What To Wear To A Holiday Work Party: Our Women’s Guide

November 17, 2023

It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are cooling and companies are in that made dash to get everything done by their Q4 deadlines. But before we call it quits, there’s one last work function: the holiday work party.

This is likely your last big office event for a while so it’s important to make the right impression. A big part of that is knowing what to wear to a holiday work party.

Keep reading for the Next Level Wardrobe team’s advice on how to shine at this shindig. From do’s and don’t’s to outfit ideas, we’ve got you covered.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Work Holiday Party Attire

women at holiday work party

Photo by Pexels

A lot of women don’t know what to wear to a work Christmas party or holiday party. Why? Because they’re not sure how to balance their usual nine-to-five dress code with the festive spirit. 

Our take? This is your time to mix it up and have fun. Remember, this should be different from what you’d wear to a Monday meeting or to sit at your desk all day. 

It’s a special event and that means you have the opportunity to move outside of your comfort zone.

Now does this mean all rules go out the window? Of course not. You should still stick to the basic rules of your work dress code

For example, you should err on the side of caution when it comes to showing skin. Avoiding anything like a plunging v-neck that goes to your belly button or a mini skirt should be common sense. 

But you can still show off your personal style without crossing those boundaries. 

How To Prep for a Work Holiday Party

Women celebrating at holiday work party

Photo by Pexels

The office holiday party is on the books, you’ve received your invite and it’s time to start planning your look.

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend asking yourself a few key questions.

  1. How bold do you want to be? Do you want to go all out and wear a look people will be talking about all night long? Or do you want to be more lowkey? Your style goals for the evening will help you pick the right outfit.
  2. Do you want to wear bolder colors, prints, and textures? Or do you want to keep it safe? 
  3. Will you be at the party for hours, or just make an appearance? How long you’ll have to be on your feet is a big determinant of what shoes you’ll wear.
  4. What kind of first impression do you want to make? Remember, even work parties are an opportunity to network. You may meet people you don’t normally talk to.
  5. What’s the venue? You can usually judge how fancy you want to dress based on the location of the event. It also helps you figure out what style of clothing to lean into. For example, a work party at a ballroom has a different vibe from a holiday party at a rooftop bar.
  6. What’s the weather? As fashionable as you want to be, don’t forget to think about the practical stuff. Check the weather forecast and whether you’ll be outside or inside for most of the event. You want to make sure you’re comfortable and not spending the whole party wishing you’d worn something warmer.

What To Wear to a Work Holiday Party: 3 Flawless Outfits for Women

Now for the fun part. Here are three of our favorite looks to wear to holiday work parties. Read on to learn why these women’s outfits work and how to recreate them in your own style.

Chose Your Cardinal Color

A common misconception about the NLW Style System (and minimalist dressing in general) is that we hate color.

Wrong! 

We’re huge fans of color, prints, and textures. In fact, we think our style system actually allows those eye-catching hues to pop even more.

While you might enjoy wearing neutral tones daily, a party is the time for new, flashy shades. 

For example, it may seem obvious but red is a winner this holiday season. It’s lively, vivacious, and energizing – ideal for a party mood.

It’s also a trending color for fall and winter so you’re sure to find plenty of great options when shopping. 

How do you make sure you pull off a statement color the right way? By selecting a well-fitted, well-made piece. You’re going to have all eyes on you in a bold piece like this. So you want to make sure you’re looking your best.

The Textured Take

Going for a super-saturated look isn’t the only way to stand out. If you’re wondering what to wear to a holiday work party, try out textured pieces.

Things like sequins, ribbing, metallic touches, or leather details are all ways to look extra dressed up. 

What we recommend is picking one statement piece and pairing it with core colors, like in the image above. 

The sequin, ruby-red skirt feels sophisticated and chic thanks to the black mock neck top and simple accessories. The skirt takes the spotlight instead of competing with the rest of the look for attention.

As long as you have the right basics in your closet, pulling off a look like this is as easy as pie. 

Accentuate with Accessories

A stylish outfit isn’t just about clothing. Those supporting characters like makeup, hair, and jewelry are all part of the puzzle.

When you think about your look as a whole and style each part of it, you have a true recipe for success.

For example, let’s say you’re wearing a relatively simple dress. Add spice with a glamorous hairstyle, glittering jewelry, or trend-aware layers.

Playing with your accessories is also great if you’re re-wearing something from a previous event. By adding a different coat, or jazzing it up with a bold lip, you’re making the outfit feel special.

When thinking about what to wear to a work holiday party, it’s all about expressing yourself. This is your chance to let your hair down, get funky, and push your comfort zone. Fashion should be fun, and special occasions are the prime time to embrace that to the max.

Want help dressing yourself this holiday season? Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s women’s styling services. We won’t just pick out a dress for your party and send you on your way. We’ll listen to your style goals and challenges and come up with a personalized style plan so you’re never at a loss for what to wear ever again. 

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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