Young celebrating woman black dress, holding a glass of champagne.
Image: Shutterstock/2M media

Obviously you’ve had your New Year’s Eve dress picked out for months, and you know what you’re wearing to your BFF’s holiday party, so why are you struggling to plan a look for your office Christmas party? Listen, the struggle is real. At your office Christmas party you’ll be mingling with your coworkers in a setting outside of the office, and everyone will be more dressed up than usual. There may or may not be alcohol involved, and perhaps you’ve never seen your cubicle neighbor Martha tipsy. Needless to say, you have no idea what to expect.

While these are tips for your office Christmas party, you could also consider this a guide on how to dress for any occasion where you need to find a balance between professional and festive.

Dress Classy

Save the deep v-necks and shimmery short dresses for parties with people your own age. The office party will have a wide variety of ages and personality types, which means a variety of opinions. Even if you’re that girl who doesn’t care what people think, it’s smart to stay in your coworkers’ good graces. Look for holiday colors like emerald green, deep red, or neutral colors. Find dress shapes like a tight, mid-thigh length dress with long sleeves, or a full-length romper. Even a chunky sweater with leather or textured leggings and heeled boots would be an appropriate look.

Add a Little Edge

Dressing professional doesn’t mean you can’t have any edge! Add a deep purple or bright red lipstick as a pop of color. Wear statement earrings or a detailed hair accessory. Make this statement piece something that makes you feel confident and like yourself.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Even if your outfit and makeup are more on the simple side, find a pair of shoes that totally reflects your personality. Maybe they’re black booties with a high heel or pointy metallic flats. Make this party an excuse to go buy some fun shoes that you’ll save for special occasions. Tasteful, but fashionable shoes will show your coworkers your edge, style, and sophistication.

Holiday Makeup

Girl, you do you. When it comes to makeup, be yourself. If you tend to keep things simple in the office, spice things up with a dewy, glossy look by adding a little glitter to the outer corners of your eyes or try a silver, charcoal or gold metallic eye shadow or eyeliner. Pick a neutral lip gloss with plenty of shimmer and brush your cheeks with bronze or peach tones. If you tend to make more of a statement in the office, then amp it up even more for the office party. People already know you’re a makeup guru, so why not show them a little more of your artistry. Choose a fun color for your eye shadow and add some wings to your eyeliner. Pick a bold matte lipstick to top it off.

Sophisticated Hair

Your office Christmas party is the perfect occasion to try some 40s-style curls—think Blake Lively. Or try a simple up-do with a twist in the back like Emma Stone pulled off so well in La La Land. Either way, you can’t go wrong with your hair down or up, but this isn’t the time to try some new do’s.