Dressing for the Office Christmas Party – Do’s and Don’ts

With the holiday office festivities upon us, people of both genders and of all ages ask us what is the appropriate attire for such events. Here are some tips:

Appropriate Male Dress

 Suit worn with a collared shirt and tie.
 Dress slacks and sport coat worn with a collared shirt and tie.
 Dress shoes
 Festive – Tuxedo or dressy suit. A collarless formal shirt may be worn with the appropriate outfit.

Male Dress DON’TS

 Jeans of any kind
 Tennis shoes or sneakers
 Ski type sweaters
 Baggy pants
 Hats of any kind
 Pants worn below the waist
 Sweatshirts

Appropriate Female Dress

 Suits, dresses, skirts with dressy sweaters or blouses
 A matching suit or blazer with slacks
 Little black dress – can attend both a cocktail party or a semi-formal event
 Dress shoes and bag
 Dress boots only if worn with a long skirt that covers the top of the boot
 Dressy separates
 Dressy overcoat
 Metallic shoes and evening bag with a black dress
 Wearing hose at a festive event is not required

Female Dress DON’TS

 Tight clothes
 Sleeveless tops worn without a jacket
 Deep cut blouses that expose the cleavage
 See through tops
 Hats of any kind
 Shirts and tops that show any skin in the midriff area
 Skirts shorter than the top of the knee
 Tennis shoes or sneakers
 Plastic flip-flop type shoes
 Jeans of any kind
 Casual sweaters


• Wearing too much glitz

Shimmer, beading and metallic are all fine for holidays, as long as you don’t display too much shine. This can be overwhelming, especially if you wear it in areas that you don’t want to accentuate (like a beaded shiny belt for a gal with a larger midriff area)

• Being Under or Over Dressed

Designations as ambiguous as “Dressy Casual or Cocktail Attire” confuse many people. You wear jeans, everyone else wears silk. You wear a gown, others wear a business suit.
The little black dress for her and a dark suit for him, are great choices for a festive or semi-formal event.
The rule of the thumb is, if you wear the shoes and the clothes when you walk the dog, or when shopping for groceries, it’s probably not a good idea to wear them at a party.

• Showing Too Much Skin

It is possible to dress sexy while leaving lots to the imagination. The secret here is to highlight your best features with a suggestion: a small slit on a skirt gives a glimpse at great legs, a lace trimmed top under a jacket hints a spectacular cleavage.

• Over Accessorizing

Many women feel the urge to wear that beautiful chunky necklace with matching earrings. The result? Too much competing detail around the face, that takes away from the entire look.
Instead, try wearing one gorgeous piece of jewelry that will reward you with many compliments throughout the evening.
Bring the focus on the areas you want to highlight, and remember that less is more.

Stay tuned for next week’s Office Party Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts!


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