How To: Dress and Behave at the Office Holiday Party

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Photo Credit: Grace Villamil/ Financial Times Flickr

You’re a busy man. Between the daily grind and all of the additional chores that the holidays bring on – shopping, decorating, drinking to relieve stress – the last thing you should be worried about is the big office holiday party. In all honesty, it’s not that tricky. At this point in your life you should have acquired some basic guidelines on how to dress for the right occasion. Then again, things have been so hectic that a friendly reminder could come in handy. Or, this could be your first time at the office party. Regardless of the scenario, it’s not going to hurt you to take a couple of minutes and check out our holiday party guide. You’ll thank us some day when you receive compliments for being that sharp-dressed employee who was nothing short of being an absolute gentleman.


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Men’s Wearhouse

If you’re attending an office or corporate party – where you’ll be mingling with your boss and clients – it’s best to stay on the conservative side with a dark suit. We know. Dressing conservatively isn’t always fun, and it can be dull, but remember there will be people from different ages and backgrounds. Playing it safe won’t offend anyone. Save that trendy or adventurous ensemble for your friends more casual party.

Dressing conservatively, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little something exciting to your holiday wardrobe. The minimal addition of luxe fabrics, such as a navy velvet blazer or a tie with just just a touch of sheen, can make your outfit festive. It’s appropriate and can spice up up your ensemble.

Finally, don’t wear the same outfits for work to the party. If your place of employment is on the casual side, have respect and dress-up more than you normally would. If you work in a very formal setting, you can dress-down just a little. Just remember to wear a suit, or at least a sportcoat and dark slacks, that haven’t been seen in the workplace before and you’ll be good to go.

Be Prepared

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Chances are that you won’t have much time to prepare for the holiday party on the day of. Some parties take place immediately after work – others only a couple of hours. Save yourself some trouble and make sure that you’re prepared for the party when you leave the house in the morning. This means the following:

  • Knowing what to wear – know the dress code of party and pick out appropriate wardrobe.
  • The clothes that you’ll be wearing are pressed and wrinkle free.
  • Your shoes are polished.
  • Your accessories – belt, watch – are in good order and match with outfit.
  • Your well-groomed – shave in the morning, have already had haircut.


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So, you’re dressed to impress. You arrive to the party in an appropriate suit, are well-groomed and are ready to get your drink on. But, you better make sure to not overdo it on the alcohol. While the holiday party is supposed to be fun, there are still a number etiquette mistakes that you definitely don’t want to make. Such as…

  • Avoid excessive drinking – you don’t want to be that guy that hit on the bosses’ wife.
  • Avoid excessive eating – don’t be the sloppy glutton that’s devouring all the shrimp.
  • Avoid excessive talking – definitely mingle, but just be aware that this may be one of the few times where clients or people from various departments have the chance to talk. Don’t keep one person to yourself all-night.
  • Don’t complain – a co-worker could snitch on you or a boss could overhear you grips, not good for your career. Besides, this is a festive celebration. Don’t be a downer.
  • Be Cautious of  a Coworker Hookup – it’s a party, there are drinks and everyone is feeling good. Could you hookup with a coworker? Certainly. Of course, use common sense here. Don’t be an aggressive creep. Don’t make a move if you, of the other person, is in a relationship. And, if something is going to happen, take it elsewhere. Besides security cameras and other coworkers, your personal encounter will become workplace water cooler talk if your spotted getting a little close to a coworker while at the holiday party.

There you have it. A simple guide on how to dress and behave during an office party. If you dress conservatively, are prepared, well groomed and follow some basic etiquette rules, you’ll have no regrets the following morning. Now get your get yourself ready and have a great time. It is, after all, the time of year to celebrate.

Albert Costill
Just a typical guy that wants an ice-cold PBR with some pizza and wings to go with football on a Sunday. Since venturing into the blogosphere many years ago to discuss his favorite tunes, Al has now moved onto publications by Alpha Brand Media such as AMOG and SoJones to blab about anything and everything else that matters.

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