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What to wear to your work Christmas party: a guide to the best outfit combinations to try

What to wear to your work Christmas party 2019: a guide to the best dresses and outfit combinations to try
Alexa Chung hosts a festive dinner for the launch of her holiday range.  Credit:  /Getty 

Your work Christmas 'do - where you'll be mingling and partying with everyone from your boss, to your assistant, to the head of HR - throws up many a style conundrum. Though technically a party (so dressy ensembles are very much welcome) there are definitely some unspoken dressing rules to abide by. 

Fabrics and cuts are worth glancing over to ensure they're appropriate: think of it as a professional scene, just with festive drinks and canapes flowing. Aim for the middle ground between partywear and workwear to keep it chic, which means sheer blouses, low necklines and super-short hems are all iffy territory. Instead, opt for party-ready fabrics like silk and velvet in stylish, modest cuts. 

Your look should also depend on the party plans: many companies use their own offices to hold their festive knees-up, in which case, plump for a day-to-night look where you need only throw on sparkly accessories and a change of shoe. Should your company be taking over a fancy bar or hotel, or hosting a three-course meal, a more formal look is de rigeur.  

From the perfect dress and heels, to the trouser suit and fancy flats, these are the fail safe combinations to try for every office Christmas party... 

The combination: midi dress + tights + block heels 

Why it works: A weighty velvet dress with long sleeves ensures there are no Marilyn moments should your 'do be outdoors. Red is as festive as it gets, and this slightly darker hue is flattering on all skintones, without being over-the-top. 

There's nothing chic about a Bambi walk in too-high heels (particularly in front of your line managers) so opt for an easily-walkable block heel to stay comfy all night. 

Ginny dress, £225, Ghost; Spotted tights, £17, Calzedonia; Pearl studded heels, £85, & Other Stories; Nora clip set, £46, Tort; Hana bag, £355, Alameda Turquesa

The combination: blouse + skirt + mules 

Why it works: This look is ideal for wearing day-to-night: pair the skirt with a grey crew neck knit and knee-high boots by day, then swap for glitzy accessories come 6pm. 

If you'll be having dinner, hair accessories or statement earrings ensure your look still packs a punch while sitting at the table, and silky separates in festive hues are dressy without being too figure-hugging. 

Rhinestone headband, £16, Accessorize; Satin midi skirt, £29, Topshop; Maysale jewelled heels, £745, Manolo Blahnik; Staud pearl bag, £230, Net-a-Porter; Puff sleeved top, £29.99, H&M

The combination: velvet trouser suit + platforms 

Why it works: A loosely-tailored suit is the perfect modern party update for workwear. This bronze hue makes a statement without feeling too outre, and the long wide legs mean you can wear flats or boots underneath without looking like you haven't made an effort.

A silk cami doesn't add bulk underneath, though you could wear a pussybow blouse or lurex knit instead, so that you still feel covered up should you remove your jacket.

Velvet blazer, £169; and trousers, £89.95, Massimo Dutti; Raey silk cami, £150, Matches Fashion;  Prada velvet platforms, £645, Net-a-Porter; Hard case clutch, £40, V by Very

The combination: sparkly top + trousers + fancy flats 

Why it works: This look is likely not a far cry from your usual workwear outfits - just with a hefty dose of glamour - so it's a no-brainer for nailing a formal dress code while looking the part. A draped sequined top is both flattering and stylish, while a tuxedo jacket complements your outfit should you feel the evening chill. 

With simple looks like these, fancy accessories are key. Metallics and embellishment are ideal, and shiny flats ensure you can dance the night away and won't be hobbling home come midnight. 

Tailored trousers, £175, The Fold; Iris & Ink velvet blazer, £180, The Outnet; Sequinned blouse, £59.99, Zara; Metallic ballerinas, £99, Uterque; Bronze clutch bag, £60, Boden; Pearl drop earrings, £28, Butler & Wilson

The combination: evening dress + party coat 

Why it works: Should your invite include drinks and dancing, you can call upon an evening dress. Stick to on or below-the-knee hemlines, and pair with kitten-heeled mules. The addition of a party dresscoat (think satin, brocade or jacquard) means that you can keep on all night should you wish, without appearing to be wearing your coat. 

Rhinestone earrings, £65, Essentiel Antwerp; Satin dress, £195, Reiss; By Far leather mules, £325, Browns Fashion; Sateen brocade coat, £765, La Double J; Evie clutch, £99, Hobbs