FROM CUBICLE TO COCKTAILS: how to go from work to the office party

FROM CUBICLE TO COCKTAILS: how to go from work to the office party

As Christmas approaches office parties are in full swing, so this week Style Clinic is all about what to wear and how to behave.

There are more factors to consider when dressing-up for an office party as opposed to a regular party.

It will take more than just a cute dress to impress this crowd; it’s all about looking chic without losing sight of the fact that the people you’re about to party and drink with are still your colleagues and those who hold your future in their hands may be among that crowd. How you dress and conduct yourself at events like this are seen as glimpses of the ‘real’ you and indiscretions at this time of year can follow you well into next year.  


  • Dress and behave like your boss is in the room. An office party can get crazy, you may or may not see your boss but you should always be prepared for that scenario.
  • Amp up your beauty look. If you don’t have the time to for a complete party makeover, the least you can do is to turn up the volume with your hair and makeup. A swipe of bold colored lipstick and a good blow dry is all you need sometimes. If you’re feeling like you need more glam than that, add in a smoky eye, winged eyeliner, and bouncy curls courtesy of the curling iron you packed.

Turn up the Volumn

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  • Leave your huge work tote in your cubicle. Put some essentials into a chic patterned clutch or a gilded minaudiere. This simple purse swap can dramatically transform your look.
  • Red is the go-to color for holiday party dressing. Embrace this tradition and marry it with current trends, since this season tomato red is such a prominent hue for the runways and in the street style blogosphere as well. 

Wear Red

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  • Switch your sensible work pumps for more fun party heels, again within the bounds of elegant taste of course. Opt for jewel toned pumps with embellishments, or heeled sandals in a vibrant color. Steer clear of large platform pumps as they have a tendency to look cheap.


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  • Liven up your suit. You can do this by adding a belt with metallic hardware or an oversized belt in a fun print or, switch out your office blouse with something more festive. Try a silk camisole, or a printed sheer blouse.
  • Exchange your work jewelry and replace it with attention grabbing accessories. This is an area you can really be playful in, and you can be more daring with your choice of statement bling. Just be careful not to over accessorize, remember that you still have to look classy and polished.


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  • Exchange nude colored office hosiery for sheer black stockings, fine fishnets or something with a muted or small pattern like a small polka dots.
  • Add some fake lashes and to darken your eyebrows a little bit more. You shouldn’t select lashes that are too long though, you still want to look sophisticated. You are just looking for a bit more pop. Also, only do this if you are absolutely comfortable wearing falsies the whole night.
  • Don a statement jacket. Take off that prim office blazer and put on a topper that will go with your work style for the day. Try a leather jacket, embellished boxy jacket, or a cropped printed bomber jacket. The jacket options are endless.
  • Consider a more colorful ensemble – this is the time to have fun, just remember ‘appropriateness’ is still the order of the day.



  • Don’t get drunk at the office party. Have a few drinks socially and know when to say no.
  • Don’t wear anything too revealing. Only choose to bare skin either on your décolletage or your hemlines. Never do two at the same time, and always keeps elegance top of mind.
  • Don’t go over the top with garish jewelry or kooky accessories.
  • Don’t go home with raccoon smudged eyes at the end of the night. When applying a smoky eye, put a primer and set it properly.
  • Wear proper underwear. Visible bra straps and panty lines are poor form. Invest in shape wear if needed – the only things giggling should be the ice cubes in your drink.
  • Don’t wear anything too tight. You want to feel comfortable throughout the night.
  • Don’t do anything with colleagues you wouldn’t be OK seen doing during office hours. 

Bad Behaviour

Want More? Nine Ways to Survive the Christmas Party.

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