What to Wear To A Company Holiday Party

Deborah Boland on what to wear to holiday party


Socializing with your boss on a Friday night, watching a co-worker get sloshed on eggnog, and wondering if anyone will notice you are double-dipping at the buffet can make company holiday parties stressful.

But, they can also be a lot of fun. Knowing you look fabulous in the perfect party outfit can help ease your stress when you’re wracking your brain trying to make small talk.

Whether your company holiday party is a large, formal affair or a small, potluck, office get-together, here are a few ideas for what to wear.

what to wear to company holiday party


For a big, glitzy bash, your best option is a classy cocktail dress. This red embellished gathered sheath dress with a keyhole neckline, and this black sparkly beaded mesh sheath are both dresses I love and would wear. They’re timeless and elegant.

If your legs are not your best feature, skip the dress and go for a beautiful pantsuit. You can still look festive and hip in a pantsuit if you choose a fabric that is rich and elegant. A bit of shine helps too.

If it’s a more casual holiday party and you’re stumped about what to wear, dress pants and a pretty blouse will rarely lead you astray. Your two best choices are:

what to wear to an holiday office party

1) Wide-leg pants: They’re  dramatic enough to make your outfit interesting and add instant sophistication. A flat front style in a dark color is most slimming. To keep them from looking sloppy, make sure the hem just grazes the floor and that there’s no pooling fabric at your ankles. The bonus here? Wide-leg pants balance out a fuller hip and bum.


what to wear to an office holiday party


2) Printed Pants: Choose a sophisticated print in darker hues to look winter-ready (you look more holiday glam if it has some metallic in the print). Also, let the print be the focus of the piece. Make sure the cut of the pant is simple. Otherwise they can be over the top [printed straight-leg pants are easier to pull off than printed wide-leg pants, for example].

What Top to Wear to Party with Your Pants?

A shirt in a sumptuous fabric- think silk or chiffon- instantly elevates your look. Look for luxe details like a wrap-style front, sheer sleeves, or light embellishment. If you’re wearing printed pants, your shirt should be muted to balance the print itself. You could pair a printed top or a top in a bold shade with wide-leg pants to add interest to your look- perhaps a vivid red or bright green to feel extra festive!

what to wear to a company holiday party

Dress it Up

If you like dresses or the event is too formal for pants, then a simple fit and flare dress works for every body type.

Embellishment, Embroidery or a lace holiday party dress gives it the glam you need for party time. Knee length is perfect. Go easy on the cleavage (this still works even though you are not at your desk), and don’t forget the sparkle. Some glitzy earrings and a sequined bag add just the right magic. This purple lace dress is festive for Christmas and a perfect color to wear at other times of the year too.

There you go! Whether you end up singing karaoke or posing pretty for the yearly X-mas staff photo, here’s hoping your company holiday party is as fabulous as your outfit will be.

*Guest Contributor: Stylist Morgan Mullin  

tags: Holiday party Dresses

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  1. cindy palmer says:

    It happens to be winter here and wearing bare legs is not appropriate, so do I wear nude hose or black hose with a fuschia dress to a Christmas dinner. I have beige and black heels. Thank you and there is nothing on any web sites for dressing in the winter.

  2. Everything looks great. Although, my figure would look pudgy in the red sleeveless top or the straight pants. Thanks for showing options for all kinds of figures! The last purple dress, the one with the sleeves, would be my choice.
    I would love to see dressy clothes (not just pants, but dresses and skirts, too) shown with flats. I can no longer wear heels, not even kitten heels, so I am stuck with no heels. Please help those of us with bad feet!

  3. Great Post, Love the little purple lace number, so gorgeous. Great Work on this site!

  4. Absolutely love this post! Great style boards make it so easy to pull a look together. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’m a 45 yr old. going to a holiday party at a Cleveland Nightclub. My dress is gold on top black just above the knee skirt. I only have black open toe shoes. Is that ok this time of year? or do I need closed toe heel with black tights.

    • Hi Barb, The black tights should look fine with the open toe shoe…however you might also want to try a sheer black hose and see which one you like the best! Have fun, you dress sounds wonderful!!!