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Office holiday parties are tricky dress-code wise. On one hand side, one wants to dress up, but still has to navigate the HR dress code. This post provides some outfit ideas what to wear at the work holiday party.

Contents
  1. Stay within the Office’s Dress Code at the Holiday Party
  2. What to Wear to a Festive Office Party
  3. What Not to Wear to a Festive Office Holiday Party Outside the Office
  4. Corporate Office Party
  5. What Not to Wear to a Corporate Office Party
  6. Work Appropriate EOB Holiday Party Outfits
  7. Forget about Changing in the Restroom
  8. Holiday Office Party Looks Made by Swapping Accessories
  9. What to Wear at the Work Holiday Party in a Nutshell

 

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

 

Stay within the Office’s Dress Code at the Holiday Party

Office parties are tricky with respect to the dress code. Thus, keep the rule

If it works for a date night out, it's not for the office. #workholidayparty #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Yes, even when or especially when it is a corporate cocktail party. Stop! Let’s do one step at a time. There are corporate parties, festive office cocktail parties and end-of-the-day parties.

A general rule is to within the broad lines of the office dress code’s limits with respect to showing skin. Skin in the sense of toes, heels, cleavage, belly, legs, and arms. Pay attention to the invitation. Often it has a hint for the dress code. If so, go with it to dress for success. For instance, when it says festive business casual style, go for  business casual style, and add longer earrings or a festive top. Read on …

 

EoB holdiday work party outfit inspiration
EoB party outfit idea: Harley Davidson booties, GNW tights, J. Crew skirt, beaded necklace with brooch as pendant, Taylor’s Gold’n Stone jade earrings, bff bracelet c/o Chicos

 

festive business casual outfit for an office holiday party in cold climate regions
Festive business casual outfit idea: J. Crew plaid skirt, Rebecca Collins necklace, L.K. Bennett boots, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Hipstik tights, Anne Klein sweater

 

When the office holiday party is in a hotel, you know at least that it is a formal office holiday party dress code. Read modest cocktail dress.

 

What to Wear to a Festive Office Party

Let’s start with the festive office party because of the holiday season. Here you can go for sequins, metallic, and embellishments. Even a holiday dress that does not show too much skin works. When it is strapless, wear it with a matching bolero, thin fine fabric stole, or a nice leather jacket. Black slim pants with a metallic, embellished or sequin top are also fine. What about a sequin or brocade skirt? A holiday dress, would also meet the dress code for a festive office cocktail party.

Go for a big clutch or nice evening bag (see photo below), i.e. something different than your usual day bag. Embellished stilettos or open toe pumps fit the bill. In cold climate regions, have a large satchel or around town tote to carry your shoes and a clutch inside that you place on the table. Leave the satchel with the coat clerk if possible.

 

What Not to Wear to a Festive Office Holiday Party Outside the Office

Stay away from informal fabrics, daytime outfits, corporate clothes, suits, or anything denim. You are never wrong with a little black dress. But if you go for one, stay out of the crowd by festive rhinestone jewelry. Also steer away from anything that is too short or too long (e.g. maxi dress), shows too much cleavage (back or front, it doesn’t matter). Recall the attendees are your colleagues. Thus, try to still look professional.

 

Corporate Office Party

The corporate office cocktail party reads more or less gray or dark corporate style as foundation given a twist with jewelry and/or accessories as shown in the first two photos of this post. One statement piece of jewelry only. Avoid double blink. In other words, stay on the road of classics with a twist.

details of posh corporate office party outfit
Details of posh corporate office party outfit

 

midlife style blogger wearing corporate cocktail holiday party look
Site view corporate office Christmas party outfit

 

fashion blogger in LBD and stiletto booties showing what to wear to the work holiday party
Outfit details: GAP LBD, GNW tights, Harley Davidson booties, DIY necklace, Hermes H-buckle, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Anne Klein blazer, and lauering top c/o Adea

 

Tights or pantyhose are a must! Sheer pantyhose as well as opaque work depending on climate. Cover your arms in agreement with your office’s dress code.

A little black dress in a classic cut is always a good idea. #holidayparty Click To Tweet

In cold climate regions, wearing a layering top underneath is acceptable. Straight skirts with a feminine blouse, or straight slacks in gray or black with a shell and bolero or Chanel-type jacket, or a classic shift dress with patent leather belt and a statement brooch are save options too.

Go for closed toe pumps. Anything less would look too casual with tights on. In cold climate regions, classic boots will be acceptable on cold days with snow outside. Stiletto booties are risky, but may work when they are the only “twist” in the look, i.e. the statement.

 

What Not to wear to a Corporative Office Holiday Party

Again stay away from anything informal like knits, jersey, too short or too much skin. A shiny clutch in silver, gold or patent leather is perfect. Any bright color is risky. Neon is a No-No.

 

sparkling holiday tree in Grinch inspired colors

 

“Work Appropriate” EoB Holiday Outfit Ideas

In recent years, many work places celebrate their office holiday party in their meeting room. They either make it a potluck or outsource the cooking to a party service. These kind of work holiday parties at the office are as tricky to dress for as going from work to a picnic.

When the party starts about 1 hour before end of business (EoB), your work outfit must do double-duty. In this case, it’s ok to wear knits or jerseys in cold climate regions. But your looks should also have some holiday spirit. At least, it should be switched into a Thanksgiving or easy Christmas outfit by just swapping some accessories.

Go with the spirit. Red, green, black, white, plaid. Create the festive aspect with accessories like earrings, necklaces, brooches, or belts. Christmas inspired costume jewelry is fine. Or swap your normal office jewelry to some statement crystal costume jewelry like in the linked post. Don’t forget about scarves for style! A silk scarf with Christmas print goes a long way.

If the work dress code is business casual style and/or the party falls on a Friday afternoon in an office with Casual Friday culture, even dark denim is ok when styled festive.

 

style blogger in hunter green top and boots, brown skirt with necklace in front of a decorated tree
EoB holiday party look: Pendleton glencheck wool skirt, smoky quartz statement necklace and bracelet, Gucci snake boots, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and leather golden element bracelet c/o Lizzy James

 

over 50 years old Alaskan fashion blogger in blue sweater with hounds tooth skirt and white booties
EoB party look by adding necklaces and a holiday silk scarf. DIY brooch worn instead of a belt, pearl metal necklaces, silk holiday scarf, Banana Republic hounds tooth skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY bangle, pantyhose, pearl barrette, and Fendi booties

 

 

Forget about Changing in the Restroom

You can’t block the ladies’ room for a complete outfit change. Moreover, a total change of your outfit would be a hassle in the small stalls. Moreover, you don’t want to outdress your boss, right? Err around a dressed-up work outfit with a twist to festive.

When you won’t have a meeting that day, you may even dare to wear a sequin skirt, especially as wearing metallics at day is a hot trend right now.

 

details of trendy belt and sequin skirt
H&M sequin skirt, sterling silver moonstone ring, topas bangle, gemstone suede belt, GNW Luxe cashmere sweater

 

Here is another solution: Riot your closet for items in holiday colors or colors close to the traditional holiday red, green, black and white. Typical holiday associated patterns like plaid are a good choice too. By all means, stay away from the holiday sweaters.

Holiday sweaters don't look cute on anyone over nine! #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

 

fashion blogger in plaid sheath, red cardigan and tights
Plaid and red for just going with the vibe. Dyed Moda International cardigan, GNW tights, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Peter Kaiser block heel cap toes pumps

 

stylist in plaid shirt with denim skirt tights and sweater showing what to wear at the work Xmas party
Casual Friday EoB event: Plaid button-down shirt and green for going with the vibe. Oliveo casual denim skirt with Oliveo button-down plaid shirt, GNW tight and sweater knotted around the neck

 

fashion blogger in red top white leather pants holiday outfit
Festive business casual going with red and white. Newport News leather pants, Anne Klein sweater, pearl necklace

 

style book author in little red dress with black tights
Acknowledging the vibe with a LBD for an EoB get-together in the meeting room. eShakti motorcycle dress, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties, Michael Kors wedge booties, Collier de Chien belt and Adea layering top

 

work Xmas party outfit with midi plaid skirt, Russian scarf, red sweater in front of a Christmas tree
Going with the vibe by wearing plaid and red for an EoB festivity in the meeting room. Pendleton plaid pleat wool midi skirt, GNW Luxe sweater, Pavlovo fringe printed wool Russian scarf, L.K. Bennett suede leather tall boots, and Jord bamboo wood watch

 

 

 

Outfits Made by Swapping Accessories

A traditional retro-style holiday dress is a save idea when it can be made work appropriate with a sweater (see photo below) or cardigan. Wearing a little black dress is always a good idea. Therefore, it bears the risk that many other colleagues have also this good idea. 😉 This fact is especially true, as a LBD can easily swap the vibe by exchanging a scarf, dress pumps and pearl studs with chandelier earrings or a long Swarovski crystal statement necklace and pointy toe silver pumps.

 

fashion blogger Nicole of High Latitude Style donning a LBD work outfit
Black boat neck dress c/o Covered Perfectly, own leopard print scarf, BCBG belt, GNW tights, Hermes collier de chien bangle, studded head band and Valentino studded boots

 

mature lady in LBD and long pearlnecklace as holiday outfit
Black boat neck dress re-styled for an EOB party by swapping the scarf, boots belt and tights with unbranded pantyhose, Swarovski crystal necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Ralph Lauren silver pumps

 

What to Wear at the Work Holiday Party in a Nutshell

Stay within the limits of your HR approved dress code, and adapt the dress code of the party type accordingly. When you like these holiday outfit inspirations, let your friends know by tweeting them to

Have a look at this post on what to wear at the work holiday party! #holidaystyle #dress4success Click To Tweet

 

What kind of holiday party do you have at work? What are your fashion and style dressing challenges?

Have a great holiday season!

 

Photos: G. Kramm

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