What not to wear to the office holiday party

Hello beauties. It’s been a while! Can’t believe it’s December! 2018 has been a whirlwind of a year, for real.  Oh well, a few weeks ago, especially via social media, I mentioned having a family member battling Cancer. Unfortunately, we lost her the day before Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, it was a very rough Thanksgiving for my family. That’s why I didn’t deliver the holiday guides I promised for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Apologies for that. Don’t worry, you will still get holiday guides and stocking stuffer ideas if you’re like me and do most of your shopping after the post-Thanksgiving frenzy. 

Thanksgiving week was a mixed bag because that Monday, yours truly had my very first TV appearance on a local morning news show in Baltimore. I was featured in two segments: the first: what not to wear to an office holiday party and solutions to turn what not to wear into what to wear. The second segment was on day to night holiday party looks. Here’s the first segment:


Similar to the segments, this post will be part 1 in a two part series around holiday parties. Scroll on for behind-the-scenes shots as well.

Now ladies, ‘tis the season for holiday soirees, whether it’s the office party or informal affairs, it’s that time of year! Figuring out what to wear shouldn’t be stressful and given it’s the office party, you don’t want to be the subject of the water cooler gatherings the morning after.  Know the basic rules of not overdoing anything: don’t drink too much; don’t talk too much; don’t dance or sing too hard???? And in addition, check out these quick pointers on what not to wear to an office party:

For starters:

Know the dress code for the party:

• If it’s an ugly sweater-themed office party and you show up in a cocktail dress, that would be a little bit much.
Be comfortable and be YOU:
• Comfort is key! Holiday parties can be overwhelming, don’t add to the stress by wearing something that’s uncomfortable or “not you.”
• You don’t want to draw negative attention to yourself and you want to be able to mix and mingle without worrying about what you’re wearing.



Step it up a notch without crossing the line:

• The goal is to elevate the everyday outfits you typically wear to the office without overdoing it!

Holiday work look: Navy dress with lace sleeves
A holiday office party do: Sheath dress with lace sleeves and statement shoes

Don’t wear an outfit that’s head-to-toe sparkly/sequined out:

  • At a professional holiday party, you don’t want to be a disco ball so just say no to bling from head to toe.

  • Sequins are synonymous with the holidays so you can definitely do sequins and sparkle but keep in mind that less is more. You can:
    • Pair a sparkly top or sweater with pants, jeans or a skirt. If the top is a cami or tank, you can layer under a sweater or blazer.
    • Do a sparkly or sequined cardi over a sheath dress or paired with a pencil skirt or pants.
    • Wear a sparkly or sequined skirt or pants but tone down with a solid-colored top.
    • Opt for pairings with solid or holiday colors. For example, a sequined top with a red sweater or a shiny sweater with a pair of black pants.
    • Complete your look with a pair of sparkly shoes or complement your sparkly top with some sparkly heels.

Shop these looks:

Red cardi: here and here | Velvet jeans: here and here | Sparkly top: here and here | Black pumps here and here | Black blazer: here and here | Black pants: here and here       

Don’t wear anything that’s too short, tight or revealing:

  • Just say no to short, tight or revealing options. Save the sexy for the weekend parties.
  • Again, if you’re the subject of the water cooler conversations, let it be because you wowed not because you were “that girl” with too much cleavage or the “tugger” who kept pulling on her dress because you realized too late that ‘twas way too short for the occasion.
Little black dress for a holiday party
This dress would be perfect for a non-work holiday party or a New Year’s Eve party
Cute lace little black dress for holiday party
Perfect for a non-work holiday party or New Year’s eve party
Red dress for holiday party or New Year's Eve party
Here’s another one that is too short for a holiday party but perfect for other holiday soirees

If you’ve got a short dress you want to wear:

  • Remix it into a top. How? Pair with a flared or A-line skirt and that short dress becomes a “cute top.”
  • You can also do a dress that’s slightly above the knee, just pair with tights and make sure you’re not wearing sky high heels. That will tone down the “legs for days” in a short dress illusion.
Office holiday party looks
Wear a dress that’s just above the knee with some tights or pair a short dress with a flared skirt to make it office holiday party-appropriate
  • I’ve also paired short dresses with pants so the dress becomes a tunic in a sense. Just ensure you opt for pants that are somewhat fitted or flared pants that start out fitted then flare at the bottom. If the pants are too baggy, dress-over-pants will not look structured. That’s not what we’re going for, of course.

Shop these looks:

Little black dress here,  here or here | Print skirt: here, here and here | Snakeskin pumps here and here

Pin or print this printable for easy reference:

For more holiday inspo, check out these posts here and here.

As usual, thanks so much for dropping by. Check in next week for part two of the series, featuring fun and festive day to night holiday party looks that’ll easily take you from work to play mode. 

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