can also be a great conversation piece.
Don’t forget about grooming
Just because it’s more relaxed, that doesn’t mean you should look like a caveman! Make sure you’re just as clean-cut as you regularly are, or even cleaner if you’re usually a little lax in that department. If the party is after work, make sure to shave in the morning in case you don’t have time at the end of the day.
For the ladies, the little black dress continues to be a staple of office parties everywhere. And why not? It’s been a successful piece since it was invented. However you can move beyond the little black dress with a few different seasonal style ideas.
If you do choose to wear a little black dress, make it fun with some asymmetrical aspects. Perhaps the defined waist can have a slant to it, or the hem can vary in length. Playful yet sexy and sophisticated is the look you’re after.
Pencil skirts are a great option for the office party. They can look professional, but can also highlight your legs in a flattering way. They can be paired with a printed blouse or some sheen to reflect the relaxed and less professional atmosphere.
Prints and patterns
Prints and patterns should also be different than what you would normally wear to the office. Try graffiti, animal, or geometric prints. These patterns are a great way to give off a fun vibe. A printed swing dress would fit the bill perfectly.
If you’re not sure what to wear for your office Christmas party, you can always choose to keep your outfit simple and instead focus on your accessories. Wear a big statement necklace, throw in a few pops of colour, flip on flirty heels, or choose some bold makeup to make an impression.
The office party can be one of the most difficult occasions to dress up for as it requires a lot of forethought. On the one hand, you don’t want to look like you do at work every day, but on the other hand, you also don’t want to be over the top. Now that you have some ideas on what to wear to your office party, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The post-office party chatter around the water cooler will be about the good times and not about your outfit.