Christmas is the perfect chance to wow your co-workers and wear something special. But how do you know if you’re getting the right balance between professional and festive? In this article, Steve Cochrane from luxury fashion retailer Psyche offers his tips for looking your best at your work Christmas party.

Who doesn’t love Christmas get-togethers? Depending on your office culture, there are a number of different events the company you work for may have planned for you this festive season. These parties are the perfect way to let loose, socialise, and have a few festive tipples. But, while merriment is on the menu, you’re still among your professional peers — so looking good and getting the tone right is important. Below, I’ll be sharing my tips for dressing for your work Christmas party to make it a night to remember, for all the right reasons.

Consider the event

Different events require different levels of formality, so choosing one outfit isn’t as simple as deciding what looks the best. If you miss the memo about a certain dress code, you can stand to look over or underdressed, both of which can put a damper on your festive spirit. It can also make you look disorganised, which isn’t a great quality to put across to your employers — especially if you have ambitions to rise through the ranks. Dinners and corporate events usually require you to wear a suit or formal dress, but unless explicitly stated it’s not always clear how formal you should go. You should select an outfit that’s smart yet plain — that way, you can take some optional accessories with you in case you need to dress things up a bit. Lunches, parties in the office, and trips down the pub are much more casual events, but you still don’t want to turn up looking sloppy. So, go for understated designer jeans and a fancy shirt or top to make sure you get the balance right.

Read the invitation

Whether it’s an email, Facebook event page, or paper invitation, make sure you read the whole thing through. There may be some clues as to what the dress code may be, for example, if it’s black-tie or if the party planners have decided to have a Christmas jumper theme. No one wants to turn up wearing the wrong thing, but if there are no giveaways there, you can safely assume there is no dress code and wear what you like.

Make an effort

The work Christmas party is your chance to dress up and socialize with people you might not normally get to talk to, especially if your office has lots of different departments. As such, you want to make a lasting impression and put effort into your outfit regardless of how formal the affair is. The key to this is to buy quality pieces that are well-made, even just jeans and a T-shirt. If they’re of a high standard, they’ll fit you well and add polish to your overall look. You can also dress up a plain outfit with the right finishing touches, especially at this time of year when brands start to pull out all stops when it comes to glamour and sparkle. So, look for shoes, bags and other accessories to really elevate your outfit and make you a hit with your colleagues.

Plan in advance

Once you’ve decided what to wear, you’ll have to think about how you’re going to get it to the party. Most events take place after work, so you may choose to bring your clothes with you then change into them later. Or, you can wear something that’s appropriate for a day at the office but dress it up once you’re done working. Either way, you’ll need to make sure your outfit won’t crease easily, so avoid silk and linen garments and look for festive velvet, tweed, and cotton instead.

The tips in this guide can help you decide what to wear to your office Christmas party, no matter what your employers have planned. Have fun!

Author: At Your Interview Coach, we’d like to thank Steve Cochrane from luxury fashion retailer Psyche for contributing this helpful article.