With the joy of the festive season comes the fear of work Christmas party outfits. One of the hardest occasions to strike the right sartorial tone, many work parties lead straight on from a day in the office making the task even trickier.
There's nothing quite like a December packed full of holiday party fun, but while there will be plenty of time to celebrate with friends and family, it's also traditional to close out the year by raising a glass or two with work colleagues before enjoying a festive break. One of the more complex Christmas party outfits to put together, work Christmas party outfits often require a more subtle elegance. Regularly taking place after a day in the office, you might also want to consider an outfit you can easily adapt from boardroom to dancefloor with a few simple tweaks.
While there is nothing to stop you going all out with your work Christmas party outfit, larger scale events will often involve lots of different departments and stakeholders and in a similar vein to having a work uniform or dress codes for the office, you should keep those in mind for any corporate occasion, saving statement showstoppers for other festive get togethers.
Work Christmas party outfits: 7 ideas of what to wear according to a fashion editor
Nail your work Christmas party outfits this season with our quick fire guide of what to wear for the festive period. Whether you have one big Christmas party for the whole company, or a series of team celebrations, getting your Christmas party outfit ideas together now will ensure you're calm when the big day rolls around. From full party looks that will mean getting changed at work to easy outfit switch ups that require a nifty change of a top or accessories to give your ensemble a party perfect finish, we have seven great style options to help you get the festivities started.
1. Black Dress
The LBD or little black dress is a wardrobe essential. A piece that can easily be dressed up or down, a great black dress will ensure you avoid those 'nothing to wear' meltdowns. For work Christmas party outfits suitable for cocktail hour, opt for a black dress that you can take straight from the office to the bar. A knee length iteration or one of the best midi dresses, will look polished and you can slip a blazer over the top and add simple black courts for a day of meetings. Come 5pm swap out muted accessories for added glitz, such as a statement necklace and gold shoes to transform you black dress into a look that's ready for the work Christmas party.
RRP: $529 / £350 | This versatile knitted dress is a great addition to fall outfit ideas. The black hue keeps it versatile, while the fit and flare silhouette makes it universally flattering. We love the flared sleeve detail for a pretty, feminine finish.
RRP: $73 / £54.99 | Nothing says 'get me to the dancefloor', like gold heels and this gorgeous metallic, woven pair will up style any black dress in an instant. The platform front means the heel isn't as high as you think, but the ankle strap does offer extra support.
2. Printed Dress
One of the big fall 2022 fashion trends, leopard print has reigned supreme on the runway and in our wardrobes for several seasons and works brilliantly for work Christmas party outfits too. Considered a neutral by the fashion crowd, leopard print is a pattern that never truly goes out of fashion and in the same vein as a block color black or navy dress, it goes with pretty much everything.
Another style that works from your desk to the dancefloor, choose a midi length or knee skimming hem line to keep your look office-ready. Selecting one of the best shirt dresses in a leopard print, or a design with a fuller collar or tie neck will add interest to your look and negate the need for adding a necklace, and makes for a stylish Christmas party dress. To make this look work Christmas party appropriate, swap out comfortable flats for a pair of suede or patent black courts and add your best designer crossbody bag. A swipe of red lipstick with a leopard print dress will add all the festive cheer you need.
RRP: $120 / £85 | Sculptural heels were big news for the shoe trends 2022 and this cone style heel is subtle enough for the office but also stylish enough for after work drinks and parties. The suede fabrication gives a nod to the festive season too.
RRP: $365 / £365 | The best Saint Laurent handbags are a timeless buy and this small bag is the ideal size for essentials. The YSL gold hardware adds extra glitz to your look, while its small stature means you have to pack light for the office party.
A great alternative to the best cocktail dresses, when it comes to how to style a blazer for work Christmas party outfits, the trick is all in the fabrications and trims. While you're everyday blazer adds polish to your meeting-ready looks, for a more party appropriate iteration look for blazers with jeweled buttons, and/or grosgrain or satin trims, as these will add an instantly more luxurious feel. Subtle versions will be wearable in the day around the office, while blazers with satin lapels might need to be slipped on just before the main event.
If you're looking to go more low key for your work Christmas party outfit, then simply dress-up your everyday suit. Swap a classic white blouse or shirt for a sequin or satin camisole, adding layered necklaces or a statement cocktail ring and a pair of metallic heels to give your look a more festive appearance.
RRP: $495 / £275 | This piece might be named the Perfect Work Blazer, but this jacket has a chic tonal ribbon trim down the center front panels, giving it a more occasion-ready feel. The ideal blazer to wear from daytime through to party time.
RRP: $285 / £150 | Matching the jacket, these ankle skimming trousers feature a side ribbon trim, giving a nod to some of the best tuxedos for women. The slim fit and front pleat will help to elongate your silhouette for a flattering and smart finish.
Giving instant party-polish to any outfit a glitzy skirt is for those work Christmas party outfits that demand a little more sparkle. From muted silver and gold hues to dopamine dressing inducing brights, the options for this look as we head further into the festive season will be endless.
To give this look a more dressy vibe, pair with a chiffon blouse or silky top to amp up the glam factor. If you want a softer, more laidback look, team your sequin skirt with one of the best sweaters. The mix of hard sequins and luxe wool or cashmere gives a feminine but festive finish. Want to lean further into the spirit of the holidays? Try adding one of the best Christmas jumpers for a really joyful finish.
RRP: $145 / £89 | A more muted sequin is often more subtle, making it easier to dress it up or down. This thigh skimming style from Mint Velvet can be teamed with opaque tights for a seasonal-appropriate way for how to style knee-high boots.
A real hero when it comes to the fashion trends 2022, leather is set cover every category this season. From luxe dresses to the best leather jackets, skirts and pants, no item in your wardrobe is safe from this fabrication. Adding a tougher, finish to your office Christmas party outfits, embrace more feminine silhouettes in leather to give the overall finish a softer feel. If you're wondering how to style leather pants, for the fall, opt for culottes or wide-leg silhouettes with fitted tops to give a more hourglass appearance. Add in tactile fabrics, such as fluffy knits or your best cashmere sweater to make this look playfully textural and warming.
RRP: $135 / £85 | While the trend is focused on leather, there are plenty of great vegan leather options to make this style more accessible. This wide leg pair of trousers will help to balance out wider hips and features a flattering high-waist cut.
RRP: $140 / £110 | Jeweled buttons offer instant up-styling to classic knitwear cuts and this fluffy sparkly button design is ideal for those who want to give a nod to festive sweaters without having to wear character jumpers or cheesy knits.
Flattering jumpsuits have become a mainstay of our party wardrobes thanks to there throw on and go aesthetic. Removing the need for matching up separates, they're a fantastic alternative to the best dresses if you prefer a trouser silhouette, although wide leg designs can mimic the look of the dress, with the added thigh comfort of trouser legs. With no need for tops to be tucked in and no huge consideration for styling, for easy work Christmas party outfits, look to classic evening silhouettes drawing inspiration from the timeless tuxedo for an aesthetic that is truly elegant.
RRP: $390 / £238 | This black jumpsuit has all the classic hallmarks of a tuxedo but with a more feminine finish. The sheer sleeves are ideal for those who want some arm coverage, while the flared trouser leg will balance out hips and thighs.
RRP: £55 (International delivery available) | Lean into the androgyny of the jumpsuit and keep styling simple and discreet. A stylish, statement cocktail ring, or a pair of bold, gold, drop earrings is all that is needed to make this party look stand out.
If you're work Christmas party involves a far more swanky occasion to celebrate the festive season and the end of the year, black tie might be required. As a general rule, if you're not opting for a tuxedo or a jumpsuit, a long dress is the best option for a black tie office Christmas party outfit. Similar to the best wedding guest dresses, look for jewel tones as these are ideal for adding a glossy finish and work particularly well for the festive season. When it comes to fabrications, chiffon, silk and satin, alongside beaded designs are the most common for evening wear and will work beautifully for a black tie event. As with a jumpsuit, keep styling minimal to let your outfit do the talking.
RRP: $400 / £225 | Creating simple but beautifully cut dresses and gowns, Ghost is often our go to for the best bridesmaid dresses, and this cowl neckline design, with softly fluted sleeve will look smart and elegant for a black tie dinner. A timeless buy.
RRP: £98 (UK only) | Add a directional feel to evening wear with statement accessories. These silver, floral earrings tap into the jewelry trends for 2023 which championed oversized earrings, making them central to the fashion landscape next year.
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Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with twenty years' experience in the industry. Rivkie studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, and fell in love with styling and journalism, and has covered fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York, as well as shooting editorial all over the world.
Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has appeared on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.