Tuesday, 2 December 2014

How To Look Good At The Christmas Party.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, already. It only seems like yesterday that your parents were napping on the sofa, snoozing in the chairs and you were passed out on the floor (at least that’s what used to happen in my house). The shops are stocking up on crackers, mince pies, Christmas puddings, awful music (unlike The Gatsby Menswear Christmas play lists).
The build-up, the anticipation, the compulsory viewing of ‘Home Alone‘, all lead to one thing and one thing only – a bloody fantastic dinner. Sod the tree, just hand me wine and that turkey.
And how many of us will have to face the dreaded work Christmas party?
A Social Phenomenon
The work ‘Christmas Do’ is a bit of a strange event. I'm not entirely sure a vast quantity of alcohol, your colleagues and your boss is a particularly good mix. Take into consideration the fact that it will be after hours – a situation in which you would not normally see Pete from accounts or Susan from HR – and the stage is set for a potentially very awkward evening
But aside from the obviously delicate balancing act of drinking and not embarrassing yourself, you also need to think about what you’re going to wear.
Wearing your old work suit to the office doesn't really provide you with the opportunity to showcase your true personal style; you can of course wear snazzy socks, a crazy pocket square or simply be fantastic at matching shirts and ties, but at the end of the day, you’re still wearing a suit they have seen day after day, just like everyone else.
On the other hand, the Christmas party can be a good opportunity to show everybody just how well you can dress.
However, as with other events of this nature, picking your outfit is a potential minefield of misdirection, misjudgement and mistakes. It is a social situation in which all of you are out of your comfort zone, talking to people you might not normally talk to, or trying to avoid discussion about work. In a situation like this, being too bold and brash could be just as bad as hiding in the toilet all night.
Key Considerations
With that said, here are a few things to consider:
Think about your office – who do you work with? Who is actually going to come? Do you get along with everyone? If things tend to be a little cold, don’t force your most fashion forward looks down their throats. Better to create subtle talking points.
Think about their style – how do they dress? Are they likely to be impressed by the more fashion forward elements of your style or would you risk sticking out like a sore thumb?
I'm not saying don’t dress for yourself, we all want to make an impression on the one night of the year designed to encourage social interaction, but throwing caution to the wind might result in some nasty nicknames and a lot of whispers by the coffee machine.
Consider what you are actually doing – is it in the office? Going for a meal and then for drinks?
With all this in mind, tailor your outfit to your situation – there is no such thing as a one size fits all look.

Outfit Inspiration
I know for a fact that a few of you will want to wear a dressed down suit. It’s just one of those things, especially if you've just invested in a little checked number.

However, a word of warning – if you choose to go down this route, there are a few things to consider.

Do you wear a suit every day? Please don’t wear a work suit, go for something different (only on the basis of the parameters set out previously being met and your colleagues appreciating it) or something classic but in a more statement colour and/or fabric. It’s worth remembering that not all navy suits look like business suits.

Once you've chosen your suit, look for ways to differentiate it from the kind of thing you would wear to work; whether this is through bold accessories, different textures or mixed aesthetics (such as a denim shirt and stand out shoes) is up to you.

A denim shirt is a fantastic way to immediately dress down a suit and because it’s blue it will pair with every colour under the sun – you can even dress it up with a bow or knitted tie.

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