When it comes to the office Christmas party, there are a few rules. The first? Don’t drink too much; you’ll only have to deal with the aftermath of your ramblings on Monday morning. But whether you plan to be very well behaved or get into the spirit of things, you’ll need a killer party outfit to impress your boss and other colleagues. That’s where we come in; here’s everything you need to know about dressing for your work Christmas party.

The ‘Desk to Do’ Do

If your Christmas party is either in-house (i.e., they’re making use of the canteen) or during working hours, you’ll obviously need something that’s office-appropriate. Trouser suits are a great option, since they’re smart yet fashion-forward. Look for luxe fabrics like velvet and tweed for a seasonal take on the trend, and keep your shoes flat or go for low block-heels instead. If you want to add some festive sparkle, take one or two pieces of jewellery with you to put on just before the party starts.

The Sit-Down Dinner

Whether you’re going for a 3-course feast or a bit of gastro pub grub, you’re going to be sat down for the duration. As such, your top half is more important than your bottom half (since it’s the only bit anyone’s going to see!). Make the most out of the festive season by investing in some party-ready sequin tops – you’ll get plenty of wear out of them! The event is likely to be smart casual, so you can get away with wearing your loyal skinny jeans and a pair of heeled boots. If you want to smarten your look, switch out your skinnies in favour of tailored trousers – a tapered or wide leg will work best.

The Free (Festive) Bar

Free bar you say? We should remind you of rule numero uno briefly…

Who are we kidding? If there’s a free bar, you’re probably going to be a little (or a lot) worse for wear the day after. Just make sure you don’t make eye contact with anyone that you might’ve been oversharing with the night before. And delete any evidence that you were ever talking to them. As for the dress code? Keep it simple with a party-ready mini (or midi); jumpsuits and playsuits can become tricky to deal with after a few cocktails – there are only so many times you can ask strangers to ‘zip you up’ whilst they’re queuing for the toilet. The key thing to remember, is that you’re not on a night out with the girls. Keep your outfit on the smarter side, avoiding cut-out details or riskily short hemlines! Skater dresses bridge the gap between cocktail and corporate; simply swap out your flats for a pair of (sensible) heels and you’re ready to go!

The Corporate Affair

If you work in a more corporate environment, it’s likely that your Christmas party is going to be a bit more formal. If this is the case, or if you’ll be socialising with clients, it’s important to keep your look smart (not smart casual). A tailored jumpsuit is your best bet; it’s distinguishable from your usual attire, without straying too far from the corporate norm. Instead of wearing head-to-toe sequins (which suggests ‘party’ not ‘professional’), look for ankle-length pieces that have a just a touch of sparkle instead. Keep it classic with a palette of black, navy or ivory too; you can always add some bolder splashes of colour with choice accessories.

The ‘Plus One’

Got invited to your partner’s work do? This is a tricky one, not least because you won’t be as familiar with their workmates (or workplace) as you are with your own. On top of that, you’ve got to get the balance right between looking good and looking professional. Skirts are a great option, since they can be styled to look formal and fashion-forward at once.

If your partner works in a corporate setting, go for a classic pencil skirt. Longer styles (that fall on or just below the knee) are more conservative, but they’re also really on-trend. Pair with a simple blouse, cami top or lightweight jumper to complete your look. Keep your blazer at home though; you’re not hankering after a job interview! Instead, layer up with a longline trench or faux fur coat – it’ll help keep things on the playful side.

If your partner works in a creative office, feel free to experiment with your look. Tulle or A-line skirts have a kitschy, retro appeal that’s going to go down well with his kooky, artistically-inclined colleagues. And if you’re a fan of sequins, unleash them here; you’ll no doubt bond with the design team over it.

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