By Mikki Collier • November 11, 2010•Writers in Residence
With the holiday season just a few weeks away, many companies are starting to plan their annual office festivities – which means, it’s time to set your office woes aside, come out from behind your desk and show some personality. But letting loose a little doesn’t mean letting go—particularly when it comes to your wardrobe. Your goal is to look savvy, sophisticated and festive, yet remain professional.
The office party offers a chance to break out of your workaday rut and add some flair to your everyday ensemble. With that said, remember that this is still a work function: dress too sexy or just plain tacky, and your colleagues are likely to see a side of your personality you'd probably rather they didn't.
Follow these tips to make sure that you you’re not on the receiving end of a pink-slip after the party is over:
Don’t Go Way Over the Top – Climb the corporate ladder, but don't let your outfit be the reason you fall off of it. Even though you might be inclined to pull out your most glittery, shiny, sparkly ensemble, the key to maintaining a polished, professional look means sticking to the adage of less is more. Going all-out can make you seem out-of-touch with the company culture—or like you don’t get out enough. If you want to show off, use your accessories – go for bold necklaces, dramatic cocktail rings and colorful pumps.
Longer Skirts; Higher Heels - A short skirt might seem fun, but it's just not appropriate for an office function. Keep skirts at your knee, just like you would for work, but trade your practical pumps for something more stylish -- high heeled boots, perhaps, or pretty peep toes. Also, opt for a higher heel, one that is practical for day, or with an evening sandal, something with some color and shine.
Don’t Override the Code - It’s better to not just keep up appearances but dress in a way that is consistent with the corporate culture you are cultivating. Display a subtle style change at a festive event, but still let everyone know who is in charge.
As a general rule, approach getting dressed for the office party in the same way that you approach getting dressed for work; keep in mind that this is a professional event, and you need to look capable and reliable.
Here are a few looks to inspire you: