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It's Holiday Party Time - Do You Party or Panic?

During the month of December there are many winter holiday work parties. Decoding the dress code for these events can be a challenge. Sometimes the host will helpfully state on the invitation the dress code for the event. But what do you do when the invitation cheerfully (yet vaguely) states, “Festive Holiday Attire” and “Holiday Chic” ? Follow these tips, and you will always be appropriately dressed - whatever the dress code.

Look for other clues on the invitation. The stated occasion, time of day of the party and location all help you decipher what the dress code is for an event. You would dress-up more for an evening cocktail party at a five-star hotel than you would for an afternoon get together in the office's work conference room.

If you know others who are attending, check with them to see what they are wearing. If the party is a fairly large affair that is done on a yearly basis, check to see if there are photos on the Internet from last year’s event to show you what others wore.

If an invitation states “Festive Holiday Attire” or “Holiday Chic” or you are going to a holiday business party, know that this gives you license to be a bit more fun and creative and dressy than your every day work attire, but always stylish and always appropriate. Think holiday colors, switching out pieces if heading to the party straight from work, adding baubles and sparkle, taking it up a notch.

In my opinion, overdressed is always better than underdressed.

Always make sure your clothes are clean and pressed – no worn, frayed, faded or stained anywhere. No missing buttons, unraveling hems or broken zippers - people always notice. Ladies, make sure you are able to move freely without a wardrobe malfunction. For work-related events we advise against items too slinky or overtly sexy, no exposed undergarments. Gentlemen, don't be afraid of color.

The best dressed person is always the one with a smile, so put one on too.

It’s a party you’re going too – but be mindful if it is a work event. At the same time remember, if you don’t make it special no one else will either. Dress for success and cheers!

Have a marvelous week - Catherine

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