The Crib Sheet: Dressing For The Office Holiday Party

Sparkle On
Brave enough to don some shimmer? Hurrah! Just be cautious when it comes to sequins. At the office party, your wit and intellect should take the lead in the dazzle department. We love the high-gloss trend (especially for New Year’s Eve), but it can be a bit too much for a work party. If you’re craving it, go for a sequined tank under a fitted blazer or a covered clutch at hand. For a subtler shine, opt for gleamy satin.

Well-Heeled
We’re all about workin’ what ya got. But leave the 5” heels at home – there’s a chance they’ll look inappropriate when cavorting with coworkers, and they’re not going to be comfortable for the long haul (you know, that inevitable conversation with your boss about the company’s “corporate vision”). But shorter doesn’t have to mean boring. Opt for a patent leather or gem-toned pair (in the 3” range) for a look that’s professional, stylish, and comfortable enough to outlast the punchbowl.

Suit Up
Skip the skirt suit. Okay, so maybe you’re going right from work (or the party is in the office) but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in your suit. Plan ahead the morning of the party with a pretty blouse that can be worn by itself after you lose your jacket (which you should plan to — for a more festive style and in case the party gets crowded and hot). Stash a fun pair of sparkly earrings in your bag and swap out your studs at 5.

Cover Up
“No cleavage” is an obvious one, but shirts and dresses cut down-to-there in the back are equally problematic for a work gathering. If you want to show something off, opt for a boatneck top or dress. This elegant cut shows a little skin around your neck and shoulders without being too much. If you have a backless dress or top you love, toss on a chic blazer or leather jacket and save the skin for when you’re outside the work crowd.

Nail It
Over the holidays, go for something festive on your fingertips. A deep red is classic and holiday-inspired, or try a shimmery nude or pink for a little holiday sparkle. One to avoid? Black nail polish. We do adore it, and it’s (still) having a huge fashion moment from the runway to the red carpet. But it’s a little too punk-rock to be seen clutching that glass of nice champagne for your boss’ toast.

And cheers to that.


December 16, 2011