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What to wear to your office holiday party?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the festive season and brings with it an endless list of holiday parties. This brings me to the age-old question I get a lot this time of year. What to wear to a workplace shindig? If this is something you struggle with then keep reading for my 7 DO's and DON'Ts of dressing for your office holiday party.

Before we jump in, I just want to make it clear that these rules will wary according to industry, company, how conservative your boss is and whether there will be clients present. My rule of thumb is to always err on the side of caution.

  • Don't think the festive season equals a free pass. If you work in a traditional industry and particularly if you work with people's money (accountant/lawyer/financial adviser etc) you'll need to dress conservative whatever the occasion.

  • Do push yourself out of your comfort zone. Wear an office staple such as a suit or a dress in a bright color or add some statement shoes. Alternatively, you can play with your hair or makeup - you can never go wrong with a swipe of red lipstick.

  • Don't be afraid of sparkle. A sequined midi or maxi skirt is chic and tasteful. Alternatively, a t-shirt with sequins can tone down an ultra formal pair of trousers or a silk skirt.

  • Do add accessories to elevate an otherwise traditional outfit. An elegant clutch bag is a simple way to elevate any outfit.

  • Do invest in luxurious fabrics. Silk, satin and velvet are all great for special occasions and can be dressed up or down. An unexpected pairing such as an off-the-shoulder top in velvet makes a statement and is a fun mix of seasons.

  • Don't invest in fabrics you would never wear outside of the holiday season. If the first thing you think of when holding a silk shirt is your dry cleaning bill or the idea of sequins makes you break out in hives then steer clear of those fabrics. There is nothing worse than spending money on pieces that will end up collecting dust in your wardrobe.

  • Do play up your sensual side. Keep those low necklines for the club. Instead invest in a good quality sheer blouse, which you can layer over a basic tank or a top in a contrasting color.

Whatever outfit you go for, make sure you are comfortable. If you don't wear super high heels on a regular basis then this is not the night to start. You want to feel like the best version of yourself not spend the evening sitting in the corner because your feet hurt.


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