At some point in our lives, we’ve all found ourselves looking miserably into our wardrobes, wondering exactly what to wear to that tricky function, appointment or event. Here at AskBronny, we’re pleased to present the first in our series on how to put your best foot forward when you don’t quite know which fashion direction to choose. So grab your handbag and join us at the office Christmas party.
Work Christmas parties can be a fashion minefield. On one hand, they
can be a stirling opportunity to allow your boss to get to know and
appreciate you on a social level, on the other hand, they can also be a
great time to flirt with the cute guy in Accounts.
The key to dressing successfully for the office Christmas party (or
indeed, any work related function) is to break up the words ‘office’
and ‘party’. You want to look relaxed and attractive, but you need to
keep in mind what the basis of your relationship with your co-revellers
is! The presence of managers, board members or customers means that you
need to remember that, no matter what the context of the celebration,
you really are still at work, and that holds true even if you work in
an informal environment.
Obviously, if your one of those lucky folk who’s been blessed with an
enjoyably friendly working environment, and colleagues who you can
share a laugh and a drink or three after work with, it’s fine to let
your personality shine through a bit more when you’re socialising
together. But once anybody from higher up in the food chain comes
along, things need to change a little.
If you’re unsure about how to judge this, think of it in these terms. If there is going to be anybody present who:
1. Signs your pay cheque
2. Contributes to your performance appraisals
3. Has a name matching the signage on the building and the letterhead on the stationery
4. Has a permanent, allocated parking spot
5. makes a direct contribution to the company’s profits (and in
turn, your wages) in return for goods or services.
Then it’s a really
good idea to ditch the thigh high patent leather lace-up boots and
matching leather mini skirt and bustier ensemble in favour of something
a little more demure.
I once worked with a woman who was extremely well respected, very
efficient, and certainly on her way to bigger and better things within
the company. Until an office ‘End of Financial Year’ (the Christmas of
the corporate world)) party. For some bizarre reason, she seemed to be
wearing some sort of a tabletop dance costume. Skintight, sequinned
lycra micro-mini dress (with push-up bra, of course) and platform
Come July 1st, the promotion that was almost in the bag was given to
somebody else. Turns out, in her new role there would have been a lot
of travelling to meet suppliers and customers, as well as all the
associated wining and dining that goes with it. The board just wasn’t
sure if she was the best person to represent the company in social
Cruel but true. And so the moral here is, save your ‘come get me’
clothes for your own time, or risk being the girl who slides a few
rungs down the corporate ladder within a few short (or, more
accurately, short skirt wearing) hours. Oh, and make every second drink
a soft one. I really do hate to be a party pooper, but like wearing
overly flirtatious clothing, throwing up on the company CEO’s shoes can
really be the fast track to involuntary redundancy!
So if you’re unsure, just remember the ‘nothing too’ rule. That is:
- nothing too short
- nothing too tight
- nothing too see-through
- nothing too revealing of underwear (no matter how pretty
your special bra or g-string may be),
- nothing too OTT, ie: anything like Miss Venezuela would wear for a night on the town
And don’t forget, you can always Ask Bronny if you have any doubts or fashion questions!