Ah, weeknight holiday parties; those sometimes fun, sometimes torturous occasions that are like the mullet of events where the business gives way to party without much time in between. So how can you get into full party mode when it’s business, as usual, all day long before you have to somehow magically transform in time for all the holiday parties without having much time to do it?
“At our office, working and partying is one in the same so no need to change outfits! Kidding,” jokes Courtney Klein, founder of Storq. Klein explains that “Over the holidays, my go-to office uniform is a simple, sleek base layer and then I’ll keep three extras in my bag for after-hours engagements: slightly less comfortable shoes (with a moderate heel), a pair of earrings and lipstick. This season I plan to start with a long-sleeved maxi dress and loafers for the day, swap out the loafers for heels in the evening, plus a festive pair of earrings and a dark lip color. Ready for mocktails or cocktails, whatever works for you.”
“When I know I have to be holiday party-ready straight from work, I try to pick a few special details to play up and keep the rest of my look simple,” shared Jenny Alaimo, Creative Director at Richer Poorer. For Alaimo that might mean “dressing up a T-shirt and trousers with an amazing shoe and bold lip color. Or I can add a sleek blazer to my casual sweatsuit with a statement earring and be ready to party.”
Offer a distraction. If you wear eyeglasses, try to switch them up once you leave the office. “Metal is a big trend this holiday season and naturally elevates glasses for a dressier look, while still being able to translate into the spring months ahead,” offers Sarah DeArton, Buyer for Eyeconic. Her picks for holiday parties include Calvin Klein’s titanium, unisex aviator CK19152 or Flexon’s rounded memory metal E1089 frame. “Shop gold metals to incorporate warmth into your look and style, like Chloé’s vintage-inspired CE2155 in yellow gold.” And bear in mind that you can have more flexibility with accessories if your glasses are a focal point.
Here are seven other tips for taking your business casual look from day to night during this busy holiday season
1. Jumpsuits are pretty much universally flattering and make the day to evening transition almost effortlessly. Wear a jacket or cardigan on top and you’re office perfect. Remove your jacket, add long sparkly earrings or a bold necklace and you’re ready to party. Marta Scarampi The Charlotte Jumpsuit in Merlot in wrinkle-resistant and flattering microfiber is a great option for work to cocktail party agendas and is handmade in Torino, Italy. I’d be remiss in leaving out the fact that as much as I love the look of jumpsuits, I personally can never wear them since I find them too awkward to wear during a trip to the ladies’ room.
2. Sometimes a great coat makes all the difference between work-friendly neutrals and a statement-making appearance. Noize is cruelty-free outerwear out of Canada that makes a fantastic line of faux fur coats that are as cute as they are warm. Or you can always choose a parka that offers great styling and extra warmth.
3. Shoe Candy by Kara Mac are of the moment chic booties that come with pop off heel covers, so you can wear the same boots to every single event this season and still look different every time.
4. Carry a statement bag. It’s hard not to fall in love with a luxury accessory company that describes its products as “intelligent luxury.” Every single item in the Novae Res is crafted in New York City on order, so there’s no waste and no extra manufacturing or waste. You can stow a smaller bag in your tote and then take it out for your next soiree. Or skip a bag and belt and instead wear a Gamechanger convertible crossbody from Leigh Ann Barnes that ticks off all of the season’s high points.
5. Add a stunning necklace. Cut + Clarity makes really cute customized mini name necklaces with either script or block print, it’s a nice way to remind everyone of your name, no nametag needed.
6. Pearl earrings are huge this season. Stella & Dot Oh Ya Imitation Pearl Earrings from Nordstrom.com adds a bit of style to even the most basic LBD. If color is more your thing, you can dress up any outfit with Isharya Glitter on the Go Swarovski Solar Stud Earrings.
7. Nail it with a manicure that quite literally changes color from day tonight. Del Sol color-changing nail polish is a completely different color in sunlight, so you can be a bit more playful with your look while still looking completely professional at work.
For guys, work to party might involve finding a shirt that looks fresh from day to night. Stantt’s new Performance dress shirt line boasts incredibly soft, wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating fabric with 4-way stretch. It performs like athleticwear but looks like a sharp dress shirt. So it’ll look as crisp for partying as it does all day long.