How To Dress For The Office Holiday Party: A Holiday Survival Guide

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Start with a base you can build your outfit on.

Once you’ve chosen your theme, then it’s time to build an outfit around it. At this point in the holiday season, you probably have a few party outfits that would work for a lot of different events: one dress (or separates) that you could wear from day to night, or from the office party to your friend’s brunch. The key is starting with a base that you can build upon. Think of neutral colors like black and white—you will already look polished if you just add a festive color or print over your standard work uniform.

If this was the case and your New Year’s resolution was to be more fabulous in 2019, then I applaud you! But if not, then I think it’s fine to stick with what has worked in the past (and by “in the past,” I mean last week). Every year there is a new “It” color; but as long as your outfit fits properly on top and bottom, it really doesn’t matter what color it is. And honestly, even if your outfit does not fit perfectly—as long as everyone else thinks it does—then who cares?

Go for festive prints, colors and fabrics.

Although it’s not difficult to find a dress that works for holiday parties, doesn’t make you look like a wrapped present and keeps you warm, finding the right piece of clothing can still be tricky. The good news is that this year, designer prints are in vogue and transitioning into holiday pieces as well. You may have noticed them on the runways during Fashion Week this past September or October. Try wearing a festive printed or patterned dress or skirt with some fancy shoes, jewelry and maybe even a fur stole (faux fur if possible).

If you’re bored by wearing all black for all your holiday parties each year, consider that prints and patterns can be a great way to make a statement. Pattern mixing is also trendy! Pairing plaid with stripes mixed with floral print can add dimension to your outfit. If your office has a very traditional style of dressing, think about how you could sneak in some festive prints, colors and fabrics that still let you stand out from the crowd but don’t conflict with the office dress code. Fabrics are an important part of your outfit so don’t forget about them!

Add in a few sparkly details.

If you’re like most people, you’re already doing a double-take at the price tag of new work attire. You may be thinking, “I’ll do well to get my shopping done as cheaply as possible,” and I certainly don’t blame you.

However, let’s take a moment to consider the power of accessories. With the right accessories, even your oldest pair of jeans can look like they were made for a runway show—and when it comes to accessorizing for an office party, a little bit of sparkle can go a long way.

The beauty of an accessory is that it doesn’t have to cost very much at all. Just take me: I’m not going to splurge on a new pair of shoes or anything more formal than my usual work blouse for our office holiday party; but with just one piece of sparkly jewelry, I know I’ll look great and feel ready for any opportunity that might come up—not just this year’s Christmas party.

If you’re wearing a dress, add heels or boots.

A dress or skirt calls for footwear with a heel or boot.

The reason to go with a heel or boot is simple: they keep your outfit from looking too casual and will help you feel put-together. You can also have fun with your footwear choice by picking heels that are bright, metallic, or sparkly.

If you do choose to wear a heel, keep it at 3 inches or under so you’ll be comfortable as well as stylish. If you’re going for boots instead of a heel, opt for leather ones over suede (suede will get ruined in snow and slush). Go for black boots if you want a more formal look, and brown boots if you want something more casual. Boots are also much warmer than heels and are better able to stand up to the elements.

Wear trousers or pants.

At the office holiday party, you don’t want to be confused for an employee. This is a time to show your boss and colleagues that you’re as much an adult as they are. Don’t make them wonder if they hired the right person by wearing jeans or anything else casual. Instead, stick with trousers or pants that are dressy.

One of the easiest ways to pull off the look is by pairing trousers with a blazer, like Victoria Beckham does in this photo here. You can go for slouchy trousers, like she does in one outfit (left) or wide-leg trousers, like she does in another (right). You can even wear leather trousers if you dare—just remember that it’s a holiday party and not a nightclub!

When it comes to skirts and dresses, follow any of these stylish ladies’ lead and keep things classy by wearing tights and boots with your ensemble. And don’t forget to accessorize with jewelry and a clutch bag!

Keep it simple (accessories).

Accessories are a great way to add a little pop of color and personality to your outfit, but if you’re trying for professional and festive, you shouldn’t go overboard. If you want to wear something more than just the classic pearl studs or silver hoops that match the dress code, try one single piece that coordinates with your outfit. For example, consider getting one statement necklace in a happy holiday color like red or green, or look for something sparkly that matches the dress code but isn’t too over-the-top. The same goes for rings and bracelets; pick one simple ring or bracelet in a festive color to match your necklace and/or earrings. You can also wear either multiple rings on one hand (as long as they’re all simple) or multiple bracelets on both wrists (as long as they’re all simple).

What to wear to casual work christmas party

  • Tartan dress: This is your easy-out option. It’s super festive and pairs well with black tights and boots.
  • Red or green shirt: As the color of the season, both red and green are appropriate. If you have a top in either shade, wear it under a jacket or sweater for extra warmth, but without being too stuffy for casual company parties.
  • Black pants: Casual holiday parties can mean many different things — from hanging out with close colleagues to meeting new people you don’t see every day — so be sure to wear something that will make you feel comfortable in any situation. Black pants work well across the board.

What to wear to my work christmas party

An office holiday party is a great opportunity to look festive—but you should always be aware of how your outfit might be interpreted. Dressing a little bit sexier than usual is OK if that’s your style, but don’t go overboard with anything too tight or short. If you normally wear high heels, now is the time to break out a sequined pair, but if you are more comfortable in flats, stick with what works. The same goes for hair and makeup: A fancy hairdo or red lipstick will make an impression, but it shouldn’t look like you showed up in full costume. (Unless there is an actual costume theme.)

If you are attending a company event away from the office—whether it’s a dinner at a restaurant or some sort of holiday-themed activity—your everyday work attire will still be appropriate. Just keep in mind that getting drinks after dinner means navigating potentially icy sidewalks outside the restaurant.

What to wear to my boyfriends work christmas party

To create a stylish holiday look, begin by finding out if the office holiday party has a dress code. What kind of environment does your boyfriend work in? Is it casual or formal?

Once you know what your base is, start building and layering. Fabrics like velvet, cashmere and lace are all great choices for winter—they’re festive and cozy. For prints, florals are always good for adding a touch of femininity while plaids can be more edgy depending on how they’re styled.

Choose pieces that feel special—a sparkly top or statement earrings will bring an outfit to life! Alternatively, metallic accessories like shoes and bags are also a great option—it’ll reflect the light beautifully when you’re dancing with your love under the mistletoe!

If you’re wearing a dress, finish with heeled booties or ankle-high boots to keep your legs warm throughout the night (and still give off those sexy leg vibes!).

What to wear to my husband’s work christmas party

You don’t want to end up like the person who wore a gown to their coworker’s backyard BBQ, so here’s what you should keep in mind.

  • Consider the level of formality. If you are told that your office party is “holiday casual,” it doesn’t mean it is time to pull out your tuxedo or most formal gown. However, if the party is called “formal” or “black tie,” you should dress appropriately for such an event. How can you tell? Simply ask someone in HR or look at the invite (if there is one).
  • Dress in accordance with the type of work environment and culture that exists in your office. For example, say your husband works at a law firm where all of his coworkers wear suits and ties every day; then it would make more sense for him to be dressed up than if he worked at a surf shop with his buddies wearing boardshorts every day.
  • One easy way to determine whether an outfit is appropriate for the party or not, ask yourself these questions: Will it look professional? Will it be comfortable enough for me to last through the night? Does this outfit scream “I am ready for some holiday cheer”?

What to bring to work christmas party

I went to the office Christmas party last year. Since then, I’ve found myself caught up in a never-ending cycle of gifts for everyone—a necessary evil, but a chore nonetheless. This year, I’m trying something different, and it’s all thanks to a fabulous new app called AbsentProject. Not only does this app teach you how to make your party gift while you wait in the office kitchen before heading home, but it also helps me save money on holiday gifts by letting me know who is or isn’t bringing one along with their coworkers every year.

This tool has saved my job (and my bank account) this past year!

Remember that over-the-top is never office appropriate.

There is a very fine line between festive and trashy, so stick to that old adage: when in doubt, leave it out. This means no showing up the boss by wearing something she’d never dare pull off (the only exception being if you’re a young, trend-making intern), no slipping into anything that could be construed as too sexy for your boyfriend’s/husband’s eyes, and nothing so over-the-top it makes you feel like an idiot when the lights come on at midnight.

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