Holiday office party dress codes: 11 things you should never (EVER) wear
#1: Serious cleavage
While you may be tempted to show your fun side a little more at a work party that takes place outside the office walls, don’t get too carried away with the low-cut stuff. Just because there’s a dance floor in the room doesn’t mean you should reach for your Saturday club night attire.
#2: Holiday colors
Feel free to deck the halls—not yourself! Reaching for a bright red dress or a shimmery green number won’t get you into trouble, but trust us and stay away from pairing the two, lest someone gets confused and starts to wrap a garland around you.
#3: The highest heels you own
Go ahead and climb into some fancy heels for your work party, but hold off on the ones that make you taller than your boss (and her boss, and her boss, too!). Plus, you don’t want your coworkers making jokes for the next year about what you do once the office is closed: Teetering in sky-high heels might lead less fashion-obsessed folks to ask how you can walk in those “stripper heels.” (We learned this one the hard way.)
#4: Crazy animal print clothes
Don’t be afraid to try something bold, but keep away from the seriously loud animal prints. Until we Glamour Girls take over the world and declare leopard print the official international office uniform, you’ll have to keep that sexy animal print dress stowed in your closet for one more night.
#5: Sheer fabric
Super-sheer choices don’t work for in-office, and unforch, you’ll have to skip ‘em for your office party, too. We know they’re on trend, and we know Blake Lively rocks a mean version of the look, but we have a feeling HR won’t exactly be down with your explanation.
#6: Ultra-casual attire
Just ‘cause you’re out of the office doesn’t mean it’s time to let all of your well-learned work attire rules slip away. Unless the staff is ringing in the holiday with a trip to a basketball game, your jeans ‘n’ tee combo is a no-go for party day.
#7: Christmas sweaters
We won’t tell if you secretly still hold on to that Santa sweater your granny knit you that year, but do yourself a favor and keep the festive knits for Christmas day with your fam.
#8: Wrinkled clothes
You’re making a social splash at the party—being funny, well-spoken, confident you. But all of your networking will be for naught if you show up in that wrinkly dress you pulled from the corner of your dresser, no matter how cute it might usually look. If you have any question about the condition of your outfit, just say “yes” to a quick pre-party iron.
#9: Novelty socks
The holidays mean endless smiles, which mean you can break out your super-fun colorful striped toe socks, right? Um, wrong. Keep the stuck-inside-on-a-snow-day-wardrobe behind closed doors.
#10: Too tight, too short sresses
We know we sound like a broken record, but keep yourself on hemline patrol when suiting up for your office party. Remember: Just a couple of inches too short (or a couple of sizes too tight), and you’ll wind up shattering your professional reputation, while being the talk of the evening. And we don’t mean that in a good way.