The Space Between My Peers: What to Wear to the Office Christmas Party

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What to Wear to the Office Christmas Party

Or What to Wear When the Invitation Specifies "Cocktail".

The following definition was given by my husband's very gracious office manager. To my delight, NOT A SINGLE PERSON showed up dressed in an appalling fashion. Several displayed stellar taste and creativity.

I have had a number of people ask me what “Cocktail” dress means. My intent by choosing this description is to merely say dress up more than you would for work. It certainly wasn’t intended to mean rent a tux. It would be no different than any of our other Holiday parties or if you were going to a nice restaurant (not a tavern) for dinner. Some guys may wear suits and others nice slacks and a good shirt. The ladies usually dress up a bit more, because they don’t get to wear their fancy outfits very often.

Flip through the following for more ideas:

Realizing this post is a couple of weeks late, tell me - what did you wear to yours?


Anonymous Cristina said...

The party I went to at the Neue Galerie listed "festive dress" on the invitation. That seemed odd to me. I wondered why they opted not to go with "cocktail dress," since I figured they meant the same thing. Granted one woman was walking around in reindeer antlers (like you would put on a dog), but I'm not sure that was what they were after. :)

9:16 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Cristina, I went to an event this year that was specified "holiday finery". The organizer she didn't want anyone to feel they couldn't come if they didn't have anything dressy to wear, but wanted people to feel free to wear their best.

The trouble, I'm afraid, is that in our efforts to be inclusive, we end up with few opportunities to really get dressed up. Last year, to the event I was talking about, I wore the silver top with a long skirt. This year I wore the LBD. Next year I may wear velvet jeans, there were so many people in pants and "holiday sweaters". (And I already told you I was seated under a vent, unfortunately. But what are the chances of that happening twice?)

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

BTW-I haven't had a holiday party to dress up for since we left the military two years ago. I used to love going to dh's party (my own I had to wear my blue dress uniform for-not very attractive-check out the link below if you care-for the record that is not me) but for his I'd wear a formal gown. I just love dressing up truly formal. And since we'd move every 2 to 3 years, you could use the same few dresses over and over without feeling like everyone had seen them, plus since everyone else had to attend there were always dresses at the thrift shops on post. Ah the days. . . .

pretty much like that except no hat and with slightly different braid on the arms and shoulder boards for rank etc as an officer. (I couldn't find a good picture for an officer)

5:14 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Totally unrelated, but didn't know how to email a question.

I've been concerned about looking "dated" since college-when I noticed women in their 30's and 40's wearing acid washed jeans and thought "oh, that is SO OUT". I swore that I would make sure that once I got beyond being young and cool that I would try to pay attention to the little things enough so that I wouldn't look totally dated :O

So I try to pay attention to the little things at least a little bit, like the washes on the jeans, and the socks (pulled up, scrunched down, anklets so they can't even be seen) and things like that. They seem to "date" the look even more than the style, as obviously a 30 or 40 year old wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) be wearing what a 20 year old is.

So here is my question. Turtlenecks. Not the mock kind, but the real kind. When I was a kid, you wore them rolled down. Then when I was in college you didn't roll them down you just sort of scrunched them. Now I'm not sure what you do! I haven't really seen too many folks wearing them yet this year, but I'm one of those perpetually cold types, so even though NY has been unseasonably warm for Dec, I've already had mine out.

So what is the SBMP verdict?

And what is your opinion on the return of the 1980 "popped" collar? (although of course back then we called it having our collars "up" and had to be wearing at least 2 polo shirts on top of each other for the full effect)

6:47 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Yeah, the uniform's stylin', but nothing like being able to go formal. :)

About email, I am going to get a public one, but in the meantime, if you wish to send me yours in a comment, I would not publish it.

Turtlenecks. I did the scrunch thing a while back, but now I just fold them once for a slim, fully-covered look. I love turtlenecks, but I hate the cheap ones that are too short to reach all the way up your neck!

Popped collar polos? Just my opinion -- GAG! Oh, yes, that opinion is shared by my two very attractive high school daughters.

I think you're right about paying attention to the details that can make you look dated. As I tend to focus overly on the big picture, it's a good reminder for me.

So what kind of socks are you doing now? I have been all knee socks for a few years now; except for summer of course, but then I'm mostly all Chaco.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

sock wise in the winter I've been wearing dark colored part wool crew socks with my dansko clogs (mostly not to show so much in the break between my pants and the clog). I noticed last summer that for atheletic socks the anklets were pretty much what the kids et al were wearing, the kind that were so low that you almost couldn't tell that folks were wearing socks, so thats what I bought, although I have plenty of white crew and higher anklet that I'm wearing with my sneakers for the gym and with longer pants (if that makes any sense.)

11:18 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

At the cocktail party I went to this season I chose my black and neutral/tan DVF silk wrap dress, black tights, and my kickin' Stuart Weitzman black suede pumps with grosgrain ribbon. Accessories, golden pearl drop earrings & simple pendant. I was in the middle of the clothing continuum. But I always feel that my pearls elevate what I'm wearing.

For Christmas I may go black stovepipe pants, beaded black v-neck tank with matching shrug, and a teal cami worn so the lacey bottom peeks out, same pumps. Teal or silver bag. But I'm not completely decided. It's days away!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Re: socks. I was wondering why I haven't noticed any of the "young people's" socks. It's because they wear their jeans/pants a lot longer than I did back in the 80s, when I was "a young person." Now, they cover the socks and come almost to the ground at the heel. Pant length definitely dates! I don't wear pants, only skirts/dresses, so this is just what I've noticed others doing.

However, I do like funky striped knee-socks with knee-length skirts!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

How cute, Jennifer! Within your idiom, socks with personality are perfect!

I'm attempting to cook up a post on details that date. Thanks for your contribution.

Merry Christmas!

9:29 AM  

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