It’s that time of year again—time to dress to the nines in your swankiest little black dress or suit and head to your company holiday party.
But if you’re feeling a little bored with that basic uniform you’ve worn every year, I’ve got some fun looks that will help you stand out (in a good way, not in an, “Oops—I drank one too many glasses of egg nog and I hope my manager doesn’t notice!” way).
These getups are for those of you who are lucky enough to be getting an office cocktail party this holiday season—but stayed tuned for more formal and more casual looks in the coming weeks!
For the Ladies: Go Green
There’s nothing prettier than a beautiful deep jade or emerald cocktail dress at the holidays. It’s just different enough to pop among the sea of black, and it’s definitely festive! Just choose your shade carefully (i.e., stay far away from lime green), and steer clear of red accessories to avoid looking over the top. Instead, go with black or nude heels and gold jewelry, which will look beautiful with the deep hue.
For the Gents: Don a Dark Grey Suit
Nothing will make you look more distinguished than a well-fitting, charcoal grey suit. Dress it up for your holiday party with a simple striped shirt (like a lighter gray and white to keep it in the same color family as the suit) and a tie that has a little more pizzazz. It may take trying on a couple of ties to figure out which one looks best with your stripes, but choose something that reads fun and festive!
For the Ladies: Choose Nude and Blush
Even though nudes and blushes often make an appearance in the spring, when you get the right hue and silhouette, they can be beautiful colors to wear during the holidays. Try a dress or skirt made of silk with a subtle shine (raw silk is particularly pretty), or a dress with embellishments (like a few rows of jewels). Just steer clear of gauzy, floaty dresses in nude colors that might come across too spring-like—heavier fabrics will make the color look more seasonal.
For the Ladies: Suit Up!
Yes, a suit. But not the stuffy, conservative, ill-fitting kind. Find a perfect black tuxedo blazer, and pair it with black slim pants (you could even do leather if you’re feeling bold!) and a black silky camisole underneath. Think of it as a modern take on the LBD!
If you want to punch it up, do it with a swipe of bright red lipstick, but keep your shoes black too so that you look streamlined and sophisticated.
For the Gents: Perfectly Patterned
Mix up your everyday suit with modern patterns. Go for simple black or gray trousers, a white button-down, and a blazer with a subtle pattern like windowpane (it looks like a thin lines in a grid-like pattern), which won’t be too loud. You can even skip the tie with this look, since the blazer will add extra interest.
That being said, it you want to make more of a statement, go for a louder patterned blazer, and add a tie that includes one of the colors in the blazer, like a festive red!
For the Ladies: A Fancy Skirt and T-shirt
A fun way to dress up but still feel relaxed? Pair a tea-length skirt (which hits mid-calf) or a ballerina-length one (which hits right above your ankles) with a casual t-shirt tucked in. If you feel like being playful, go for a graphic tee, or for a sleeker look, pair a white shirt with a black skirt. If the t-shirt still feels too informal, put on a sparkly necklace to help you balance things out.