The right look for this year's holiday party is all about knowing the value of dressing up (think elegant and festive fabrics and accessories) while dialing down on any overly sexy outfits or too-formal pieces. Ace the staff holiday fête by following these eight simple steps to ensure you look your best.
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Don't Bring Sexy Back
You may be tempted to reveal your bod, but showing too much cleavage, leg or back is simply an unnecessary distraction. Holiday parties are, after all, work events. "Especially around bonus time ... this is not an arena where you want to be oversexed," says image and wardrobe specialist Amanda Sanders of NewYorkImageConsultants, adding that provocative attire will only cause your co-workers to look at you less seriously. Best to stick with understated elegance, like wearing a form-fitting dress that covers up all the right parts.
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Don't Turn Yourself Into A Statement
You don't have to wear a gold lamé dress to make a statement, says Sanders. Instead, add some sparkle to your outfit with strappy shoes or a statement necklace that you wouldn't normally wear to work, which will get you noticed for the right reasons.
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Subtlety Goes A Long Way
Holiday parties are a time to show your co-workers a more glamorous side, but they should not be treated like black-tie events. "Super high stilettos will just make you walk funny," says Pachter. Instead, stick to what works for you, but take it up a notch — say, more expensive pieces in jersey or cashmere and statement accessories. Treat yourself to professional hair and makeup.
Consider The Type Of Party
Although most companies don't have dress codes for holiday events, the location of the party ought to dictate the type of outfit you should wear. A holiday bash at the office, for example, may involve a small wardrobe change — perhaps a jacket comes off and brighter lipstick goes on — whereas a weekend event at a four-star hotel may require formal dress. No matter where the event is taking place, be sure to avoid anything over-the-top (nix that clubbing outfit).
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Save The Festive Outfits For Family Events
You don't have to look like a Christmas ornament to be festive. Flashy colors, sequins and (gasp) Santa hats should all be avoided at the office party if you want to maintain your dignity and sense of style. Instead, try wearing purples or jewel palettes, which are ever-popular winter hues.