December is the month of holiday office parties. If you work in an office, you’ve probably been invited to one. Office holiday parties can be an exciting way to get to know your co-workers, but there’s a lot of gray area surrounding office party dress code. Given that it’s not just another day at the office, it can be difficult to dress for a party while keeping it appropriate. With that in mind, here’s a guide to the do’s and don’ts of office party dress code.
Do: Opt For a Higher Neckline
Whether the party is during office hours or other times, it’s important to keep cleavage to a minimum. Higher necklines are flattering, elegant, and professional — especially paired with a statement necklace. Additionally, since you might be dancing or moving around a lot, make sure your outfit is foolproof. Try using double-stick tape to make sure everything is covered. If you’re wearing a blouse, ensure that your buttons will stay buttoned no matter how you move your arms.
Do: Buy Something You Can Wear Again
If you’re buying a new outfit specifically for the office party, make sure it’s something that can be reworn. Remember not to dress too casually — try something slightly more professional than you would wear on a regular day at the office. If your party has a dress code, try searching on Google for sample outfits for inspiration. If you don’t want to buy an entirely new outfit, try dressing up pieces you already own with accessories like a handbag, jewelry, or heels.
Do: Follow the “2 Inches Above the Knee” Rule
Use caution when wearing a skirt or dress, and remember not to go too short. Test your outfit by sitting down to make sure it doesn’t rise too much. Try something simple yet classy, such as a black Maxi dress. This way, you won’t have to worry about constantly fixing your skirt throughout the party. Maxi dresses are comfortable and flowy, so you can eat and drink as much as you want without any potential wardrobe malfunction.
Don’t: Wear Sheer Fabrics
Choosing fabrics to wear to your office holiday party can be tricky. While an outfit might look great in your bedroom mirror, it could be see-through when you’re at the office. To be safe, test your outfit in a few different types of lighting to make sure it’s not sheer or see-through in any place. If you’re wearing white, consider wearing shapewear to hide any potential lumps and bumps that can appear under bright office lights.
Don’t: Wear Something Uncomfortable
Your office party is probably going to be a few hours long, so it’s important that you wear something you’ll feel comfortable in for that amount of time. If you’re going to be eating and drinking, don’t wear something that already barely zips. Additionally, wear something that allows you to move freely, especially if you’re going to be dancing. Remember that the holiday party is aimed toward having fun and celebrating your successes, not barely being able to breath all night.
Don’t: Forget to Iron
If you’re going to wear a dress shirt or something from the back of your closet, make sure you iron it beforehand. Even at an office party, you should look professional and clean. A refined and put-together appearance shows your boss and co-workers that you care about the impression you make.
All in all, your office holiday party outfit should be classy, professional, and comfortable. Pick an outfit that will show off your personality and conform to the party’s dress code. Make sure you wear something that is both appropriate and that makes you feel good about yourself. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!