Q&A: What to Wear to the Company Holiday Party

November 29th, 2007

Q:  I work for a relatively hip, young firm and the annual corporate holiday party is coming up. I recently purchased a Herve Leger bandage outfit (very pink top paired with a very black skirt.) Would this be too over the top for a work function?

Alice + Olivia Sequined Pencil DressA:  With work functions, the generally accepted wisdom is to err on the conservative side.  You’ll be hanging out with people that you work with–and that, with any luck, you’ll continue to work with for some time.  Sexy outfits can work for your best friend’s holiday party, but the office holiday party is still governed by professionalism.

That said, professional outfits don’t have to be unattractive.  And since you work at a hip, young firm, you can safely push the boundaries a bit more. 

Our rule of thumb?  Choose one standout, boundary-pushing detail–and build your outfit around that.  You can wear a form fitting dress–but not one that features a up-to-there miniskirt and/or one that is excessively low cut.  Or you can get away with that minidress, but one that’s less form fitting.  Alternatively, you could try a metallic dress for sparkle–but in a conservative cut (as pictured).

With the Herve Leger bandage outfit, we’re counting two boundary-pushing details: the extreme body-hugging fit and the very pink top.  Our advice is to choose one or the other: wear a body-hugging dress OR one in a standout bright color.  Remember, you want to be the talk of the office for your stylish fashion choices (and your top-of-the-line work)–not for crossing the don’t-go-there fashion line.

Pictured: Alice + Olivia Sequined Pencil Dress | $495 at Shopbop.

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Entry Filed under: Q&A,Women,Women's

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Fashionista  |  November 29th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    It sounds like you work in a similar environment to myself, so copy my holiday outfit!! I just picked up the cutest dress from Artfulwears.com. Its called the Amethyst Embellished Dress and it combines two of the hottest trends this season – embellishments and purple tones! Trendy but not at all over the top. Check it out at http://www.artfulwears.com!

  • 2. Emily  |  December 5th, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    thanks for the fashion friendly advice! I decided that if I had to ask, it was probably not a good choice for a work function. I opted for the subdued but still young and fun L.A.M.B. Zebra Embroidered Dress from shopbop an lbd with spunk!

  • 3. Trisha  |  December 7th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for the update, Emily. Hope you had a great time at the party!

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