Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
Dressing for Your Office Holiday Party
Dressing for Your Office Holiday Party
So I love going to my office’s holiday party. It’s pretty much all of my favorite things–dressing up, free food, free drinks, and dancing! However, dressing for the office holiday party isn’t always easy. My first year, I spent weeks scouring the internet and local stores for the perfect dress. I didn’t want to be overdressed and stand out in a bad way, but being under-dressed is right up there with spiders and two-headed animal crackers on my List of Things I Hate. I felt like my only option was to get it right the first time.
I still remember trying on dresses at Forever 21 that first year. I came out of the dressing room with four sequin-covered dresses, handing them over to the fitting room attendant in defeat. The panic and disappointment must have been blatant on my face when she kindly asked if she could give me some advice. “I think you’re overthinking this too much,” she told me. “You should try on something simple.”
Initially, I was convinced she was wrong. I’m a print- and color-loving Gemini with a loud style, I thought. Why would I ever go with something simple? But when I slid on the floor-length black dress that I ultimately purchased, I let out a sigh of relief. After scrolling through hundreds of dresses online and trying on another 20 in stores, I’d finally found the one.
Now that I’ve attended my third office holiday party, I’ve got a better handle on how to find something for the occasion that intersects my personal style and the demands of the office culture. Below are my tips on how to appropriately dress for your office holiday party so that you look both chic and venue appropriate.
Know the Dress Code
While the point might seem obvious, it’s worth stressing. Every office holiday party has a dress code, and keeping to it will prevent any embarrassing situations of looking like you showed up to the wrong party. My office party dress code was cocktail attire, but if your party is during the day, it’ll call for a more casual look. A good guideline is to follow at minimum your office’s normal dress codd. So if your normal office dress code is business casual, don’t just assume the holiday luncheon is going to be a good venue for your ugly Christmas sweater. Try incorporating a more exciting texture, like the velvet pleated skirt below, to make a work-friendly outfit more festive.
Take a (little) risk
Although it’s a work event, a holiday party is still a party. A little black dress is always safe, but this is a chance to showcase some of your personality! The culture of your workplace will dictate just how much risk you can get away with. If your workplace is generally conservative, choose one item to ‘liven up’ and keep the rest of the look basic. The gold blouse below is party appropriate, but can also be toned down with slacks and a blazer. Its versatility makes it a great day-to-night piece for a holiday happy hour.
If you work in a more creative field, feel free show up in something a little more over-the-top. You’ll showcase your creativity through your personal style.
A Little Skin Goes a Long way
For the more formal holiday parties, it’s more likely you’re going to be showing some skin. In order to keep it work-friendly and classy, choose one area to highlight and cover the rest. A mini dress and heels can be a knockout with a high neckline and sleeves like the one below. If you’re wearing a floor-length dress, you can get away with some modest cleavage. The main thing you want to avoid is being too short, too low-cut, and too tight all at the same time. Leave the Fashion Nova for your New Years Eve look.
So what will you wear?
It took a full day of shopping with my friends to find the perfect holiday party dress, but the end result was well worth it! I hope this post gave you some good ideas. What kind of holiday parties are you going to this year? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on instagram for daily #styleinspo!
Lots of love,