Your work Christmas party is a fantastic opportunity to get dressed up and have a great time with your colleagues but finding the perfect outfit can be a difficult feat. Here, Steve Cochrane, Managing Director of designer clothing retailer Psyche, shares his top tips for dressing for the office Christmas party this year.
The festive season is almost upon us! And, as everybody begins to get into the Christmas spirit, your company is sure to have announced their plans for the office Christmas party.
Whether you’re headed to a formal sit-down dinner or your employers want to make the most of the impressive company office space with a party in the office, you’ll want to be dressed to impress.
Here, I will be sharing my tips for putting together a Christmas office party outfit that’ll get heads turning.
1. Refer to your invite
Before you begin planning your outfit, it’ll be important to consider your Christmas party invite. Some employers will set a dress code which will be included on the invite, but if not, knowing the details of where you’re going can help you to plan the most suitable outfit.
After all, nobody wants to be the person who is blindingly obviously under- or over-dressed for the occasion.
As well as the location, you should take the time of day into account. If your office Christmas party is going to take place during lunchtime, it probably isn’t appropriate to be dressed in your best suit or your most dazzling high heels.
So, pay attention to the details sent over by your employer, even if no dress code has been mentioned.
2. Dressing for a formal festive dinner
If your company are hosting a formal sit-down dinner to celebrate the end of a successful year working together, your outfit should match the setting.
For posher occasions, men should consider a well-fitting blazer which is complemented by a crisp shirt and tailored trousers.
When it comes to footwear, dress shoes can nicely tie together your sophisticated aesthetic, but if the occasion is slightly more relaxed than this, a polished pair of brogues can have the same effect. Finish off your outfit with a designer belt and pair of cufflinks to add little touches of luxury to your look.
For women, I’d suggest opting for a slightly longer cocktail dress than usual, perhaps in a midi style. Alternatively, a quality maxi dress will look beautiful and suit the occasion perfectly.
As you’ll be sat down, you can consider wearing higher heels than if the party involved a lot of dancing. However, if heels aren’t your style, a sparkling pair of ballet pumps can help to tie together your festive look. And, don’t forget a stunning bag to match your outfit.
A luxury clutch can perfect your look and will serve as an investment piece you’ll be able to wear time and time again.
3. Dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party
A lunchtime Christmas party is likely to be a more casual occasion than a formal sit-down meal, as it’s traditionally a more relaxed mealtime than dinner. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your outfit and dress to impress — just check the website of the place you’ll be eating to figure out the vibe before you plan your outfit.
For both men and women, a quality, well-fitting pair of jeans teamed with a shirt or a blouse will look great and tick the unwritten smart-casual dress code that most lunch places have. If it’s a little chilly outside, you can even layer a stylish knitted jumper over the top to keep warm.
You can never go wrong with a leather jacket, and investing in a high-quality, designer one can certainly add to your look.
Shoes can be tricky when dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party, as you want something comfortable and appropriate for the daytime, but nothing that’s too casual. For this reason, I’d advise against athleisure trainers, and instead suggest opting for fashion trainers that don’t look as sporty.
Alternatively, loafers or casual brogues can be a good option for men, while ballet pumps or court shoes with a smaller heel can nicely finish a woman’s outfit.
4. Dressing for an after-work pub party
Knowing what to pack for an after-work party can be unnerving, but when you’re just headed to the pub, it’s likely that you can go in some of your best casual wear.
Men should stick with a quality pair of jeans and team it with a long-sleeved T-shirt or casual shirt along with some fashion trainers or brogues. Although your outfit should be a bit more pared down than it would be at a formal dinner, don’t let it put you off from wearing patterns and prints to show your personality.
Similarly, women can wear jeans teamed with an embellished or satin top and some court shoes. However, if you’re looking to dress a tad smarter, a woollen skirt with tights with a polo neck tucked in can look great at this time of year.
For accessories, I’d suggest a mini shoulder bag to hold your essentials and add detail to your look — especially if you pick a statement one in a bold pattern.
5. Dressing for an office party in the office
If your office party is actually being held in the office, you can wear whatever you’d like! However, as it’s your place of work, you may prefer to dress a little smarter.
For men, this can mean teaming a relaxed shirt with some tapered trousers and smart brogues, while women may choose to wear a midi-length dress with a smart jacket or cardigan over the top.
No matter where your Christmas party is going to be held this year, you’re going to want to look the part. Follow my top tips for dressing to impress for the work’s office party and make it an evening to remember!
If you enjoyed this post, check out our post on ways to look more professional in your new job.
Looking for a new job in the new year?
Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students, graduates and career changers to land their ideal jobs at great companies.