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Feeling the pressure this party season? In this article, Steve Cochrane from luxury fashion retailer Psyche offers his advice for looking your best at your work’s Christmas event.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether you’re Christmas-crazy or a bit of a grinch, you’ll no doubt be receiving your invitation to the office do soon, if you haven’t already. This is the perfect chance to bond with your co-workers and feel rewarded for all your hard work this year — as well as overdo it with the pigs in blankets and eggnog. But what will you wear?

Work events can take many forms, and it can be difficult to know if you’re getting the tone right and striking the balance between festive and functional. So, if you want to look your best this holiday season, below I’ll be sharing my tips for looking good while celebrating Christmas with your colleagues.

Formal corporate party

Business events are quite common over the festive period as clients and other companies try to drum up a bit of extra custom and strengthen their existing relationships, ready for the upcoming new year. So, it’s important to make a good impression and make sure you’re not standing out for the wrong reasons.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acknowledge the jolliness of the season, though — just look for your typical style of workwear with a festive edge, such as subtle metallic threads or patterns, rather than going straight to glitter or sequins. For men, stick to darker festive colours like burgundy and emerald green rather than anything too bright to get balance right.

Party in the office

If the party is at the office, it doesn’t make much sense to go home and get changed just to come back in. Your best bet is to wear something that’s appropriate for work during the day and then make it party-friendly in the evening. Think smart trousers and a button-down shirt, or an LBD you can dress up with sparkly shoes and accessories.

Alternatively, you might want to consider bringing something that won’t crumple and crease in your bag if you’re planning on getting changed into your outfit at the end of the day. Thick fabrics like velvet or tweed are good for this, and they also happen to be very festive-looking materials.

Christmas lunch or dinner

Christmas lunches and dinners are probably some of the most relaxed office parties on this list, as everyone comes together, relaxes with a few drinks, and pulls a cracker or two. They can also be the trickiest to gauge fashion-wise, as you don’t want to be stuck wearing stuffy work clothes, but you don’t want to be overdressed in anything too fancy either.

The answer to this predicament is to wear a pair of well-fitting designer jeans that aren’t faded or ripped. Gentlemen should throw on a neatly ironed t-shirt or shirt with their jeans that day. Ladies, it’s time for jeans and a nice top. Just make sure the waistband can accommodate a three-course turkey dinner!

After work pub party

This kind of party is where the fun can really begin. Which pub or bar (or club!) you’ll be going to really depends on the personalities of your co-workers and your office culture, but either way, events like these are a great excuse to wear something special. As you’re going ‘out-out’, you can afford to go a lot more glam with your outfit, so embrace anything sparkly or brightly coloured that you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing anywhere else.

Just remember to factor getting ready into your party outfit planning: as with an office party, you’ll have to figure out whether you’ll be bringing your outfit with you to work that day or if you’ll be popping home first to get changed.

The tips in this article can help you decide what to wear at this year’s office Christmas party. With a bit of know-how, you can strike the perfect balance between looking festive, functional, and — most importantly — fun. Enjoy!

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