Schmoozing with the boss, pretending the intern didn't have one too many, trying to find your way over to the hottie in accounting who may or may not be coupled up with another coworker…holiday office parties can be difficult enough to get through without having to worry about what you're going to wear. But worry we do. It's not easy to find that perfect balance. You want to be more dressed up than the everyday look, but you don't want to be too dressy. There is the water cooler talk to consider the following day (the joys of office politics). You want to ensure you'll look feminine, but also want to make sure you're taken seriously, so anything too bodycon or too short is definitely out. And you definitely don't want to be boring, you've got style! I know, I've been there. When I go to an office party, I think and plan ahead, keeping the following things in mind.
This isn't the time to experiment with bright colors, and while you might think it's cute to wear those red heels in honor of the season, they can be seen as brash or flat out cheesy. A darker homage to red, in the form of a maroon cardigan to put over the perfect fit-and-flare LBD is just the thing. If the location is chilly, you've got options. A simple black patent belt over the cardigan will keep your waist defined and feminine without showing any skin.
Keeping the accessories modern and minimal will prove your sartorial worth. These cage-heeled booties are a conservative way to show a touch of sexiness (where's that accounting guy?) if you go bare-legged. If you wear tights, the effect will be subtler, but there nonetheless. The cool cuff adds a metallic, yet strong, statement. The stud earrings are conservative enough to shake hands with the top execs and look them straight in the eye in that no-frills kind of way. When it comes to the bag, a smoky gray transparent clutch pulls black and silver accents together and gives the impression you've got nothing to hide. Added bonus to the look? Darker colors help hide any accidental canapé spills down your front, or rather the wet spot you can't hide after you spot-clean it in the bathroom.
1. Jackie Cardigan, J.Crew $65, 2. Open Work High Heel Leather Sandal, Zara $100, 3. Pave Fireball Stud Earring, Juicy Couture $38, 4. Black Seamless Skater, Dorothy Perkins $55, 5. Stingray Cuff, Sole Society $29.95, 6. Village Skinny Belt, Cole Haan $48, 7. Decoeur Lucite Clutch DJPremium $99