Did someone say holiday party?

With the holiday season fast approaching, many companies are booking in their end-of-year celebrations. The company holiday party is a wonderful time to let your hair down, celebrate your successes and interact with your colleagues outside of your usual work environment. However, work events can sometimes induce a case of outfit-panic. If you're not sure of what ensemble to assemble for your work holiday party, read on for some tips. This is what you should ‒ and shouldn't ‒ wear.

Holiday parties held during work hours

Some companies choose to celebrate the holidays during work hours, as it can enable all employees to attend without cutting into their personal time. If your company party is during work hours, chances are you'll wear the same outfit during the party that you wear to work that day ‒ and there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to get a little bit fancy, try dressing up your outfit with some holiday-inspired accessories like socks or a holiday jumper for the men and a festive necklace or earrings for the women. A little celebration can go a long way.

Holiday parties held after work hours

A company party held after work hours can be an opportunity to have some fun with your co-workers ‒ and your outfit. However, it is still a work event, so it's best to keep your attire work-appropriate. For the ladies, swap your flats for heels, add a sparkling accessory or even change entirely into a party dress. For the gentlemen, try a collared shirt (if you're not already wearing one) and tie. However, you don't need to go all out if you don't want to ‒ small details can make a big statement.

Holiday party outfit tips for everyone

There are a few tried and tested tips for dressing for work events that apply to almost every company holiday party. If you're in need of a helping hand, consider the following:

Pay attention to the dress code

As a starting point, always check the dress code before planning your outfit. Some companies may elect to have a cocktail-style party for their holiday soiree, which means you'll likely be expected to dress up a little more. Other companies may choose to do a group activity as part of their party, which means you'll need to dress more casually. Always check the company's invitation for a dress code or ask your manager.

Don't be afraid to get into the spirit of the holidays

Holiday parties offer a great opportunity to play with colours and prints and show off your festive spirit. Bright colours, shiny fabrics, sequins or holiday-inspired accessories can be a fun way to jazz up your outfit and take your look from desk to dance floor. Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and ASOS are good shops to start with when looking for inspiration for festive party wear.

Keep it work-appropriate

Although a holiday party is a great chance to have fun and let your hair down, it's important to remember that it is still a work event and your managers and co-workers will all be there. Thus, make sure you keep your look work-appropriate. For women, this may mean avoiding low-cut necklines and tight-fitting material. For men, this could translate to keeping your appearance tidy and clean-shaven. However you choose to express yourself, keep your work dress policy in mind.

Be comfortable

If you'll be moving around, mingling and dancing, you want to ensure you feel comfortable. Choose breathable fabrics that leave enough room to move in so you won't have to make adjustments every few minutes.

Final thoughts

A company holiday party is an opportunity to have fun with your co-workers and not take yourself too seriously. However, the chance to get away from your usual workwear does not mean absolute freedom. Give yourself time before the event to shop for some holiday-inspired outfits and accessories, or recycle some already-loved pieces from your wardrobe that you can jazz up. At the end of the day, it's all about feeling good in what you're wearing (whilst remaining work-appropriate).

You're avoiding faux pas in fashion ‒ you should avoid them on your CV too. Find out how you stack up with a free CV review.

Recommended Reading:

Related Articles: