The holiday season is a time of many worries: what to get your Secret Santa when you have no idea who they are beyond a name on the office call list, how to fit in Christmas shopping when you have used up all of your annual leave… the list goes on! But what’s most important of all is what to wear to the work Christmas party.
The cameras will be out, the drinks will be flowing, and the music will probably be blaring, so you need a comfortable, presentable and dazzling outfit to see you through.
To help you find the perfect outfit, we’ve prepared a guide for any occasion. Here are our styling tips for this holiday season.
For the Ladies
Whether you’re going full glam with sequins and sparkles or keeping it casual with a pop of colour, you’ll want an outfit that wows your colleagues. Here are the perfect picks for your office soirée.
Work parties (usually) only happen once a year, so you might as well make the most of it with a show-stopping gown. If the party has a black-tie dress code, be sure to wear a full-length gown that’s both classy and elegant. No party outfit would be complete without a statement earring, so don’t leave your chandelier-drop earrings at home!
Creative Black Tie
For creative black-tie events, you can push the boundaries and opt for a shorter length dress or skirt. Sequins, velvet or silk fabrics are perfect for a bit of ‘wow factor’, and green or burgundy hues are ideal for this season. To make sure you stay warm until the party is over, wrap up in a faux fur jacket or snood.
If you’re not used to going full-glam, this dress code is one that you’ll feel more comfortable with. A simple midi dress, suit trousers or knee-length skirt will do for the occasion. And if you’re feeling rather daring, you can push the boat out and wear an eye-catching colour. If, however, you feel more comfortable in something plain, you can always rely on your LBD (little black dress)!
This is often the most confusing dress code of all! Do you turn up in your scruffy Christmas jumper and shove some reindeer horns on your head, or is this the perfect excuse to wear lots of sparkle and glitter? Our advice? Opt for the latter!
With so many festive options available at this time of year, you can find a flattering sequin party dress or a stylish deep green top. And if dazzling clothes aren’t your thing, simply opt for your go-to statement shoes.
If you work in a casual environment, you’ll probably always be in jeans or tapered trousers. To make your look more festive, throw on a sparkly top, matched with some statement earrings. Alternatively, layer a polo neck top underneath a stylish jumpsuit for a super laid-back look.
For the Gents
Deciding on your outfit for the party season can be even trickier for you gents – you want to make sure your clothing differs from your usual 9-to-5 attire, while also not looking out of place. To make sure you’re on your A-game and looking super suave, we’ve put together the following suggestions.
The formal attire is probably the easiest to nail, but the most expensive, as many people don’t usually have a tux lying around. To up the ante, think along the lines of Casino Royale and opt for a black or navy tuxedo with satin or grosgrain lapels, paired with a dress shirt, bow tie (preferably not a clip-on), a pocket square, waistcoat and dress shoes, without forgetting your super cool cufflinks and tie pin!
Creative Black Tie
The creative black-tie attire doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to wear a full tuxedo. Instead, you can choose a three-piece suit with a smart tie and pocket square. You’ll still look like you’re dressed to the nines, without an expensive price tag to go with it! And you’ll get to wear the individual pieces of your suit again!
This dress code allows for a more modern take on the two-piece suit. You don’t have to wear a matching shirt and trousers; in fact, you can opt for tailoring separates, like a pair of chinos with a smart blazer. To add a bit of a statement, why not choose a velvet jacket in a maroon hue? You can even wear velvet shoes to match!
If you’re given a festive theme, you should steer clear of going full Santa and his elves and, instead, inject a little holiday sparkle into your outfit. This can include a Fair Isle jumper or a maroon tie and shoes. Alternatively, you can jazz up your ensemble with accessories like a Christmassy pocket square or stylish cufflinks.
The smart casual dress code can be complicated to master, especially if you’re used to wearing a suit throughout the day. For a more relaxed look, pair straight-cut jeans with an open shirt and a wool blazer. On the other hand, if blazers aren’t your thing, you can wear a smart cardigan/jumper on top of your shirt.
- Be comfortable: Comfort is key when it comes to your company Christmas party outfit. You don’t want to be pulling your dress down mid-conversation with your boss or looking down to check the shirt buttons haven’t popped open. And ladies, for everything good in the world, make sure that you wear shoes that you can walk in; if this means wearing flats, you can still find sparkly numbers to go with your outfit!
- Make sure your clothes are ironed: You probably don’t need to be told to iron your clothes, but if you’re the type of person who throws stuff in the tumble dryer and skips the ironing stage (we’re not judging), then you should probably give your clothes a little steam before you head out the door to attend your Christmas bash!
- Don’t over-accessorise: Accessories are a great way to jazz up your outfit and turn it into a show-stopper, but when overdone, it can be disastrous! Make sure you don’t wear both dazzling earrings and a necklace - choose one of the two and stick to one statement item.
- Steer clear of sheer: Sheer fabrics should be banned from your party wardrobe altogether – you want to look professional without your undergarments showing! Don’t forget that the lighting at some of these events can be strong; so, if you’re in doubt, don’t wear it!
- Don’t overdo your makeup: Your Christmas party isn’t the time to test all the festive looks at once. If you’re going to add some glitter to your look, go for the eyes! Otherwise, keep your makeup soft and natural – you still want your colleagues to recognise you when you walk through the door!
- Consider the weather: If it’s cold outside, it’s wise to wrap up warm. Don’t risk getting sick just because you want to show off your new strappy dress. Many overcoats will go with your rock-solid outfit, so don’t leave your overthrow at home!
- Don’t wear something you usually wear to work: A Christmas party is the perfect excuse to get out of your usual clothes and wear something different. Take full advantage of this and make sure that all eyes are on you this Christmas by ditching your usual frock or suit and daring to wear something more stylish.
The holiday party season is a sure-fire reason to go on a shopping spree or get out your glam-rags from the back of your wardrobe. This year, you can take home the Best-Dressed Employee Award by following our practical outfit guide.
What dress code does your company Christmas party have this year? Let us know what style you like the most in the comments section below.