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While a work party is an opportunity to get to know your coworkers in a more casual setting, it is not an opportunity to totally let loose. Like it or not, these people will judge you at work based on your party behaviour. This goes for your appearance as well, no matter how good-hearted you think people are.  Here are our style dos and don’ts for your next office party.

Do

Dress according to your office’s dress code (even if it’s unspoken). If you wear a suit to work every day, that doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit to the party. If the invite indicates that this is a cocktail soiree, a cocktail dress is, of course, appropriate. The important thing is to aim for modesty with a hint of sass and sexiness, so find a dress that’s dressier than what you’d wear at work but follows similar hemlines.

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Don’t

Choose an outfit that’s super-revealing. This is not the time to show off your favourite Saturday night, cut-out clubbing dress and waist-length hair extensions. Your objective is to not spill out of whatever you’re wearing.

Do

Wear makeup that’s more dramatic than what you wear during the day. A little shimmer or a smoky eye will add a dusky glow to your overall look.

Don’t

Break out the body glitter, black lipstick or giant false lashes. Your office party is not a rave.

Do

Look festive by wearing red or accessorizing with a little bling.

Don’t

Wear a Christmas sweater unless it is a Christmas sweater party. And definitely don’t wear any novelty or sexy Santa apparel.

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Do

Choose comfortable but elegant shoes for the evening. A mid-heel that will let you dance and schmooze all night is perfect.

Don’t

Wear your highest spiked heels. One glass too many of champagne and you’ll be on the floor!

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Do

Bring a change of clothes or some party-appropriate accessories if you’re going from the office to your evening party. Think chandelier earrings, a statement necklace and/or heels if you usually wear flats.

Don’t

Wear your evening party attire all day, or simply show up to the party in your usual work duds.

Do

Dress like yourself—or your office persona, if it’s different from your weekend ensembles. It’s definitely cool to add a bit of sparkle and to be more dramatic, so don’t feel like you need to go all Nancy Reagan to show people you’re “just festive enough.” Have fun, it is a party.

Don’t

Treat this as an opportunity to wear everything holiday-themed that you can cook up, or to cook up some sexpot Mrs. Clause outfit. This is not a fashion show or costume party. You want your boss to recognize you for the right reasons.

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