How to Dress for the Holidays
If you’re trying to figure out what to wear this holiday season, you’ll be pleased to know that you have a lot more options than just ugly Christmas sweaters (although National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is Dec.15 if you feel like celebrating). The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is marked by good food and holidays. For residents in the northern states, it’s also marked by plenty of cold weather and at least some snow. Keeping this in mind, here’s a guide to help you dress for the various upcoming holiday occasions.
The Office Christmas Party
One survey showed that 80 percent of offices throw some sort of holiday party, regardless of whether they refer to it as a Christmas party or stick with the more general “holiday” term. These parties can be tough to navigate, which is probably why 90 percent of employees say that, if given the option, they’d much prefer extra vacation time or a bonus to standing around with their coworkers and drinking Fran from Accounting’s special holiday punch. That’s an understandable perspective, but it’s not going to help you get through the party any faster. To do that, you’ll need to adjust both your attitude and your wardrobe.
If your office is having a nighttime event, then you should look into dressing more elegantly than you would otherwise. If there’s a formal paper invitation, that’s an indicator that the dress code is going to be above and beyond what you’d wear to the office on a regular business day. But most offices will opt for a more casual gathering that takes place during— or right after—work hours. With these parties, you get an email a week or two ahead of time that asks you to bring a side dish or dessert. Women can shop for casual dresses that put you in the celebration mood. Feel free to spend some time applying your favorite shade of lipstick or your new eyeshadow. If you feel festive, look for something that’s green or red, but remember to look classy and comfortable. There’s no need to go overboard, unless your boss is giving a cash prize to the employee who most closely resembles a Christmas tree!
The Family Gathering
We tend to have a lot of expectations about the way our family should operate. We also tend to have a lot of expectations about the way the holidays should look. If you combine the two, it’s no wonder that so many people get freaked out about family gatherings in November and December. Experts say one of the best things you can do is adjust your perception of how the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings are going to unfold. Luckily, your clothes can help you do that.
Dress for yourself instead of your family members. That doesn’t mean rebelling and wearing a dirty, wrong-sized T-shirt, rather, the key is to be comfortable in your own skin. Dressing in layers is always a good idea in late fall and early winter, and it’s an even better idea if you know you’ll have to go outside a couple of times to get your bearings. Layer your favorite T-shirt over a turtleneck, and put on warm wool socks under your coziest pair of jeans. If you’re amused by the idea of matching your outfit to your grandmother’s red and white LED Christmas lights, then do that. Chances are, you won’t be the only one in your family who is grinning and bearing it until the dinner plates are cleared and the presents are unwrapped.