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Holiday Party Style Survival Guide

It’s the most dapper time of the year, and your calendar is slowly filling up with upcoming holiday gatherings. Now, not all festive parties are created equal — the dress code for your work party is definitely different than the dress code for your girlfriend’s annual family gathering. Take the guesswork out of the equation with these guidelines for dressing for different occasions of different formalities.

The Work Party

It comes and goes every year, but that doesn’t mean the attire is always the same. The first step is identifying the setting and time of the party. If the team is meeting at an Italian restaurant after hours, you’ll want to be more dressed up than if the party is a quick catered lunch with a Secret Santa present swap. Neither of these situations needs to be a full-suit occasion, but you can still easily keep your ensemble classy and casual.

Keep it simple with a checkered button-down, a blazer, dress pants of a different color and a loafer or boot. Another option is to pick a solid shirt and slip on a v-neck sweater over it before throwing on the blazer.  

The Friendly Potluck

This is the one you don’t have to think too hard about. Swap your suit jacket for a quarter-zip pullover sweater, and trade your loafers for a wingtip sneaker. This is the time to be sporty and festive. If you were itching to bust out the holiday colors, this is the party to do it at. That being said, avoid the fire-truck red and leafy green hues and go for a more muted scheme of the same colors. That could look like burgundy or a dark evergreen, whether it’s the color of your pullover or in the plaid of your button-down. You decide. For an extra layer of fun, add some festive socks to the mix.

The Extended Family Gathering

A button-down and tie may be overkill for a family gathering, but that’s what turtlenecks are for. They’re the right amount of classy without being too formal. If it’s your first time meeting your significant other’s family, for instance, just ask them what the typical vibe and attire is. When in doubt, you can definitely layer a contrasting suit jacket over the turtleneck then ditch it at the door if you sense a more casual environment. No matter how you style your upper half, dark jeans are the right pants for this occasion. Seal the deal with a Chelsea boot.

The Formal Fundraiser

‘Tis the season to give back, and the charity events are plentiful. Go to give and stay for the networking. We recommend adding some texture to this formal look, such as a velvet jacket, suede loafers or a wool bow tie. Don’t wear anything too bright though — capitalize on neutrals and darker tones if you do decide to incorporate more color.

If that’s too fussy for you, you can always fall back on the basics. Wear matching suit pants and a jacket with a patterned slim tie, and top the outfit off with your best loafers.

Not sure how to style your outfit for another special occasion? Drop us a note here

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