Chances are you dress up every day for work, but it’s simply to follow the dress code. So, when you get that invite to the upcoming Holiday office party, you will probably start wondering—what is holiday party dressing and what should I wear?
The first part of figuring out what to wear has already been done for you—it’s a holiday party! You should determine the right color scheme and expected weather. Dressing warmly depends on the season and location (which is most likely winter although it’s been unusually warm here in the Northeast).
Although it is important to still look professional for holiday parties, it’s okay to dress with your comfort in mind. Holiday parties and holiday party dressing are a genre of formal different from the regular dress code that your company requires. If the weather is chilly, plan on wearing layers—wool and cotton are natural fabrics that do the perfect job. It’s also easy to take off layers if you get too warm during the party.
Consider wearing something festive that will also make you stand out (in a good way). Anything sparkly or bright such as a sequin blouse or red tie will do the trick. Consider using scents to enhance your outfit; for women, wear a spicy or regal-smelling perfume, and men, try a woodsy or outdoorsy cologne. Bring a long overcoat or jacket with a hood to protect your outfit from the weather.
Define your attire with these suggestions:
Add a splash of color to your outfit to symbolize the holiday—for example, wear a red dress, bright blouse, shiny shoes or sparkly accessories.
Wear fashionable earrings and flashy heels.
Paint your nails for the season!
Have a clutch purse that goes along with your seasonal outfit.
If you’re wearing a dress or skirt, consider stockings that have a little “shimmer.”
Makeup—try a bold red lipstick, so long as it complements your complexion. Otherwise, go with a light pink lipstick that should match both your complexion and your outfit.
Wear an in-season (bow)tie, dress shirt, jewelry such as a watch or cuff links, or socks.
Like women, men should also dress for the season—for example, a bright pocket square or festive patterned tie.
Or, if you want to avoid the seasonal tie and socks look, you can just add holiday colors such as red, green or bright blue to your attire.
A v-neck sweater or sweater vest in a color of the season can go under your jacket or be worn instead of it.
You can consider formal “ugly sweaters” as an alternative.
In addition to dressing well, it’s also important to present yourself well.
This one etiquette rule to remember for holiday parties: Eat before heading to the party. If you’re planning on drinking, be prepared. Eat some carbohydrates as it’s been proven that drinking alcohol in a business situation rather than a social situation speeds up the effect of alcohol on your system—so be wary!