There’s no need to remind you that the jolly fat man in red and the end of year are rapidly approaching. What you’re going to wear to the office Christmas party this year is a far more pressing issue right now.
This is the event of the year where you’re encouraged to relax and enjoy yourself, yet you’re also well aware that you’re likely to be scrutinised. Whether you or they are aware of it or not, others will be judging you on what you wear and how you’re wearing it. As you know, what you wear can say a lot about you as a person.
Rule 1 – Dress the basics
I’m hoping you have a little black dress in your wardrobe? If not, get one. This is your base outfit for just about every occasion.
Use this as your base or core, and dress it up from there. Accessorise with minimal jewellery, and team it with an elegant hairdo and shoes that stun. Stockings with a slight sheen will sparkle up the outfit, without being over the top.
You’ll look classy, without appearing or feeling overdressed.
Rule 2 – Dress for success
This is not quite the same as dressing for your interview or meeting to discuss your promotion. It’s not the time to don your power suit, but it’s also not the time to wear your ripped-to-pieces jeans, or your favourite nightclubbing, midriff baring dress.
It is your opportunity to not only show a little bit of your personality and fun side, but also reinforce to your seniors that you are respectable and diligent. Go outside your usual office attire, of course, and dress up a little if the situation dictates.
Keep in mind how your appearance will be perceived by others. An elegant and well put together outfit shows your attentiveness and care, which is reflected in your attitude towards your work. Whether it’s right or not, it’s just how perceptions work.
Keeping it subtle will have you looking well organised and in control, whereas a loud or over-accessorised outfit will look chaotic and messy, and you’ll be perceived as the same.
Rule 3 – Dress for comfort
This may sound a little bit contradictory, but dressing for success and dressing for comfort can be one and the same. Ensure your basic, that little black dress or base outfit, fits you well; you don’t want to be pulling on your outfit to cover inadvertently exposed bits, or fixing it when it rides up, pinches, or pulls.
Part of looking the part means looking at ease and you can’t do this when you’re uncomfortable and fiddling with your frock. Be aware, too, of accessories that may fall into food platters when you reach for a crudit√©, or that may catch or create a lot of jangling noises.
If you’re going to be dancing, take the time to look for shoes that look fabulous and provide some level of comfort. Purchase some gel inserts if you need to, just don’t leave yourself in the situation where you have to remove your shoes before the night is over. This can look really tacky.
It really doesn’t have to be as stressful as we all tend to make it; start with a centre piece, look gorgeous and glamorous, and ensure you can focus on networking and conversation rather than worrying about everything else.