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Office Xmas Night Out Attire (The Weird & Wonderful)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

As the holidays approach, the festive spirit is all around. We see it in the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the shops lined with Christmas décor and countless goodies, and of course, we see it at work as most of us start to wind down and wrap things up for the New Year; you know what that means: office Christmas party! 

While holiday festivities can be a great way to connect with your colleagues in a more relaxed setting, choosing what to wear can be tricky. It’s a party, after all, but you’re still with your colleagues, which - sigh - still technically qualifies as ‘business’.

What we mean is that of course you can loosen up on the corporate attire, however, remember that come Monday morning you’ll all be sitting around a boardroom table. 

To give you a hand, below we discuss how you can choose your office Christmas night out attire to express your creativity and stylistic flair, while remaining professional and work-appropriate.

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Consider the time and location of the party

It’s most likely that you’ll be made aware of your office Christmas party at least a few weeks in advance, along with information on its location and time. That should give you plenty of time to get organised and get a head start on planning your outfit. 

Knowing there the event will be held can help you decide on what to wear based on the atmosphere and formality of the venue. You don’t want to show up at a ballroom event with a pair of jeans and a casual knit jumper. 

So, taking into account where and at what time in the day the party will take place will give you a much better idea about what your outfit will look like. 

Confirm the dress code

Once you find out the time and location, the next thing to do is to make sure you have the right idea about what the dress code will be. Oftentimes the dress code itself will be mentioned in the initial email or flyer you receive announcing the event. 

If there’s no mention of the dress code, however, the best thing to do is speak to the department organising the party (in most cases this will be the HR department or the office manager). You can also ask your colleagues what they’re planning on wearing to the Christmas party if it makes you feel more confident that you’ll dress along the same lines as the rest of them.

As mentioned though, you can gauge what the dress code will likely be based on the location. For example, if the party’s going to be held at a local restaurant, perhaps a more casual outfit with a bit of shine would be better suited than your ball gown or bowtie. While it may be a fabulous choice in some settings, it could make you feel a little out of place in others. 

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Find comfortable shoes 

An insider tip is to consider building your outfit around your shoes. Now we know what you’re thinking, that’s an odd way to start putting an outfit together, but hear us out! For some Christmas parties you could be standing for the majority of the event, or even be tearing up the dance floor at some point. 

So, having a sensible and comfortable pair of shoes isn't actually a bad idea. Of course we’re not saying not to bring out your most beloved pair of heels if you feel like showing them off, but maybe consider bringing an extra pair of more comfortable shoes to change into later on if they get too painful. 

You never know how long you’ll be on your feet for, it could be several hours, so take our advice and you’ll thank us later.

Choose your attire wisely

Now when it comes to the clothes you’ll wear, there are clearly some do’s and don'ts of what is acceptable to wear around your colleagues and the people you work for. Similarly to any work event, you want to be appropriately dressed, not wearing anything too revealing or too loud.

A few do’s and don'ts include:  

Don't too casual:

It goes without saying that you can wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and confident, but there’s a certain line you should avoid crossing when it comes to how casual you dress. 

A dark pair of tailored jeans can look sophisticated in certain situations, but for some office parties that can tow the line of being too casual. That said, if you’re confident that the event will be leaning more towards the casual side, a neat pair of jeans, without any rips, chains or patterns is a wise choice. 

However, wearing your most comfortable pair of leggings or joggers, as dreamy as that sounds, isn't the best idea, so perhaps save them for the following day, when you’re recovering on your couch. 

Do cover up:

Keep in mind that showing too much skin in front of your co-workers and supervisors can often send the wrong message, so you might want to steer clear of sheer fabrics and plunging necklines.

With that, make sure to check your clothes in the daylight or under bright lights to make sure they’re not see-through. There’s nothing worse than looking back at party photos only to realise that the camera flash exposed more than you wanted.

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Don’t wear something too short:

This somewhat relates to the previous point and it’s all about your hemline. Although you’re not expected to be covered from head to toe with chunky turtlenecks and grandma long skirts, you should try and keep your hemline not too far above the knee. 

Again, this is all about remaining professional and not sending the wrong message. The best way to go about it is to use the fingertip test. If your hemline barely passes the fingertip test then maybe reconsider your outfit choice. If, however, you’re confident that it’s not too risqué, you can always throw on an opaque pair of tights to make your outfit more office-appropriate. 

Do show up well groomed with ironed clothes:

The last thing you want to do on your office Christmas night out is show up looking sloppy with wrinkled clothes. This implies that you’ve put no effort into preparing for the event and don’t value the time put into organising it.

Be respectful, both to your colleagues and the leadership, by being presentable and showing respect to the people you have put worn into arranging the party, it’s the really the least you can do.

Don’t wear something offensive

We understand that you’ve been looking forward to showing off your newest, pun-bearing Christmas jumper you’ve just bought. While we’re sure it’s hilarious, you need to remember that not everyone has the same sense of humour and some colleagues may be offended by the joke or spicy, festive illustration on your jumper. 

Opt for something more discreet and considerate to avoid offending anyone and making things awkward. Realistically a work-related event isn’t the time for you to portray yourself as the life-of-the-party and a jokester. It should still be professional. 

Do add some pizzazz to your outfit:

Whether that’s adding a pop of colour, sparkly jewellery, a velvet bow tie, glittery heels or a metallic pocket square, don’t be afraid to add a fun flair to your outfit. 

Although it’s a work event, you shouldn’t strictly adhere to the office dress code. After all, it's a party to celebrate all your hard work, so you shouldn't miss the chance to feel special. You’ve earned it!

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Outfit ideas depending on theme

Clearly the outfit you pick to wear to your office Christmas night out will depend on the nature of the event. If you’re stuck on what to wear and looking for some inspiration, below are some ideas, categorised by style, to help you decide on your outfit. 


If your office is hosting the holiday party at a bowling alley, an escape room, or top golf for example this year, then a casual dress code is implied, so perhaps keep that three piece suit tucked away in your closet. Alternatively, opt for clothing items such as:

  • Jeans
  • Button-down shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Blouses
  • Clean sneakers
  • Everyday dresses
  • Comfortable, closed-toe shoes


Some offices tend to also invite their clients to their Christmas event so maintaining a professional, business look is very important in those instances. If that’s also the case for your own office party, try incorporating into your outfit things like:

  • Ties and bow ties
  • Dress shirts
  • Smart shoes
  • Professional heels
  • Pencil skirts
  • Blazers
  • Long-sleeves blouses
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For those office parties that will be held at private party venues and event halls, you may want to choose an outfit that shows off your sophistication and elegance. This is your moment to shine, so choose between things like:

  • Elegant heels
  • Formal suits 
  • Dress shoes
  • Diamond and silver jewellery 
  • Smart watches (not to be mistaken for ‘digital’) 
  • Sophisticated dresses
  • Long-sleeved, dress shirts
  • Pencil skirts


If your company is huge on the holiday spirit and wants the party to be as festive as possible, try incorporating colours such as white, red, green, blue, silver or gold into your outfit. Choose between:

  • Fun, but not offensive, holiday jumpers 
  • Sparkly dresses
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Funky, festive jewellery and accessories
  • Comfortable trousers or jeans 

Your office Xmas night out is the opportunity to relax and celebrate with your colleagues after all the hard work you’ve put into the past year, however, as we’ve said, it’s still a work event, so a sense of professionalism is key.

That said, we hope you have an incredible holiday season and enjoy your Xmas party with the confidence you’re looking well dressed and put together. 


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