29 Nov

Written by Kristin on November 29, 2011

With the festive season upon us, it’s time to think about holiday office parties. Whilst the guys have it easy (throw on a suit and a tie!) the ladies have more to consider.  You don’t want to show up to the party overdressed, or worse, underdressed. And if you’re a new employee, there’s even more stress to make a great impression at your first big holiday do.

In the current economy, more and more companies are holding their parties in the office, which always raises the question of whether to wear everyday attire or to change into something more festive.

There’s no need to freak out; just follow these simple do’s and don’ts, check out some ideas under £100 for the perfect holiday outfit and most importantly, relax and have fun!

Do: Keep your office’s culture and dress code in mind when choosing your holiday party attire, no matter the venue for your party. Creative types can push the limit a bit more when it comes to dress, but if you work in a formal office like a law firm, keep it more conservative. Just because your party’s going to be at an art gallery or a trendy restaurant, it doesn’t mean you have free reign to wear that neon pink bodycon dress you wore out clubbing at China White in your younger days.

Don’t: Show up in the same boring clothes you always wear to the office. Take the chance to show off your personality and have a bit of fun; just keep it professional and don’t go over the top! Even a plain black suit can be dressed up with a beautiful printed silk blouse, a red scarf or a sparkly brooch.

Do: Choose simple, tasteful accessories.  Pearls, delicate crystal bangles, small drop or chandelier earrings or studs are perfect when it comes to jewellery.

Don’t: Wear new or uncomfortable heels to the party, especially if you’re not accustomed to wearing high shoes. No one wants to be the girl wobbling about in front of her bosses, and if you trip and fall, your colleagues will likely blame it on the drinks!

Do: Ask around the office for ideas if you’re new and unsure as to what’s appropriate to wear. When in doubt, a smart black skirt or trouser suit always works; pair it with festive accessories and a ruffly blouse underneath and you can take the jacket or some accessories off if needed to dress down the ensemble.

Don’t: Panic if you’re underdressed for the party. If there’s no opportunity to pop into a store and return to the party quickly, go into the loo and use whatever’s in your bag to pretty up. Add some bright lipstick, pin your hair up and if you can, borrow some jewellery or a scarf from a friend.

Here are some ideas for holiday party outfits and accessories, all under £100:

Bonnie Pearl Cuff: Coast, £45

Purple Embellished Cuff Dress: Dorothy Perkins, £38

Manderley Lace Dress: Great Plains, £72

Bow Pendant: Tiffany, £100

Gold Lurex Bow Pocket Cardigan: River Island, £45

Deco Clutch: Accessorize, £32

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