Career Fashion

Office Appropriate Party Looks

Do you have an after work holiday party leaving you no time to change? Or, are you attending a party held during your nine to five?

What to wear to a holiday work party

Basic office party tips:

  • Play up your nails & accessories for easy holiday cheer
  • Pair miniskirts with opaque stockings and long sleeves tops
  • Splurge on wardrobe staples instead of trends. Pick pieces that can be worn throughout the year

Below are some office appropriate holiday party outfit suggestions listed by party dress code.

What is smart casual holiday attire?

Smart casual holiday attire can be thought of as a cleaned up casual look amongst friends, wherein you could don jeans. BUT in a professional business setting I suggest thinking of smart casual as interchangeable with business casual.

Just as you should not let yourself become BFFs with the holiday party’s bartender, do not let your guard down by dressing as if you are on holiday. While a jacket is not mandatory for women I would opt for a casual one with statement jewelry or a brooch on the lapel. These sparkly accessories add visual interest and can serve as conversation starter.

Consider sheath dresses that have sparkly threads and details. Or use the holiday party as an excuse to splurge on a fun and versatile closet staple!

What is cocktail attire for office parties?

Cocktail attire allows for a range of clothing options for women.  For a man this dress code can simply call for a dark suit jazzed up by nice cufflinks or a statement watch or tie. This category basically allows for more personality to come through. I personally have gone for dressy pants paired with a silk blouse or cashmere sweater with a focus on a red lip and jewelry. But I love the idea of a sparkly sequined skirt.

In the past I’ve gone with pants because during cold winter months I rather skip the skirt even if it is paired with opaque tights but cocktail attire is truly synonymous with knee length skirts.

What is business formal holiday attire?

You can’t go wrong with a LBD and statement jewelry. Opt for a tuxedo jacket a la YSL smoking or a suit jacket with sheen or embellishment for a look that is office friendly but will keep you stylishly warm in the evening. Banana Republic currently has faux fur scarves and boleros that would look great over dresses. Ann Taylor’s faux fur snoods can be glammed up for an on-trend look as well.

Black tie optional

This is my favorite dress code description because it gives you an excuse to dust off the gown hiding in the back of your closet. Don’t have one? Even better! You have an excuse to go shopping!

Focus on finding a dress that complements your skin tone rather than one that represents the occasion.

Focusing on your skin tone will lead you to a gown you can wear all year round should another occasion come up. A jewel tone color is a fun way to be festive without being holiday specific.

Just remember that a splurge on a dress like this amazing hot pink one can be tricky because the dress will be more easily remembered. But wow, it is so worth it! 🙂

Keep up with me on Pinterest and Twitter for more office appropriate party looks.

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