How To: Dress for Holiday Parties


By George Manley | Dec 12th, 2008


Not everyone gets into the holiday season, so I don’t assume for a second everyone will be interested in this week’s How to subject; however, I have heard of and seen enough holiday party outfit mistakes that I thought something should be said.

For some reason, many people feel the holiday season is an excuse for going outside of normal wardrobe protocol. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the season; however, many people take it way too far, and they have become a big part of the annual office holiday joke.


Here is a brief list of things to be made aware of during this holiday party season:

1. Get the dress code for the company holiday party.
-You don’t need to receive a full debriefing from the HR department; however, I suggest you ask a superior, whom you respect, what people are wearing to the office holiday party. Stay clear of suggestions from Terry the Tramp and Bobby Brownnose, as they will most likely stand out in the wrong way.

2. In the Holiday Spirit, not full of holiday spirits.
-As much as you think she does, the office hottie does not like you more when you’re drunk. Keep it cool, as sexual harassment suits are less attractive than pinstripe suits. Plus, if you throw up on your cashmere sweater, it’s a bitch to clean it properly.

3. Santa is make-believe.
-Because most of us learn this when we are twelve, it is probably safe to lose the Santa sweater from the wardrobe. This also goes for magic reindeer sweaters and elf sweaters (although I don’t see these very much).

4. Be weary of the turtleneck.
-I have only seen a few people look outstanding in turtlenecks, and they were from Scandinavia, so I recommend you ditch the turtleneck and replace it with a scarf.

5. Leave white clothing for women this holiday season.
-I would stay away from any men’s white tailored clothing for the holiday season. White jackets and dress trousers are very hard to clean and it does not flatter most fair complexions.

Overall, a great holiday outfit is one that is tasteful and appropriate for the season. Almost anything in the grey color palette will work, as will ivory, camel, red, burgundy, green, and navy. Personally, I leave black for New Year’s Eve, as I don’t find it festive as all; however, many people make it work around the holidays.