Office Party It Girl: Tis the Season to Stand Out for All the Right Reasons

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As an HR professional I have seen some ratchet extremely inappropriate dress and behavior at office holiday parties. I’m talking Jersey Shore bad.

Jersey Shore
Photo: MTV

And while I’m certain that none of you Fab Fashionistas would ever act a fool at your office holiday party, maybe you could share these tips with a friend *wink*.

Whether you’re going to your own office party or that of a spouse or friend, you should definitely make note of a few things. This list is by no means exhaustive so use your best judgment.

1. If you don’t take anything else away from these tips, remember this one thing: Dress Appropriately! Your goal should be to display your after-hours personality but still remain classy.

—If there isn’t a specific dress code for the party (Casual, Cocktail and Black Tie are the most common) your best bet is to look to your office dress code for guidance. Feel free to jazz up your ensemble with bold or colorful shoes, a sparkly belt, or dressed up jewelry. Don’t go overboard.

—Avoid dressing overly casual (jeans and tee shirts), overtly sexy (plunging neck lines and too short hemlines), or showing too much skin.

2. Even if your employer is generous enough to offer an open bar, limit yourself to one or two drinks. The more you drink, the more likely you are to say or do something inappropriate. You don’t want to be the hot topic at the water cooler on Monday.

3. Speaking of water cooler gossip, keep your dance moves office appropriate. It will not look good for you to grind on your VP while the DJ is spinning a Ying Yang Twins mix (seriously, this happened).

4. Join in the fun! Don’t be anti-social. This is an opportunity for you to show your personality and mingle with co-workers in a fun and relaxed environment. If you have trouble striking up a conversation, try asking people about their holiday plans or complimenting them to break the ice. Find out about any shared interests and hobbies. Avoid talking about work.

5. If there will be any gift giving, keep the price tag under $30. You don’t want to appear as if you’re trying to buy favoritism from a supervisor or co-worker. Stay away from gifts that are too personal. Stick to fun office supplies or favorite sweet treats.


If you have any doubts about what to wear, a simple black dress is always a good option. Dress it up with Fab shoes and accessories and party the night away!

Get more tips on how to rock your office party look and still have a job in the morning in my Amazon Bestseller: Haute Holidays: A Guide to Office Party Etiquette & Style


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T. Espinoza is CEO at The Style Medic. She's the Diva next door, the girlfriend who always looks Fab but doesn’t spend a bundle. She works with the active, focused Diva who wants to look fly, save time and most of all, save money. T. can help you streamline your wardrobe, maximize your budget and take your style from flat-lined to FABULOUS!


  1. Andrea


    Sooo, I can’t wear my red sequin tank dress with the cutout at the hip that hits just below the booty? πŸ˜€

  2. Very nice and appropriate dresses for the next holiday office party and the options will not break the bank πŸ™‚

  3. This was a good article full of great tips. I also liked the selection of office appropriate dresses that every budget can afford listed at the bottom. I like the way you didn’t just say what people wear is inappropriate, but you gave tips for appropriate behavior and samples of appropriate clothes!

  4. Brandi


    I am so feeling peplum dresses. I’d better jump on the one you have up there before they go out of style!

    • T. Espi


      Yes! It’s such a hot trend and looks really great on.

  5. Good tips. I like the two dresses in the middle.

    • T. Espi


      I really like the third one. The lace with the peplum is dope.

  6. OMG I about died twice reading this because I have seen everything that you talked about in this post…in real life!!! LOL I think this needs to be sent to the HR departments of every corporate company across the states so they can share with their employees. πŸ™‚ Great post and even better suggestions/finds for appropriate attire. Love it!

  7. LMBO. That Elaine dance is just downright hysterical!

    • T. Espi


      It really is. It’s one of those things that will never stop being funny.

  8. These are great tips. A few years ago some mid level managers broke a copule of these rules at the christmas party, in particular heavy drinking and grinding to Apple Bottom Jeans, Boots with the Fur… I’m sure they are still embarrased.

    • T. Espi


      I literally cracked up at “Apple Bottom Jeans, Boots with the Fur”. I can just see it now LOL

  9. I love the 1st dress ($24) — that one would be perfect for me and my body shape!
    MELISASource recently posted…Gifts And Donations While Making Life Better for Others: A Unilever Holidays #CBias #BetterTogetherMy Profile

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