champagne on ice in a bucket at an office christmas party

The Ultimate Sartorial Guide to Bossing the Office Christmas Party

It’s time to tie up the loose ends at work, put away your files and polish up your finest David Brent robot dance. That’s right — it’s the office Christmas party. For some, the office Christmas party is a dreaded affair. Awful Christmas jumpers; awkward, but suspiciously staged encounters beneath the mistletoe and the inevitable airing of long-held office grievances. But the work Christmas do is also a great opportunity to celebrate a year’s worth of hard work, bond with your colleagues and kick off the holiday festivities in style.

Bossing your office party means a lot more than just looking good for the night: it’s about being a team player, getting in the spirit and celebrating the company, so don’t be a Scrooge.

In this post, we’ll break down the unspoken sartorial dos and don’ts of nailing your office Christmas party.

Don’t Come in Your Usual Office Getup

We’re sure that all you dapper chaps dress to impress 365 days of the year — and if you don’t, all you need do is follow our advice on dressing well for work. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put in a little more effort for your Christmas do. Going to your Christmas party in your work gear is like turning up to a Mufti day at school in your uniform — embarrassing and isolating. More than that, wearing your normal gear for the “special night” sends a clear message that you’re not there to party.

What you wear to your office party will depend on the dress code and the nature of your work and company. Obviously, different rules apply if you’re heading to a black tie do at a fancy hotel, rather than a knees-up at the local pub. But as a general rule of thumb, a suit is always a good bet. To mix it up a little, try switching fabrics — if you normally don a dark coloured, worsted wool suit, why not try a tweed suit instead? Slightly less formal and certainly more interesting, our Grey Houndstooth Plaid Tweed three-piece is just the ticket. Wear it with a crisp white shirt and bold tie for a sharp suited-and-booted look, or rock it with a cashmere rollneck for an off-duty vibe.

Do Check the Dress Code

The number one rule for dressing for any event is to check the dress code. A wedding; a birthday bash; an engagement party — whatever the occasion, the dress code is your best friend. And when it comes to the office party, it’s more important than ever. Whether you’re the boss man or on the lowest rung of the company ladder, the dress code is the best leveller. Unfortunately, all too many of us have fallen foul to fashion by ignoring it and ended up looking out of place and out of sync with our colleagues.

A father Christmas outfit may be a homage to the season, but if the invite says “Cocktail Party”, well, you’re going to look a bit silly. The same is true the other way around — if the invitation says “jolly Xmas getup”, don’t be afraid to let your silly side out. If you’re a particularly meticulous dresser, the idea of wearing fancy dress can be daunting, but trust us: you’ll feel sillier — and look like you aren’t putting in the effort — if you’re the only one who hasn’t got with the dress code.

Don’t Be so Predictable, but Do Be Festive

There’s nothing wrong with being fashion forward; in fact, we encourage it. But being sartorially savvy can make some of us a little reluctant to get into the spirit of things. Seasonal outfits tend to be a ghastly parade of ugly jumpers and Santa suits, but that’s not the whole picture. Winter is a season full of sartorial inspiration — think ruby red berries against dark green leaves; crisp blue skies and bare branches, and roaring fires and tartan rugs. Don’t feel consigned to polyester father Christmas suits. Instead, add flourishes of festivity to your look.

A sprig of holly in your top pocket is an elegant seasonal touch, while our red floral tie and pocket square provides a splash of seasonal merriment. If you’re feeling bold, our Maroon Barleycorn Tweed three-piece is a rich and decadent statement piece that is sure to wow your colleagues.

Don’t Get Sloppy

This last one is important and not strictly restricted to the sartorial realm. You only have to scroll through a few #OfficePartyFails to see the ugly consequences of overindulging in the free booze at the office party. A Christmas party may be about enjoying yourself and celebrating, but it’s the savvy chap who keeps an air of professionalism about him. There’s a time and a place for venting your frustrations or telling your workplace crush how you feel, but the office party is just not one of them; that is, unless you’re prepared to deal with the awkward morning after the night before. As far as styling goes, don’t ruin your look with red wine stains or spilt canapes. Keep a clear head and pace yourself!

Browse our full collection of seasonal suits and accessories and boss your office Christmas party!

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