Now here is a sobering thought. You spend 35% of your life with your work colleagues, and over 50% of your average total awake hours. So the chances are that they know you quite well by now. In fact, if they don’t know you well, you should probably do something about that. You spend more time with them than any other single person. But never fear, the time is ripe to get to know them well, as the Christmas party season is here.
Now, without vastly generalising and going rogue with hugely sweeping statements (she says, as she vastly generalises, and dabbles in a sweeping statement or two), the majority of men don’t spend anywhere near as long as women thinking about their Christmas party garb. I would doubt that most men would have had a “what are you wearing” convo with their work colleagues. So, you are likely to be wearing whatever springs to hand, potentially with a kitsch nod to Christmas somewhere about your person. But I wanted to talk through what you could be wearing this year, to be the style-king of Christmas.
With the vast demise in the number of Christmas parties that call for the full-on Bond black tie (sigh, Bond), it’s worth giving your outfit at least a little thought. It is pretty embarrassing to turn up suited and booted, when everyone else is rocking barefoot bowls. Similarly, wearing your weekend wife-beater blue singlet may be ok for a laser quest party (or anything else that is in the dark, and only then, in my humble opinion), but wouldn’t really work for a cocktail reception.
So, when are chinos or jeans ok, and when should you opt for shorts, versus separates, versus the full-blown suit?
If the cocktail shaker’s shaking, embrace your inner mixologist and ditch the suit. A beautiful pair of fitted pants, with a classic fitted shirt, or rocking a separate sports jacket will make you look and feel great. On that note though, what not to wear is as important as what to wear. It is all well and good appearing completely debonair, with your amazing sports coat, but it’s probably not great in 30C heat. There is nothing worse than realizing too late that you can’t remove said coat, for fear of drowning your colleagues in a sweaty back look. By contrast, a beautiful fitted shirt, with a Stop The Gape to help it fit in all the right places, is much more attractive. So, if the cocktail reception is outside, or there is limited air conditioning going on, then either make the choice that you will be keeping the sports coat on all night, or else go for the fitted shirt and pants look. So, that’s cocktails sorted. What about Christmas lunch, or a formal dinner?
Both lunch and dinner can have a variety of dress codes and will largely depend upon the invite. Say it says smart casual. This means that you are completely justified to wear jeans or chinos with a fitted shirt. Now the jeans themselves should be cut slim-to-straight, not the pair you wear after Christmas dinner because they are so loose they won’t cut into your food baby. Similarly, no-one wants to see the food baby belly, so pre-prepare with a Stop The Gape clip.
If the invite says formal, you also have a choice. For the majority, this will mean a suit. Given the lack of love for the tie in Australia, it is likely that you can go open-neck. However, and here is one of life’s strangest phenomenon’s: men definitely have the ability to dress with a bit more variety, and can have a bit more fun, as long as they are embracing their inner kitsch. From the novelty bowtie or tie, which quite frankly, not many can pull off, to the novelty shirt, to the full-on novelty suit, it’s something that we are seeing more and more. Indeed, the more embracing that is going on, the more likely that the wearer can actually pull it off. Probably because of the statement itself that the wearer is wearing it loud and proud. So, for a semi-formal dinner, you could choose to wear a suit like this from Oppo.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are going to wear a suit like this, your colleagues will probably expect you to wear a suit like this. It is likely to be somewhat reflective of your personality. Of course, the worst thing you could do when wearing said suit is having your treasure trail, or chest rug on show. Make sure you wear a Stop The Gape clip to avoid that. A hint from us is to sit down in front of a mirror when wearing your suit and make sure that your tummy hair or chest rug isn’t showing its hairy face.
So that has covered drinks, lunch and dinner. If your Christmas party is an afternoon event, involving sporting prowess, or team-bonding caper, it is completely fine to wear shorts. My husband has coined the phrase ‘dress shorts’. Although I inner-cringe every time, it’s not a bad shout. Suitable shorts for any Christmas event will never be the shorts that are suitable for a beach. Keep that in mind. That means that the shorts should be less this, and more this. Oh and pair them with a pair of low-top leather sneakers, or loafers, rather than thongs. Again, less beach, more chic.
Enjoy the party season boys, and make sure you send us your pictures to [email protected]. Next week we are looking at your embarrassing Christmas Party stories, whatever they are. Send us your favourite Christmas Party horror story to [email protected] for a chance to be included, and for those worst stories, we will send you a free Stop The Gape clip, just in time for Christmas.
Till next time,
Stop The Gape