Dress Code Dilemmas

Published on Jun 22, 2018

You’ve booked and organised your Christmas party and now all you have left to do is decide what to wear. One small problem… you have a dress code but you’re not entirely sure what it means.

In true fashionista style, here is the Office Christmas guide to dress codes. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or tweet us and we’ll offer our best advice.



Smart Casual: A loosely defined dress code, casual, yet “smart” enough to conform

This is the most common dress code for Christmas parties, especially for shared events. Guests are expected to avoid overly casual clothing such as t-shirts and trainers. Jeans are deemed inappropriate for this dress code but ladies may get away with a smart pair of black jeans.

Ladies: Choose a dress or a pretty top with a skirt or tailored trousers. Finish the look with a pair of heels.

Gentlemen: Choose a collared shirt and jacket; a matching suit is not necessary, nor is a tie.


Smart Casual Dress Code

Smart: Dashingly or impressively neat or trim in appearance

This dress code is common for large-scale private Christmas parties held at glamorous venues. This dress code requires guests to make a special effort with their attire and choose something sophisticated.

Ladies: Choose a glamorous dress and add a glitzy bag, shoes and accessories.

Gentlemen: Choose a dark suit and match a dress shirt with a tie. Tuxedos are a great way to impress but ask your colleagues if they are wearing one too to avoid an awkward situation. Don’t forget to polish your shoes!


Black tie Dress Code

Black Tie: Formal evening wear for men

Black tie is a strict dress code and guests will be expected to wear formal attire. We recommend hiring an outfit if you don’t already own something appropriate as this way you get to wear something really special without having to fork out for a hefty price tag.

Ladies: Choose a ball gown or a long length dress with matching accessories.

Gentlemen: Choose a tuxedo and a black bow tie.


Masked Dress Code

Dress to Impress and Party Wear:

Whilst, not official dress codes, these are often used for shared parties. Guests are expected to choose something special to wear that will impress your colleagues and friends.

Ladies: Choose your favourite ‘night on the town’ outfit and don’t forget the heels!

Gentlemen: This dress code is not as strict as the others meaning you are free to choose any outfit; we recommend something that makes you feel smart and sophisticated.


Fancy Dress Dress Code

Fancy Dress: A costume for a ball or masquerade, chosen to please the fancy or theme. Usually a costume characteristic of a particular period or place, class of persons, or historical or fictitious character

This is your chance to shine! Once you know the theme of the party you can go to town with creating your costume. Don’t forget about wigs, accessories and make-up which can really add to the overall effect.

In our experience, guests approach fancy dress in groups, if one person chooses to dress-up, others will follow. Be courageous and lead the group by brainstorming ideas. Fancy dress can really add something spectacular to a themed event and is sure to make your Christmas party one to remember.


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