This time of year, I always get workplace holiday attire questions.
How should I dress for a holiday lunch? How can I incorporate festive attire at work? Are holiday sweaters out and what can I wear(and where)?
There are very few people who adore Christmas as much as I do. We have a big fat fresh tree in the middle of our living space at home. We have twinkle lights all over our front yard. I have shimmery silver sweaters and red wrap scarves.
However, your holiday fashion shouldn’t resemble your tree or your front yard.
Anytime people throw parties called “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” then you’ve been warned to tread carefully with your festive attire, particularly when it comes to your workplace holiday fashion.
Now I realize some workplaces, say schools, have more flexibility in this arena. But if you’re talking corporate, law, banking, energy, etc., then I lean toward festive polished versus flashy.
There certainly are holiday wardrobe pieces less overt (e.g., snowflake embellishment versus a Santa on your chest with a jingle bell hat), but I still would mute clothing which features holiday graphics. My girlfriend sent me this picture of a sweater she’d been given and wanted to know how to use it for the office. My suggestion is to pair it with a blazer (so you only see a bit of the snowflake) along with a charcoal pencil skirt and tights and boots. A splash of festive without feeling overwhelmingly like a holiday sweater outfit.
My favorite way to dress up for a holiday lunch, cocktail reception, or just infuse holiday cheer this month at the office, is to use color palettes that feel festive along with shimmer and texture to amp up the spirit. Reds, greens, blues and silvers are all lovely and most complexions can find something flattering in one of those shades.
Take this subtle holiday inspired work ensemble from Nordstrom’s – any easy transition from office to cocktails:
Ann Taylor right now has just an abundance of stunning blouses you could “festive up” – as one idea, pair this navy blow blouse (dying over its lovely femininity) with silvers and gray to give you a festive feel (blues and silvers are my favorite holiday color pairing and a sophisticated alternative to reds and greens):
Or pair this gorgeous Italian Flannel portrait collar sheath with any winter coat or sweater for chic holiday office cheer:
I’m also a sucker for winter white or winter pastels which, particularly in December, invoke the feel of snow and feel wintry (regardless of whether you’ll actually see snow). Take these great examples from With Love from Kat or The Decorista:
A simple way to inject a splash of office holiday cheer is through the addition of accessories. There are ideal, reasonable seasonal scarves at Charming Charlie’s (I just purchased some for Christmas presents) as well as statement necklaces with sparkle. For casual Friday, try this Rockport Plaid Scarf, or for an after work holiday mixer, don this Bora Bora red statement necklace (both are less than $20):
For more Christmas spirit, paint your nails cherry red and wear an overtly holiday quirky bracelet or ring – this ring is a fun option from Etsy (my go to spot from quirky):
What say you? How do you spruce up your holiday look for the office?
And congratulations to Charity, the winner of the five year blog-iversary gift pack!