What NOT to Wear to the Office Holiday Party

What NOT to Wear to the Office Holiday Party If You Want to Keep Your Job. From the blog that brought you What NOT to Give Your Boss for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc., here’s a lighthearted take on office party fashion pitfalls.

If You Want to Keep Your Job.

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From the blog that brought you What NOT to Give Your Boss for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc., here’s a lighthearted take on office party fashion pitfalls.

Just like office gift-giving, the company holiday party is a heart-warming annual tradition fraught with awkwardness, anxiety, and overthinking. On one hand, you finally get a chance to flirt with your office crush off the clock! On the other hand… you’ll be flirting in front of your boss, his boss, and maybe even her boss.

The risk is high, but the rewards are too. Here are a few pointers to help you make wise choices.

The Ugly Holiday Sweater

They call these sweaters “ugly” instead of “professional” for a reason.

The company holiday party may be the only time you see the Vice President of your division face-to-face all year. Do you really want the VP’s mental picture of you to be that hideous reindeer-themed getup? I didn’t think so. Save these “gems” for your family and friends:

“Space Cats” Christmas sweater, $22

“Space Cats” Christmas sweater, $22

Off-the-Shoulder “Nuthouse” sweater, $20

Off-the-Shoulder “Nuthouse” sweater, $20

The Ugly Hanukkah Sweater, $55

The Ugly Hanukkah Sweater, $55

The Trompe-l’oeil Bowtie sweater, $20

The Trompe-l’oeil Bowtie sweater, $20

Santa-on-a-Unicorn-in-Space sweater, $66

Santa-on-a-Unicorn-in-Space sweater, $66

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before you go labeling me a Grinch, there are a few exceptions to the no-ugly-sweater rule.

Exception 1: You are a certified bad mamma jamma and you can pull off any outfit, anytime, anywhere.

In which case, I wanna party with you.

Exception 2: You can recruit at least 3 of your colleagues to wear an ugly holiday sweater too.

Bonus points if one of them is your boss. Triple bonus points if one of them is the Vice President of your division!

This exception only counts if you all wear the same sweater. And if you spend the whole party together in groups of no less than two.

Exception 3: Your company party has an Ugly Holiday Sweater theme.

No one likes a party pooper.

The Too-Fancy Dress

Yes, sequins and sparkles scream “festive!” But they can also scream “got lost on the way to the prom.”

So unless your company is having a prom-themed holiday party (see Exception 3 above), avoid these over-the-top confections like the plague:

Chiffon “Sexy” V-neck evening dress, $40

Chiffon “Sexy” V-neck evening dress, $40

Beaded Leopard V-neck Halter dress, $85

Beaded Leopard V-neck Halter dress, $85

Sequined “Prom Banquet” dress, $44

Sequined “Prom Banquet” dress, $44

 

 

 

 

 

The Golden Rule for Office Holiday Party Attire

It’s easy to go wrong. Luckily, there’s one Golden Rule that will help you navigate this fashion conundrum with ease:

Break one – and only one – of your normal office style guidelines.

If you go for the glittery dress, keep the silhouette office-appropriate. If you dig a more dramatic neckline, keep the fabric classic. Or swap the understated studs you usually wear with your space suit for a pair of eye-catching sparklers. (If you happen to be Samantha Cristoforetti.)

Here are some winners to keep you on the right side of the line between festive and fiasco:

Betsey Johnson Printed Velvet Tea Length dress, $178

Betsey Johnson Printed Velvet Tea Length dress, $178

Elie Tahari “Priscilla” lace overlay dress, $498

Elie Tahari “Priscilla” lace overlay dress, $498

Sorrelli "Pearl Luster" drop earrings, $68

Sorrelli “Pearl Luster” drop earrings, $68

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was your favorite (or least fortunate) office holiday party outfit? Tell us all about it in the comments!

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. This comes at no extra cost to you. I’m grateful for your support!

Want more holiday help/humor?

What NOT to Give Your Boss for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc.

The Brainy Business Babe Feel-Good Gift Guide, Part 1

 

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12 comments

  1. Author Brandi Kennedy says:

    This post made me laugh, but is also a great reminder to keep office parties office appropriate – because even though it’s a party, it’s still a work function. You chose some great ugly sweaters to feature, too!

  2. Christy says:

    Ugh! Figuring out what to wear to my husband’s work Christmas party is such a struggle for me. Especially since wearing real pants is dressing up to me. At least I didn’t break any of your rules!

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