Just like casual Fridays have presented challenges and confusion to organizations and employees (mainly due to the loose interpretations of the word “casual”) office party attire and behavior is in the same league. While we all look forward to the holiday cheer, we often experience some angst when we have to try and figure out what is considered appropriate and what is not when attending the office holiday party. Here are a few guidelines to make the thought process a bit easier.
Women should avoid plunging necklines, sheer tops, and clingy inexpensive fabrics that are too form fitting. Instead, opt for a chic pant or skirt suit or dress that you can wear during office hours but easily transform to an evening look by wearing a bold necklace or chandelier earrings with a great clutch (these items can be kept in your day bag). Accessories are the best way to take someone from day to night. Hemlines for skirts or dresses should hit just at the knee or a touch below.
While men seem to have it a little easier when it comes to the selection of appropriate work attire, they must remember that the office holiday party is still a “work” function and not a weekend outing. If the company dress code is more casual, men should opt to dress up for the event and wear dark colored trousers paired with a button down shirt and laced up shoes. If the company dress code is suit and tie, then the thinking is taken out of the equation. However, men might want to opt for a more festive cuff link or tie to celebrate the occasion.
Whether you are a male or female, the number one “no no” to keep in mind when attending a holiday office party, is to not drink in excess and appear to be inebriated. This is definitely a career limiting move. The second “no no” is gossiping. Keep your comments and opinions to yourself. It is imperative to present your best self in all life’s endeavors and yes that means the holiday office party!