Our No Nonsense Guide to Festive Dressing

The office Christmas party. It's coming. In fact, it's on in November to beat the Christmas rush. It's not formal, just that age old awfully broad term of 'smart casual'. No one knows exactly what that means, it was invented to confuse us as we stare blankly into our jammed wardrobes telling ourselves that we have nothing to wear. It's an annual occurrence; that feeling of panic that you won't find the perfect outfit.

There are stages to this panic. It starts with you not fretting in any shape or form as you know you have that dress from the wedding you were at in August that will do the job. The next stage is when you discover that you didn't get said gúna dry cleaned and now it's permanently stained and no cleaning job will fix it. Next is a dash to the shops on your lunch break, and seeing absolutely nothing you like. The last stage is collapsing in a heap of sweat and tears in your bedroom when nothing will do, even though you have ten black dresses staring you in the face.

Been there? I sure have. So, to help you avoid the aforementioned catastrophe from happening, here is my guide to Christmas dressing with a few outfit suggestions along the way!

  • Start right now

Jumpsuit, €22; Brooch, €3, both from Penneys Jumpsuit, €22; Brooch, €3, both from Penneys

You know the date and dress code, so start the search now. Decide if you want to go for a dress or separates (even think about the length of dress) and start research from your sofa. Stick to the type of dress / outfit you want to focus on and try not to buy things you don't need, or else you'll end up with a new bomber jacket and no party wear.

  • Avoid, "Ah this will do"

Your humming and hawing in the changing rooms about a dress and you say those fatal words, "Sure, it'll do". Do not settle; doubt or any trace of it, as well as choosing something out of bewilderment just won't do. There is no grey area, you like it or you don't. When you put something on and you can't wait to wear then this is the outfit. Get it and move on.

Monsoon Partywear 2015 Monsoon Partywear 2015
  • There is such a thing as too much disco

H&M, €34.99 H&M, €34.99

This is the time to embrace the sparkle, but you can push it too far and look like a disco ball. Sequins and embellishment are everywhere, so make sure if you are going all out with the statement dress, then keep your make up and accessories toned down.

  • Baby, it's cold outside

Zara, €129 Zara, €129

It's not really tropical right now, is it? So take heed of the need to keep warm when you are outside in hail stones waiting for a taxi. Bare legs are brave and if it's just car to bar then you're fine. But, you will need a coat. Short, light jackets may not cut it when it comes to the elements, so try on your party outfit with your warmest, chicest coat to make sure it all works together.

  • Lay it out

Penneys, €18 Penneys, €18

The night before, leave out the dress (check for stains, see above), tights, shoes, accessories along with all the beauty things you need like tan and make up. This pre-planning means you can get home and get straight to work with the beautification process so you can arrive looking fabulous.

Celebrities attend 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with City Hall in Beverly Hills. Featuring: Jennifer Lopez Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 22 Feb 2015 Credit: Brian To/WENN.com Credit: Brian To/WENN.com

So what do you think you'll wear to this Christmas party? Something new or recycle a look you already have?

Related Articles

More from Style