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It’s a love or hate thing – some look forward to the office Christmas party as a chance to let their hair down and celebrate the coming holidays. For others, it’s a minefield of potential career-damaging embarrassment. But as long as you don’t overdo it on the bubbly, choosing the right outfit is the key to carrying it off in style. Here are our tips for office-party success:

DO use some common sense

Smart-casual means what it says. Jeans and T-shirt aren’t smart. Nor is a much-loved reindeer sweater your grandmother knit for you (sorry Gran!).
On the other hand, as much as you may be itching to show it off, an evening dress, crepe gown or that LBD you love so much is just not casual. If in doubt, go for a variation on your work look from that same day by shedding your cardigan or leggings and readjusting your hairstyle for an evening of light banter ahead..
 

DON’T go overboard

It may be Christmas, but unless you work in a toy store, hold off on that Santa costume. Anything with flashing lights or jingling bells – also out. If you really want to get into the holiday spirit, brighten up your outfit in a festive way with some red or green – like a scarf, because they can always be removed.
 

DO show your individuality

Understated elegance is great, but remember that you’re supposed to be having fun. So if you’re not able to completely change out of what you wore to the office that day, try accessorizing to express your personal style. Some statement shoes, eye-catching clutch or neat-o necklace can lend just the right amount of distinctive chic to that conservative outfit.
 
DON’T show too much skin
Some people in the office will love your low-cut, figure-hugging cocktail dress. Others won’t. An outfit that’s just right for the club could put you on the wrong side of your conservative CEO. So if you’re going to show off your legs, keep your top half covered. Or if you’d like to reveal your back, make sure the hemline is a little lower.

 

DO follow the theme

You can turn up at your friend’s costume party minus a costume, but a work event is different. If the party has a theme, throw all our other advice out of the window and stick to it. You don’t want to leave your boss with the impression that you’re not a team player!