The holiday party is one of those few opportunities each year when we can cut loose a little with coworkers. It's a time to have some tasty snacks, engage in a little casual conversation, meet coworkers' significant others, maybe enjoy an adult beverage. Celebrate togetherness and appreciate each other as people, bond a little. It's also a time when maybe you don't wear the same 9-5 outfit that's your daily standard. What holiday party outfits simultaneously look cool and casual but still professional?
Let's start with the basics. Your safest bet here is a pair of men's jeans that are slim-fitting but not skinny. A dark wash works well for evenings, and the slim cut of the jeans will be flattering for nearly everyone.
If you're not a huge denim guy, no worries – a great pair of men's chinos is always a great option. Sophisticated seasonal colors like a muted red or green might actually work really well for this event, but be advised not to veer too vibrant. Remember, you want to look like the next guy up for promotion, not like one of the decorations.
Pairing your pants with a great shirt is a must here. If you're wanting to go slightly more casual, a men's flannel shirt is a great call. Lands' End flannel shirts are made from ringspun cotton – the softer, stronger kind – which is woven into durable cloth that's the perfect weight for everyday wear. For a half-step up, go with a plaid Sail Rigger Oxford. The Sail Rigger features our exclusive weave and thicker yarns for a rugged, heavyweight fabric that gets better with age – so you can wear it for years and years.
No holiday party outfit is complete without a good sweater. This is, however, potentially treacherous territory. The idea that the infamous ugly Christmas sweater is fun and funny simply misses the mark – especially in a professional setting. A classic Christmas sweater in a seasonal color or featuring a timeless Fair Isle pattern never goes out of style, and is never tacky. Whether striped, solid or patterned, a heritage-inspired sweater is always your best option for winter social gatherings.
Bosses and managers may want to throw on a sport coat to top off their outfit. Nothing beats the cool and contemporary look of a tucked-in oxford shirt, chunky brogue shoes and a sport coat. It's a nice and casual way of saying, "Who's the boss? I'm the boss" without coming across as unapproachable.
The holiday party should be full of fun and fellowship, and your outfit should give off that same fun and friendly vibe. You and your coworkers will appreciate how your party outfit is casual but still professional. It'll be happy holidays to everyone, indeed.