Choosing Your Holiday Party Attire
The holiday season is here, and with that comes holiday parties! There’s office parties, fundraising events, dinner parties and lots and lots of holiday“ cocktail parties. ” Choosing the proper attire for these parties can sometimes be a bit stressful, especially if it’s a first-time invite or new event. Today, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you choose the perfect holiday party attire for a few different kinds of holiday parties, so you can head out with confidence!
The Occasion: A Cocktail Party
Cocktail dresses are always in style, but you have other options.
What to wear: A cocktail party can be anything from a swanky society affair to a low-key group of friends gathered around a platter of crudités. But for the most part, cocktail parties are dressy-casual, so you can’t go wrong if you wear a top with some unique details and a skirt or tailored pants, plus heels or fancy flats. It’s also the perfect time to break out that shorter “cocktail dress.”
Men should wear slacks with a dress shirt, a good sweater or vest. A jacket is optional but is always a good choice. This is not the time to look “corporate,” but you need to take care not to look too casual either.
Both men and women should avoid fabrics that are too casual, like chino, jersey, and denim.
The Occasion: A Dinner Party
Gauge your outfit by the party.
What to wear: Given the number of variables (what time of year is it? who are your hosts? is it a special occasion?), there’s no one right answer, which can make things a bit tricky. If you underdress, you risk offending your dinner companions. Overdress by a mile, and you can make your host feel inadequate, insecure, or uncomfortable. The solution is to ask your host what the formality of the party will be, then follow their lead.
The Occasion: A Business Dinner or a Company Party
Keep things professional (you’re still working) but in line with the event.
What to wear: When you’re dressing for a work function, the culture of your office should prevail. If it’s a conservative environment, dress conservatively, if it is more casual dress casual. Basically, your work dress code should rule. But no matter how relaxed your office environment or the occasion, say a company picnic, never wear anything provocative or sloppy. A too-revealing outfit can prevent you from being taken seriously, and sloppiness shows a lack of respect for your company.
For business dinners, office wear is appropriate (provided your workplace isn’t overly casual): trousers with a refined sweater or a blouse and blazer, same for men. If you’re going to a work party straight from the office, women can’t go wrong with a sheath or a wrap dress in a dark shade, or if you must wear a suit and bring along a feminine blouse and evening-appropriate shoes, like in a metallic hue. Men can just remain in their business suit, maybe losing the tie for the evening.
As for that company picnic, choose knee-length shorts, lightweight pants, and a short-sleeve top, women could also opt for a sundress with sandals. Just nothing ripped, frayed, or strapless.
The Occasion: A Party That Calls for “Festive Attire”
Get dressed up and have fun with it.
What to wear: Festive mostly means wearing playful cocktail attire. With that said there are indeed lots of options, from slinky tops with dressy slacks to a dress in a bold color or print. Or start with a little black dress and dial it up with a fancy clutch and something glittery, like a cocktail ring or chandelier earrings. You should also consider whether there’s a theme that you should incorporate that into your attire, just don’t overdo it. Men, follow the same rules, put on your party best, dress slacks, a colored shirt and maybe even a velvet blazer. And when a holiday invitation calls for festive attire, don’t feel pressured into wearing anything that’s red or green–or that features reindeer.
Always dress for the occasion and keep in mind the other attendees. And when in doubt ask about proper attire, you want to present the best version of yourself and dressing right for every occasion is a good start. You will also want to keep ALL your professional and party attire looking it’s best at all times. The professionals at Fashion Cleaners are here to help you do just that!
When shopping for the perfect attire, may we suggest visiting one of these local clothing retailers, they all have our favorite looks and helpful staff that can help you choose that perfect look.