What to Wear for Work Related Summer Parties

Now that summer has officially begun, you may have received invites to work-related parties hosted by your company or by your bosses. What can you expect at these summer parties and how should you prepare?

One of the most important things to remember is that all work-related parties should still be considered professional engagements. They need to be treated as such, even if the party occurs outside of the office. Although you can somewhat relax your business demeanor, remember to be outgoing yet unpretentious. Be prepared for many small-talk conversations. Be aware of current events and what’s happening in the community. Make sure to acknowledge everyone from your office but also to introduce yourself to new faces such as the relatives or friends of your boss.

If the party will be hosted at the office, opt for summer business casual, or formal attire if the invitation states that the party will be formal. 

If the invitation states that the party will be hosted outside of company boundaries, think modest summer casual. This means opting for light colored or pastel clothing while avoiding bold statements such as overly flashy jewelry. No tight fitting tops or skirts, or messy or ripped jeans.  If the party will feature an open-water source, remember to bring a cover-up for your swimwear.  Make sure that there is no excessive exposure of skin, and avoid any unusual or frilly details in your clothing or swimwear.

Dress for women at a work related summer party can range from a sundress, to a maxi-style skirt or dress to a

Maxi Dress and Tailored shorts with collared shirt for Summer Work Related parties
Maxi Dress and Tailored shorts with collared shirt for Summer Work Related parties

simple skirt or slacks and blouse. Forgo the tailored clothes and opt for casual, bright or lightly colored, less structured pieces.

Men can choose tailored shorts and a polo shirt or short-sleeve collared shirt (better than cutoffs and a tee shirt) with slip on loafers or boat shoes. If the event features sports dress the part, since golf clothes, tennis wear or softball gear will be appropriate (even if you don’t play).

If alcohol is served, refrain from drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages, especially if  you are in the heat. Be able to politely decline further offers about alcohol and have humor about the situation. You can look and act more casually than usual, but don’t forget that you are at a company event. Always be mindful of your presentation.