How to Shine at Your Office Holiday Party (and Why It’s So Important You Do)

There’s nothing quite like the magic of the holiday season. Everything seems brighter and cheerier, and you can’t help but feel as though there’s a little twinkle in the sky to match the sweetness in the air! During this season of giving, you’ll probably spend more time with not just your family and friends, but also with all your coworkers at the annual company party.

Here’s how to create styles that’ll help you shine at the office holiday party, and why it’s so important that you do.

Stay tasteful, not stuffy, in seasonal colors and fabrics.

Something extra fun about a party is that it’s a chance for you to dress up and add a bit more personality to your outfit than you typically might for every day. Just because you’ll be hanging out with people from work doesn’t mean you can’t design an outfit that’s playful and fun!

Even if you’re usually all buttoned up at the office, a cute holiday party dress in an unexpected fabric will help you look fresh but poised at the same time.

Some festive fabrics to consider for the holidays are:

  • Velvet in classic black or dramatic jewel tones
  • Colorful embroidery over dark-colored mesh fabric
  • Blush, navy or hunter green lace
  • Jersey material–a flattering choice in black or burgundy
  • Shiny silk in neutral colors
  • Leopard print (hey, it’s been dubbed the new black!)

Sweater dresses are also a comfortable, feminine alternative that’ll keep you warm and cosy throughout the night. They graze the body in a flattering way, without exposing too much. A great tip on how to wear a sweater dress for a special occasion is to jazz it up with a pair of patterned tights, heels and a piece of statement jewellery.

Add just the right amount of sparkle with unexpected accessories.

The holiday season is the perfect time for sparkle. After all, when else do you get the chance to decorate your home in golden tinsel and twinkly lights? However, when planning your office party outfit, keep in mind that there’s a fine line between wearing a hint of shimmer and looking like you’re the Times Square Ball on New Year’s Eve!

Fashion is so powerful because it allows you to add little touches to your outfit to make it your own–and accessories are the perfect way to add sparkle to your holiday ensemble, without taking it over the top. Whether you opt for a dramatic pair of shoulder-grazing tassel earrings, some statement booties or a shimmering sequined clutch, your look will be just as lively as the party.

Stay comfortable in shoes you can dance in.

Okay, so even if you’re not planning on dancing the night away with your colleagues, you’ll still probably be on your feet for quite a bit throughout the party as you mix and mingle with the change makers of your office. To glide through the crowds as gracefully as the Sugar Plum Fairy, be sure to shop for cute shoes that are easy to walk in, too.

  • Statement booties with a stacked heel will keep your toes toasty and your stride stable.
  • Short, block heels in a fun print will add a touch of drama without killing your feet!
  • Styled with a silk blouse, mules look grown up and playful at the same time.
  • Over the knee boots provide a feminine touch to any holiday outfit.

Remember: Comfort really is key when looking for special occasion shoes. The absolute last thing you want to do is be forced to hobble around the venue–or worse, feel like you have to take your teetering stilettos off your feet midway through.

Design your outfit around affordable pieces you can wear again.

You don’t need to spend your whole paycheck on an outfit for the office holiday party. When shopping, look for items that won’t break the bank and could also be worn for other occasions. 

Ask yourself what other outfits you can put together using each piece:

  • Can that dress become a bit more casual with a sweater and booties for pumpkin picking next fall?
  • Will you be able to wear those mules to the office with a collared shirt come Monday morning?
  • Do those statement earrings look just as good with a relaxed fit T-shirt and jeans?
  • Could that clutch be worn with jeans and pumps to dress up a date night look?

The pieces you wear to your holiday party shouldn’t sit in your closet untouched for the rest of the year. Avoid impulse buys and search for items that you’ll truly be able to use more than once.

Be confident, poised and (most importantly) yourself.

You’ll feel more confident to carry a conversation if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, so try your best to choose a holiday outfit that makes you feel like yourself.

It’ll be more difficult to just relax and focus your attention on the party if you’re distracted by your look, so search for options that match your personal style. When shopping, pay attention to sizing and fit as well, so that you’re not tugging on your skirt all night or forced to safety pin your shirt closed.

Why It Matters

Even if you’re not a social butterfly, you really shouldn’t miss out on your office holiday party. This annual company gathering is your chance to connect with the team without the stress of the work week weighing you down, as well as the perfect opportunity to leave a lasting impression in a look you wouldn’t normally wear to the office!

This celebration matters because not only will your coworkers be there, but you’ll also get to be in the same room as your company’s leadership team. It’s not every day that you get a moment to chat with your CFO or SVP, especially in a non-work-related setting, so use this time to introduce yourself to the people you want to learn from (and maybe even hope to be) someday! Picking an outfit that shines as bright as your big ideas will help you stand out from the crowd and make an impact on your leadership.

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