What to wear to your office holiday party

What to wear to your office holiday party

This year, you can leave your Santa hat at home.

When it comes to festive gatherings, the office party is arguably the trickiest to navigate. Aside from monitoring your eggnog intake to ensure you’re charming Becky from accounting and not telling her what you really think of her new haircut, there’s the inevitable transition from nine-to-five to partywear.

For men, going from the boardroom to the bar is a no-brainer. Of course, you’ll want to step up your game this time of year, considering your festive get-together is basically an invitation to sartorially outshine your office rival.

For women, the changeover isn’t as straightforward. You’ll want to look polished, but not too professional. Celebratory, but not seductive. To top it off, there’s the puzzling dress code “clarification” email that circulated. “Holiday spirit,” “festive dressy,” and “smart casual” do little to illuminate the sartorial conundrum.

To help you get through the season in style, we’ve rounded up the very best desk-appropriate costume changes. This year, you can leave your Santa hat at home. 


Gravitating towards sequins for the holiday is a natural instinct. After all, it’s the season to sparkle and shine. Just be sure your glitter doesn’t overtake your ensemble. The secret is sticking with separates. Pair a shimmery knee-length skirt with a festive sweater for a look that’s appropriate, but still full of holiday cheer. 

If you prefer to stay tailored, swap out your regular suiting with a statement set. A bold colour is the easiest way to stand out. Add a few glitzy accessories, like an embellished clutch or metallic heel, to really get in the holiday spirit. 

A printed midi – that can be worn during the day with tights and a structured blazer is your most versatile option for a quick change when the clock strikes five. Just swap out your standard heels for a playful bootie and add a bold earring when you’re ready to let loose. 


Before planning your party pieces, make sure to read the room. If your office is generally more laid back, don’t expect everyone to turn up the volume for after-work drinks. Put a small spin on your regular go-tos, like a cashmere knit or a spirited tie, to show you made the effort. 

If your annual affair is a swankier one, make sure to take your updates seriously. Instead of your regular loafer, try a sophisticated slipper and swap out your blazer for something velvet. Don’t forget, accessories make the difference. Pay attention to your cufflinks and pocket square.

Nail this look, and you’ll be voted best-dressed for another year running. 


Sasha Johnson is a writer and content creator based in Toronto. Previously, she was the Manager of Digital Content at Holt Renfrew, where she led the luxury retailer’s integrated editorial and social media strategy. Her fashion, beauty, culture and lifestyle writing has appeared in Holt Renfrew’s print and digital publications, Elle Canada Magazine, and Coveteur, among other titles.