With Christmas just around the corner, it’s nearly time to get together for a festive drink (or several) with your workmates. But what should a style-conscious chap wear to the office party? Edward Pritchard, Manager at designer menswear retailer Pritchards, is here to teach you how to crack the dress code and impress your colleagues at this year’s bash.
As all stylish men will know, the golden rule of dressing well is finding the perfect outfit to suit the occasion. That means you need to find out what sort of event your office Christmas do will be, and then put together an outfit that’s perfectly suited to the tone of the evening.
While the office Christmas party might be an opportunity to let your hair down with your colleagues outside the office, it’s still a professional event, so it’s only sensible to look the part. To help you put together an outfit that will blow your workmates away, I’ll share some tips on what to wear for every sort of Christmas party this year.
A casual affair
If your work party is normally a few drinks at the local pub rather than a glitzy formal affair, feel free to keep things casual. A cosy jumper and smart jeans should be perfect for this sort of get-together: you could even go for a Fair Isle knit, for a take on the Christmas jumper which is festive yet classy.
In terms of footwear, I’d avoid wearing trainers. It may be a casual affair, but it’s still a special occasion, so wear a pair of boots or shoes that will elevate your outfit and give it a slightly dressier feel. A pair of suede desert boots in black or tan should strike the perfect balance between sophisticated style and laid-back cool.
A party at the office
If your annual bash will be hosted in the office after work, you’ll need to find an outfit that can transition from day to night. But, that doesn’t mean you should just stick with your usual workday outfit. If you want to win some style points with your colleagues, you’ll want to wear something which is slightly more elegant than your everyday office suit, but can still be worn from 9–5. This way, you won’t look like you’re trying too hard, but you won’t need to rush home to get changed, either.
If you wear a suit and shirt most days, switch it out for a suit which is more slim-cut than your normal style and team it with a shirt in a darker shade. This will make your outfit feel more appropriate for the evening. To give your look a real ‘party feel’, add a pair of cufflinks and swap your everyday shoes for a pair of patent leather brogues or loafers: the extra shine will really give your outfit that festive feel.
Dinner and drinks
If you’ll be heading out to a nice restaurant for dinner and drinks this year, then chances are the dress code will be smart-casual. This is a difficult dress code to define, which can send some people into a bit of a tailspin, but essentially it just means you need to hit the right balance between looking dressed up and relaxed.
If you’re in doubt, it’s hard to go wrong with a printed shirt, a fitted jacket, and a pair of tailored trousers or chinos. This strikes exactly the right balance between smart and casual, and it’s appropriate for almost anywhere the night will take you. Team your finished look with a pair of dress shoes or brogues, and don’t forget to accessorise with a tie if you want to look a little more formal.
A huge business-wide bash
If your company is the type to splash a lot of cash on an extravagant event every December, then you’ll need to step up your fashion game. Chances are, people from every level of the company will be doing their best to impress — especially if any of your clients will be in attendance.
Events of this size will usually have a formal dress code, so check the invitation for more details. If it reads ‘black tie’, then only a full tuxedo and bow-tie will do. If it’s ‘black tie optional’, then feel free to swap the tux for a smart suit, as long as it’s well-tailored and a perfect fit. For a slightly more modern look, you could wear a tux with a black roll neck jumper or top, instead.
There’s always a lot of pressure to put together the perfect outfit for the office Christmas party, especially if you want to impress your colleagues. This year, take my tips on board, and you’ll soon be ready to step out in style. Have fun!
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If you’d like me to help you find an outfit for the party season, please do get in touch.