Dressing for success at work holiday parties

by: Tierney Pomone
December 4, 2011

image from www.brotherswithnogame.comOne of the best parts about the holiday season are the get-togethers. Seeing friends and family and enjoying each others' company over food and beverage can create some of the best life-long memories.

Then, there's the office party. For some, the office holiday party can create a different kind of anxiety. Should I drink in front of my boss? Can I bring a date, and if I'm single who on earth will I bring? Should I cover my boss's tab? While I can't answer all of these questions for you, I can most certainly answer a much simpler question: What will I wear?

Like any other get-together, it's important to determine the fomality of the event. Last year, the office I worked for had drinks and appetizers at Arooga's. A friend of mine had a much more formal meal at Stock's on Second the same night. Some bosses even have parties at their house! How do we determine what to wear?

Click through for Tierney's fashion help:

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Dressy top blazerIf the party is at the office itself or a more casual venue such as a sports bar, go for a more casual outfit. Men, wear nice jeans, a polo or button-up and nice shoes. Ladies, try out the tailored jacket, dressy top and skinny jeans look with flats. 
  • For the party at the boss's house, it's always hard to gauge what to wear, especially if the invitation doesn't specify. In this instance, I suggest going for a look that can be easily dressed up or down when in a pinch. For guys, this is nice jeans and button up while wearing either a matching sweater or suit coat "for warmth" so you can gauge how dressed up you'll need to be when you get there.For the women, I recommend a pair of tailored dress pants, a dressy top and heels, or a solid top/pencil skirt combo with heels. Bring a scarf or a tailored jacket with you "for warmth," and if you need to dress it up a bit put on the jacket, dress it down with a scarf if necessary. And yes, do wear heels!
  • Dress shirt sweaterFinally, for the formal dinner or cocktail hour, it's much better to be overdressed in a professional situation. Ladies, go with a classic dress with tights/hose and heels. (Find some Macy's coupons here.) For a little something to make yourself stand out, try a leopard scarf, daring collar necklace, ruffled sweater or a sequined jacket. All are very in this season and add a celebratory flair. Guys, go for something similar to office attire: dress pants/slacks, dress shoes, shirt and tie. If this bores you, I also suggest trying a sweater or vest over top of this combo, as long as it's not too bulky. And please please PLEASE leave that Christmas tree tie at home! Classic dress

This isn't a work day, so feel free to use this time to show a little bit of your personality. Ladies, grab those zebra heels you wish you could wear every day, and men feel free to try out that bright colored striped tie. Just don't go too far, and save the tacky Holiday sweaters for your ugly Christmas sweater party. Also, remember that this is a work-related get together. Ladies, pack up that cleavage and keep the skirts at an appropriate length. Enjoy the company of friends and co-workers, but be responsible. No one wants to have to do that walk of shame back into the office after drunkenly singing, "Santa Baby."

Most importantly, have fun and appreciate the sentiments of the season.

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Categories: Fashion, Holiday

2 thoughts on “Dressing for success at work holiday parties

  1. Beth on said:

    Where is that blue dress from?? Love it!

  2. Tierney on said:

    Sorry for the late reply, I saw this dress originally on JC Penney’s website, but it appears they no longer have it. How disappointing!

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