How to Dress for a Smart Christmas Party


Struggling to find something to wear for the work Christmas party? Don’t panic because whatever your office dress code, the festive period is an excellent opportunity to go all out and dress smart. This simple guide will show you how to dress to impress this year without looking out of place.

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What to Wear to a Formal Christmas Party

The struggles of the Christmas party roll around each year, along with the regret and embarrassment of rocking up to the office worrying about what you did in a drunken state the night before. But before all of this, you need to decide what you’re going to wear to the actual event. If you work in a casual dressed office then you won’t be used to wearing a suit every day, so why not go for it and wear one at the Christmas party. This is a great time to show off and experiment with a smart, professional outfit that you don’t usually get to wear.

You don’t have to go full on tux (unless that’s required obviously) but you can go for something that’s still smart. A simple navy two piece suit will work well, or if you still want to tone it down a bit more, get rid of the blazer and swap it for a casual jacket.

mens suit xmas party street style
A simple suit and tie is a safe office option


Smart Casual Dress For The Work Christmas Party

If you don’t want to wear a full two piece suit to your work festivities then you may still be asking yourself ‘what should I wear to my Christmas party?’ This festival bash is the perfect opportunity to showcase your true style. You can show a bit of personality and mix together your favourite smart casual pieces. Try balancing the more formal aspects of your look with some more relaxed pieces like a crew neck jumper and trainers. A good knitted jumper layered over a casual plain shirt instantly adds a smart casual vibe to your outfit.

Good layering and some good colours will keep you looking smart


Sprucing up a Casual Look

If you feel like going a little bit smarter than your usual attire then simply editing you’re casual looks a little will do the job quickly and easily. You’ll be able to go from office attire to night out with only a few added pieces. There will inevitably be a few work places where going for the complete smart approach may make you look like you’re trying too hard. So if you know that most of the crowd is going to be casual, you might want to replace your smarter shoes with chukka boots and the blazer for a jumper and casual jacket.

When it comes to colour, don’t be afraid to add some interest to your outfit. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount or anything that’s too in your face, but simply going for a pink shirt instead of white or a lightly coloured jumper instead of the standard black and grey is a way to brighten up your look.

A shirt, jumper and trouser outfit is a good smart alternative to a suit

Men’s Xmas Outfits

If you’re still unsure on what to wear to your company Christmas party, then sticking to a low-key smart casual outfit is the safest option. To help you decide on what pieces you actually need, we’ve split up each part so you can find the one that suits you and your environment best.


When going to a formal Christmas party, a good shirt is a great base layer for pretty much any outfit, meaning the shirt is probably the most important part of your look. Depending on the level of formality, you can adjust the colours and patterns to suit the time, place and situation. For instance, a crisp white dress shirt will work perfectly in a black tie scenario, whereas a bright check shirt will be better for more festive smart casual ensemble.

Shirt and chino’s are a great simle combination


Funnily enough, at Christmas parties it’s going to be cold outside. Therefore, as well as looking stylish, it’s important to wear an outfit that keeps you warm and is weather appropriate. The easiest way to achieve this, is by layering your clothes with things like jumpers and jackets. A good bit of knitwear works perfectly with formal shirts, and can be worn in many different ways. Whether you’re going festive with a Christmas jumper (no big logos or puns though please), or keeping it low-key with a simple grey crew neck jumper, this is a must have for any party.


When it comes to trousers, you should go for either jeans, chinos, or suit pants. Deciding which ones best will entirely depend on where you’re going and how smart you want to go. Although jeans are typically a more casual item of clothing, if the event isn’t particularly traditional then you can get away with it. Also, black denim can still appear extremely stylish without becoming too relaxed. You can wear your jeans with a smart shirt and jumper and you’ll have the ideal smart casual outfit. However, if the party’s got more of a formal vibe then stick with some dark chinos or suit trousers.

Smart doesn’t always have to mean shirt

Coats and Jackets

Much like a jumper, wearing a jacket or coat to a Christmas party is as much of a necessity as it is a style option. And because this will most likely be seen the most, it’s important to make sure it looks good and matches the tone of what you’re wearing. For instance, if you’re wearing a formal ensemble, then wearing a monochrome overcoat will work perfectly. On the other hand, for a more casual outfit, try wearing a bomber or Harrington jacket.

Looking Festive

If you feel there’s going to be more of a festive theme beyond merely getting pissed, then you might want to consider giving your outfit a slight festive theme. We don’t mean go all out Santa and his Elvs, but you could experiment with the richer tones of Christmas by wearing shades of green and red. You can also give light green and dark blue a go and pair with some smart black jeans and shoes.

Contrary to popular belief, there are also some decent Christmas jumpers out there. Avoid the reindeer stitch up your mum bought you a few years back and play to a good contrasting fair isle pattern. Since Christmas jumpers often have fairly loud patterns, it’s best to wear neutral, muted colours elsewhere.

darren kennedy grey shearling jacket and mens blue jumper
There’s always good alternatives to the festive Christmas jumper


How to Dress Smart for the Work Christmas Party

  • For a proper formal look, a black tie outfit is the best and smartest option. Check the dress code before wearing this or you could look out of place.
  • Try wearing some colourful jumpers and less formal shoes for a smart casual look that works well in many different party situations. This is probably the most versatile style.
  • You don’t just have to stick to trousers, chinos and a smart pair of jeans will also work well.
  • Layering is important during the Christmas period. Get yourself a coat that matches the aesthetic of your outfit and keeps you warm at the same time.
Derby shoes make you winter outfit look smart

On That Note

Ultimately you know your office best. Perhaps you’re already known for your ‘out there’ attitude to dressing, or maybe making a diversion from standard office wear will result in a frosty or risible response. But if in doubt, you can always go for the jumper and shirt combination as this is always a winner.


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Struggling to find something to wear for the work Christmas party? Don’t panic because whatever your office dress code, the festive period is an...
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