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What to wear for the office Christmas party

5 December 2018

Even for those of us with the tiniest semblance of social know-how, it’s fair to say that the office Christmas party is one night of the year where angst reigns supreme. Who to talk to, where to sit, what to wear, how much to drink – these are all common questions that crop into the minds of most as we enter into a night of inevitable debauchery.

And while we may not be able to save your dignity on the dance floor, we’ll do our utmost to assist in turning you into the most sartorially savvy man in any room. What you wear will obviously be indicated by the level of organised fun that you’re being subjected to, but, in a bid to avoid any last-minute conundrums, it’s imperative to take the time to pre-plan what you’re going to wear at any event.


A low-key outing

With any luck, you’ll likely be heading for a couple of drinks and by some form of low-key activity such as bowling or go-karting. The perfect outfit for this kind of night falls somewhere in the middle of smart and casual: overdressed and you’ll be laughed out of the door, underdressed and everyone will question your integrity. The perfect pairing? Tailored trousers and a laid-back (but standout) piece of knitwear, whether that’s in the form of an on-trend long-sleeved polo shirt or a chunky roll neck. Balance it out with a Harrington or a bomber jacket and add a pair of slick trainers for a look that’s hard to beat.

Dinner and drinks

If wining and dining is on the cards, you might find yourself at a semi-respectable dinner, followed by a couple of drinks in a potentially quite high-end establishment. It’s important to dress for the occasion here – no one wants to be the red-faced guy who got turned away at the door of a fancy bar. As with many of life’s great events, it’s best to be over- rather than underdressed, so add a collar and don’t touch denim. A lot of places on the smarter end of the scale will have a strict jackets-only policy too, so remember yours to keep the outfit concise and slick. If you’re looking to break away from the everyday norm, mix together two separates from two suits to bring contrasting tones. Always remember, the key is to turn heads for all the right reasons.

A black-tie affair

A lot of companies will use the festive period to keep their employees happy and feeling wanted, so if you’re lucky, you might find yourself being whisked off to a black-tie dinner where you’re expected to dress to the nines. It’s always a good idea to invest in a tuxedo that plays with colour and texture and feels a little different from the norm. A midnight blue jacket paired with black trousers is the perfect starting point, it’s been worn by stylish men for decades and is a perfect alternative to the classic all-black tuxedo. If you’re feeling daring, pick something with a little more zest that’ll up the ante – jacquard prints, deeper and bolder colours and bright and colourful accessories all have their place, if worn in the right way.


Illustrations by Rhys Callow



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