Choosing an outfit for an office party isn’t always easy when the temperature drops. After all, you are often left to choose between fashion and function. Many women find themselves tempted to prioritize how an outfit looks over how warm it is, knowing that they risk freezing during the whole party. But the other option is to prioritize function, choosing something that’s warm, but worrying about looking underdressed or too informal.
Our answer is to choose both fashion and function. After all, there’s no reason you can’t look stylish while still dressing for warmth. So check out some of our recommendations for the best outfits for your office party that won’t leave you in the cold.
Sweater dresses are perfect for all sorts of cold-weather events. And while you don’t need to use a party as an excuse to wear one, they’re an excellent choice for both business-casual and semiformal work parties. That’s because a sweater dress offers you a chance to look “dressed up” while also feeling warm and comfy. You have options for what you wear underneath a sweater dress as well. They work over tights, leggings, or even bare legs. They also look great with flats, pumps, or knee-high leather boots. You can’t go wrong with a sweater dress for an office party.
Tunics are great options for when you can’t decide whether or not you want to wear a dress to your office party. The length of a tunic provides a lot of versatility, as it can look like a blouse, sweater, or dress. And they come in a variety of styles, materials, and prints. There are cowl-neck tunics, long billowy tunics, and more that offer versatility to any wardrobe. If worn with leggings, you can style it just like you’d style a sweater dress, wearing pumps, flats, or boots as footwear. With other types of bottoms, any type of bootie, flats, pumps, or dress shoes will work great.
A pair of corduroy pants for women is a stylish, soft, and warm option for cold-weather work parties. Lands’ End has been perfecting its cords since 1980. They fit like your favorite jeans but have a bit of stretch and softness that makes them feel even better. And they look more formal than jeans too, so it’s a win-win when you’re trying to look your best. Tuck in a nice blouse, add a bit of jewelry, and you’re good to go. Or try corduroy leggings under a long-sleeved blouse or tunic.
Some office environments are more casual than others, making women’s jeans a perfectly acceptable option. But it is a party, after all, so you do want to make an effort to elevate your look a little more than you would for a typical night out. Black jeans are always great for this purpose. Just make sure they’re solid, dark black, and that they aren’t distressed jeans with holes in them. For an office holiday party, pair your black jeans with a sweater that has embellishments like sequins or sparkly threading.
If you need to work on the day of your office party, consider wearing a nice work dress during the day, but then add a nice blazer to keep you warm while still looking professional for the party afterward. If it’s a holiday party, you may even want to consider a fun holiday blazer instead of a Christmas sweater for those “ugly Christmas sweater" parties. It gives you a chance to be part of the festivities while still showing your professional side.
Office parties have transformed over the past couple of years, with a push to outdoor, tented locations where people can celebrate while also social distancing. As such, you may need a more formal coat or jacket than you would wear on a typical winter day. Leather jackets are great for this purpose since they won’t make you overheat and protect you from chilly breezes. Long winter trench coats are great as well, with their belted midsection and somewhat formal collar.
If you really want to wear your favorite little black dress or another type of outfit that might not be made for warm weather, you can always accessorize with a warm shawl or scarf around your shoulders. If it’s outdoors, you might even be able to wear a stylish warm hat, like a beret or cloche hat. Overall, it depends on the type of event and the formality of the party.
With these ideas, you’ll be dressed for success and for a bit of fun at your next office party without being left out in the cold.