This page alerts you to the many considerations for
choosing appropriate wear for an office party. I make suggestions
for setting about shopping for party dresses.
It is possible that your annual office function may
be a very formal, almost red carpet
affair, at a plush hotel or very special venue. On the ladies
dress page, we saw the fashion elements of typical short party prom dress that might take you through events in the festive season.
But for more formal events, the only option that would make you feel comfortable and blend in, is a long, maxi or floor length evening dress. You
can see some
formal long evening party dress choices on the earlier page.
Chances are there will be a professional photographer snapping away all
night. Be alert to the opportunity of making a good impression and
give some thought to dressing for success. You can achieve this
success with dresses stocked in the high street. In the UK, you may be
amazed how worthwhile it is to look first in well known retail shops.
Try Monsoon and Debenhams, who have quite a selection of long party or prom
dresses. Other places to consider shopping for party wear are online
prom and evening dress sites.
I have listed several UK party dress, prom dress and bridesmaid online sites
at the bottom of this page. The teal blue evening Rose dress by
Forever Young looks
very elegant and would suit no end of functions. It is glamorous
without being vulgar. Such dresses that hide more than they reveal
whilst contouring the body can often be more alluring than the dress that
reveals all. Not only does the model and the dress look stunning, but
she would be suitably attired to meet just about anyone without making a
faux pas. Those in USA will have their favourite stores and I'm interested
to hear more about their prom dress departments.
Ladies, you may well wonder what to wear for the office party held in a smart
venue, or even how to dress for an after work do at the office building.
The number one rule is KEEP YOUR CLOTHING APPROPRIATE and take the
opportunity to review your style in keeping with current fashion trends.
(Read more about why
dressing appropriately is important below.)
The number two rule is decide how prominent a role are you to play at the event.
In other words, will you be a spotlight star accepting an award prize. Will you be
making a speech? If the latter, you may need extra confidence when all eyes are on you. For that you will need
dress or other ensemble.
You will also need to ensure any outdated
hairstyle is given a revamp. Little else can give a woman more uplift
than a great hairstyle and then there is the perfect bra for the dress! Triumph multiway bra below
shows a possible bra to wear to solve strap slippage and show.
Other factors in choice of clothing, include time of day, weather
conditions, the level of formality and of course, what others wear. To make a sensible choice, study any diktats on the invite or memo. This is one occasion where
it is better to be over-dressed than under dressed as over-dressing shows
respect, whereas under dressed is inclined to look slapdash and sloppy. If in doubt, the classic Little Black Dress always works.
want to only look GOOD - so for such events go straight to certain
stores or madam boutiques that carry clothing for evening occasions.
Shop early enough in the season to get a dress that hasn't been mauled by
dozens of shoppers and is available in your size.
There are plenty of good stores in a city like London, but Fenwick, Harvey
Nichols, Harrods, Liberty, Browns and Selfridges all offer extra choice. It is also worth looking in the more exclusive designer boutiques. At the stores look out for brand names such as Frank Usher which specialise
in luxury evening wear in a wide range of sizes and styles.
If you have time to plan your purchase get to know the sales assistant and ask for advice. Check with them
when new stock will arrive. They often have loose leaf
expected stock staged to arrive at 4 or 6 weekly intervals. Ask
them, 'Will you have what I want in a few weeks?' They may well show you
that same folder. They may even ring you when new stock comes into the
store if you
visit frequently enough and create a rapport with them. You are after all a
customer and they are there to serve you.
This sort of service is almost
always available in good Madame, Bridal and Designer shops.
Previous customers will have purchased specific evening styles and probably
made sure the sales assistant knew the type of event they would be
attending. So the assistant can help guide you too, knowing the
typical choice customers are making for event dressing. The operative
word is 'guide'. In the final decision always still trust your gut
instinct about a garment.
In a high price range most shops will keep a garment for an hour or two
whilst you go have a coffee, or just check out that other store before your
mind settles on one dress or another.
When you shop wear good clothes and take along the type of heels you might like to
wear to the event. Think about wearing a skirt or dress that slips on and off
easily and quickly for trying on clothes. Skinny jeans will take
forever to get on and off repeatedly as do boots and laced shoes. You will soon get fed up of the
trying on process and go home feeling exhausted. Wear a decent bra, or
a bra type you already own that will help you get a better perspective of
the way the dress might look with the correct under foundations.
If you are intending to buy a pastel dress - wear a flesh toned bra for shopping.
Looking for a dark or black low cut or V neck gown - well wear a black
uplift bra or a convertible bra.
This way the garment won't look quite
as wrong as it might with that old faithful comfy bra that has stretched
almost to your knees!
you are ready to shop, think about what you might like to wear and what you
might hate wearing. Consider writing down a few points on a postcard
of the sort of dress/colour/shape/size you are looking for. Let the
assistant see it and borrow it if she has to go down to a stockroom, where
she may have a few new goodies not yet on the racks.
the store has a Personal Shopper think about booking an appointment with a
Style Advisor in advance. Many stores that offer a bridal service do
so only by appointment so check these services out by phone.
for example offer a Personal Shopper service as shown left. For your
nearest Debenhams's store with a Personal Shopper Service call:08445 616161.
Harvey Nichols at Birmingham also offer a complimentary Personal Shopping
service to take the legwork out of shopping.
say, 'In an intimate, self-contained suite you can sit back and relax while
a dedicated team of Personal Shoppers edit a selection of clothes and
accessories for you.
With their enviable knowledge and experience of the very latest fashions,
our team will work to your specifications, whether you want a new working
wardrobe or something extra special.'
For appointments at Harvey Nichols in Birmingham please contact their
Personal Shopping Manager Baber Akhtar on 0121 616 6008.
TopShop now offers a special service
which you can find out more about directly from them. The London venue
recently had a waiting list of 6 months, but it's always worth making an
enquiry about such services.
If you cannot face the stores or have no time to go pounding the streets
consider instead ordering online. You are sure to find something which comes within the
appropriate guidelines above or
factors! If you need to choose a knock them dead gown for a
special event like a birthday, anniversary or engagement then you will
certainly find a wealth of alternative styles too.
This red evening dress called
Marilyn is one of the lovely dresses designed by Simone Williams. I think it would be perfect for a personal special
occasion. What a fabulous red pink dress it is, capturing coral and
cerise making for a true Lady in Red. This winter coming could never
be a better time to buy a red evening dress.
The black and print sash/swathe designer evening dress
right is by Christian Lacroix and was available as a designer end of line.
Look out for designer clearance sales often held at racecourses a few times
The UK now has some great online stores for prom and party evening dresses
and a few are listed at the bottom of the page.
That old saying, 'Clothes maketh the man', has a lot of truth in it. In this case, the right clothes for an office party can maketh the woman and that
woman will make the best impression. You simply have to succeed in
achieving a good look for your office do. Do not
dismiss the event with the attitude of being 'just the office party and
everyone knows me'.
These days an 'office do' has a wide range of meanings. It is a phrase used in the
broadest way here to indicate anything from after work drinks to an expenses
paid weekend. You may get a murder mystery break at a good hotel, or paint ball experience in the woods. Inevitably such
events will culminate in an evening function with an element of formality where you are expected to show good manners. For that you must have
the right attire.
At anytime of the year you may be faced with a special party, prom
dance, office function or after work do. If you don't have a
good idea of how formal an event the occasion might be, then just ask a reliable superior 'how should we dress for this event?'.
If still in doubt, you have to play safe and opt for more a formal dress look, rather than a dressed down chic, or clubbing vamp look. The event is a chance to show that you really can scrub up well and look a million dollars.
Treat the occasion as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are worthy of being a higher paid employee, should
a job position arise out of the blue. Don't be a fool
and miss that chance.
The essentials here are that for an office event you should dress
appropriately for the occasion. Office social events and informal
moments at company presentations and training events are often used to
assess individuals. Employers use the situation to see how an employee interacts with
all others - menial to high staff, customers
Superiors may consider the way you handle yourself and intermingle with
fellow guests at such events, including evening parties, important for
future assessing your promotion. Such higher positions might require interaction with potential
clients, with you as the sole representative of the firm. Don't ever forget manners with serving staff either. The person who is rude to a waiter, bellboy, receptionist or cleaner may well be
giving away some unpleasant personality traits that make others cringe with embarrassment.
An office event may seem like an all expenses opportunity to let your hair
down for a drunken evening, but it may well tar you with a reputation for
being unable to handle alcohol or deport yourself as management might expect
of you when in company. Take every opportunity and turn it to your
advantage rather than seeing it as a freebie event, that may have the long term
result of taking you out of the employee progression ladder.
Don't forget it's not just the event photographer, but also fellow guests
with camera phones that can transmit your image far and wide! You do
not want a photo of your body falling out of a poorly selected dress,
revealing unsuitable underwear, being transmitted globally on a joke site or through email ad infinitum. Senior staff are always
watching your ability to comport yourself in public.
You may well think '... yeah anything goes today, I'll wear what I want...'
but anything may also lose you a future promotion. Think before you
dress inappropriately for the occasion. The boss might always wonder
if you'd turn up dressed for clubbing when part of the presentation panel at
a client's office. Chances are if you want to work in a holiday resort
team though you'd get the job. But you may have higher life ambitions.
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