The infamous Christmas party season has arrived, so make sure you know what to wear so your outfit gets the attention it deserves under the mistletoe.
Christmas parties are a breed of their own. The Christmas party is the only time you’ll be found stuffing your face with pigs in blankets and getting plastered on table wine whilst avoiding specific people after last year. Eventually, the preempted hangover will fade but the photos from the night will not, so it’s vital that you’re the best-dressed man in the room.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the sartorial prospect of coming up with an idea for an outfit for the Christmas party but that’s why we are here. If you’re prone to running back upstairs to get changed, you should keep reading because you’ll be feeling confident in no time.
Firstly, you need to understand the vibe of your event. If you’re just finishing work early and heading to the pub for a few drinks, a dinner jacket might not be the best choice. Or if you’re planning a formal party, don’t be the guy who turns up in a beanie.
Here, we are going to break down the options for your Christmas party outfit to ensure you will be forever remembered as being the stylish man who kills a dress code.
1. THE EARLY-FINISHER PUB LUNCH
Like it says on the tin. This Christmas party takes place at the local pub and favourably features an early-finish from your workload.
While novelty items are a laugh in the office, that doesn’t mean they should define you outside of work. If you do fancy looking a bit festive but in a sophisticated way, you should get your hands on a jumper with a Fair Isle print. This traditional print is often linked with Christmas and will be a subtle quirk to your outfit.
Pair your turtleneck with a sleek pair of jeans or slim-fit chinos for a refined outfit that will definitely get noticed. Ideally, pair dark bottoms with a contrasting knit. If you’re feeling brave try a white knit but beware that you might find evidence of a boozy afternoon not just stained on your memory.
SHOP THE EARLY-BIRD LUNCH EDIT
2. FOR THE OFFICE, IN THE OFFICE
Now, office Christmas parties are something that you will either love or hate.
The prospect of celebrating your festivities not only with your colleagues but also in your workplace can seem a bit intense. Often office Christmas parties blend into after work hours and the outcome is interesting, to say the least. It’s probably the only night of the year you’ll drunkenly lose your keys but find them the very next day behind the photo of Karen’s daughter backpacking through Eygpt.
The outfit for this scenario really depends on the general dress code of your office and what you’re doing. You need to ensure your outfit is suitable for admin-at-eight then secret-Santa-at-seven. The best advice for your office Christmas party outfit is to only marginally dress up.
Ditch the ties and cufflinks and curate a smart-casual outfit that’s inoffensive yet effortlessly stylish. Try out a knitted polo shirt teamed with a blazer for a safe and stylish look. The best part about wearing a blazer to the office Christmas party is that you have the option to read the room. If the general vibe seems overly casual just peel off the blazer and let the polo do all the talking.
The key to being the best-dressed man at the Christmas party is making sure your outfit stands out for the right reasons.
SHOP THE OFFICE EDIT
3. MEAL AND A FESTIVE TIPPLE…
This is the Christmas party event that doesn’t even need to be for work. Who needs colleagues to celebrate with food and drinks?
Whether you are heading out with your department or your actual mates, this is the most relaxed environment to celebrate in. Often a Christmas party like this would be booked in a restaurant with numerous other customers so it’s important to know the restaurant’s own dress code first. You may have heard your mate Aaron saying he’s wearing box-fresh trainers but don’t follow in his footsteps. You may find yourself standing outside trying to sweet-talk the bouncer which is the last place you want to be during your Christmas party.
This dress code is pretty easy to achieve. Aim for smart-casual with an extra side of relaxed. You still want to look sleek, but nobody will want to sit next to a guy who looks crazy over-dressed, so keep it cool.
The best bet for perfecting this outfit is to make sure you have a staple piece such as a leather jacket. Leather jackets look expensive and are packed with attitude so they make the perfect layer for making a statement at events. Pair this jacket with a dark coloured shirt and you’ve got a great mix of edginess and tailoring.
In all honesty, this is one of the only times we’d say you should wear jeans to a Christmas party (obviously if they’re allowed on the dress code). However, don’t go with jeans that look like they’ve been attacked by a dog, you still want to look respectable so a dark pair will happily tick the box.
SHOP THE DINNER AND DRINKS EDIT
4. THE BIG BASH
If you’re one of the lucky ones, your work might splash out on a big ‘ole Christmas party. This most likely will include a three-course meal, a free bar and a formal dress code.
The dress code is key at these events as ‘black tie’ is completely different from ‘partywear’ if you didn’t know that we wouldn’t blame you.
If the invitation just says ‘party’ you’ve got some room to play with. As long as you look smart you’ve pretty much got free reign. If fancy wearing a suit, avoid the basics and try something different. Designers like Guide London are crafting dark tweed suits after the rise of the Peaky Blinders so make sure you don’t sleep on that trend.
Now, if you have got to adhere to ‘black tie’, it’s important to know from the off that you should wear a bowtie, not a regular tie. In some instances, ties are acceptable but make sure you know beforehand. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being the only guy who didn’t get the bowtie memo.
The outfit itself can be quite tricky. You’ll need to wear a dinner jacket at the very least. Dinner jackets are pretty easy to spot as they have silk lapels but you don’ have to be super strict with the trousers. Most of the time you can get a full dinner suit but if you want to experiment get a statement dinner jacket and then pair it with a pair of matching trouser which you feel comfortable in.