Dust off your finery— It’s party season once again. From turning up under dressed to getting too dressed up, we know it’s not always easy sailing through the festive circuit. So we compiled a handy Yuletide guide.
1. Make a List
Preparation is key to a stress-free party season.Spend some time going through your party (read: evening wear), make sure everything you want to wear has been dry-cleaned or, in the case of tailoring, steamed, so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Once you’ve got the quality check out of the way, it’s time to think about quantity: Look ahead in your schedule and plan your choices accordingly, noting you might need some extra accessories if you have a couple of events on consecutive days.
2. Shake Things Up
Sure, certain parties will have strict dress codes, but for those that don’t, you can try and have some fun by ditching traditions. Boy-meets-girl bow ties, 3-D embellishments and even a little ’90s grunge reference are just some of the novel approaches to breaking archaic rules.
3. Come prepared
This is a two-fold agenda item. First priority? Like our mothers taught us, bring a bottle of wine — or a little something extra — for the host/hostess of the party. Second just-as-important priority? Whether you’re toting a clutch or slinging your go-to shoulder bag, remember the essentials: Advil, some Band-Aids for any future blisters incurred from dancing too hard, and a great red lipstick.
4. Mind the Shoes
Please, please whatever you do, do not wear brand new, never-been-worn shoes out to your next holiday soiree. At the very least, sport them around the apartment (or house) while wearing socks a day or so in advance. That way, the newness of it all won’t end up in a state of blistered new-shoe pain.
5. Sparkle and Shine
Let yourself indulge in the shiny stuff. A jewel-encrusted necklace, an embellished top, a metallic skirt, a glitter waist belt? It’s all par for the course.
6. The Extra Layer
Aside from your cocktail dress (or other party-appropriate outfits) and winter coat, you should probably think about wearing an in-between layer. Drafts, people! Think along the lines of a bolero, fur wrap, oversized scarf, evening blazer, or even a leather jacket.
7. The Ugly Sweater Clause
If it’s not an ugly sweater party, abstain from wearing your goofy holiday-themed sweaters. If you really want to wear your ugly sweater best, go ahead, but I’d save the sillier stuff for… the sillier stuff.
8. Look Interested – Even If You’re Not
While a Christmas party is a time of celebration and a time to relax, it’s equally important to make sure you fall in line with what is appropriate behavior.
When talking to another colleague (or guest, for that matter), don’t look over their shoulder for someone else to talk to. Always ask questions (e.g. What does Bryony intend to do with that Anthropology degree exactly?) Be ‘interested’ in others, not simply ‘interesting’.