Christmas parties are a time for people to let their hair down, but it isn’t a free-for-all. You’ll be a huge success when your Christmas party outfit walks that line between classy and festive.
So grab a glass of egg nog (spiked or not) and learn how to get the right look for the whole season.
Before Dressing for the Christmas Party
The good news is that you don’t need to acquire a whole new look when putting together a Christmas party outfit.
You can begin by assessing your daily style and determining how you can add some flair to that.
Begin your joyful outfit transformation by stocking up on a few festive pieces.
There are plenty of holiday garments in stores this time of year, but you don’t need anything with crazy prints (unless that’s your jam!).
You can start simply when you pick up a few pieces in basic holiday colors.
Get to Know the Dress Code
Understanding basic clothing expectations is essential for nearly any occasion.
If this Christmas party is an annual event and it’s your first time attending, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask how dressy this party is.
Don’t be shy; people are generally happy to share their knowledge!
If there are official invitations, they will likely tell you if the hosts expect you to be formal. Often, the location or venue of the event may be another clue for dress code expectations.
If you are still in doubt, play it safe and take the risk of being overdressed. It’s always better to be more fancy than needed, as opposed to casual.
Add Dash of Festive Flair
Come on, this is a party! It’s a time to celebrate, so don’t dress as if it’s just another standard day.
A Christmas party is ideal for playing with bold colors, unusual textures, or even an unexpected pattern.
Obviously, red and green shades will scream, “It’s Christmas!” but you can also incorporate more elegant colors you wouldn’t usually get to wear.
Consider silver or gold accents for your outfit. Any jewel tone is also a nice touch.
Incorporating patterns is another way to add joyful tones when playing with colors. Plaid can seamlessly work in all the Christmas shades in one simple print!
Embrace the winter season with warm and cozy textures. Velvet seems custom-made for Christmas, but other textures like corduroy and tweed can be a fantastic way to break the mold.
Prepare Ahead of Time
You know that Christmas comes at the same time every year, so there’s no excuse for being caught off guard.
Don’t leave your Christmas party outfit shopping until the last minute; it’s a recipe for regret.
For example, that jolly suit you’ve been waiting to wear to the party may need tailoring. You must be sure to leave plenty of time for any necessary alterations.
You may also have a particular item in mind, such as a velvet smoking jacket.
Be sure to give yourself time to track one down. What if you can’t find the garment you’ve been thinking of?
Christmas Party Outfits for Every Type of Event
You may have noticed already that there are many different types of Christmas parties.
There’s the formal professional work event, a casual shin-dig at a friend’s house, the cozy family gathering, and just about everything in between!
Here’s a guide to help you dress confidently as you breeze through the always busy holiday season.
Formal or Black-Tie Christmas Party
Black-tie parties for Christmas aren’t terribly common, but on the off-chance you’re invited to one, it’s vital to know how to dress.
Black-tie Christmas parties are fairly straightforward; get yourself a tuxedo and a formal dress shirt. However, you have a little leeway after that.
A standard black bow tie is your safest bet, but you might be able to incorporate a bit of cheer through color.
Heading to a non-black-tie formal party but don’t have a tux? No problem!
You can put together your own formal ensemble, starting with a dark suit jacket. Black works, but why not try another dark shade? Helloooo, navy suits!
Incorporate a lush velvet lapel and a festive colored tie or a dark turtleneck; you’ve got a stand-out outfit.
Finish off the look with black dress pants, Oxford dress shoes, or dress loafers.
Office or Company Christmas Party
The goal here is to look smart and festive without appearing stuffy. You can beautifully straddle both worlds by wearing separates.
Opt for a medium-toned blazer to begin with; even unstructured blazers are a great choice. Skip the tie; heck, skip the dress shirt!
Instead, try substituting a polo shirt or a turtleneck. Of course, a dress shirt is fine, but wear the collar open and loose.
Dark, fitted trousers make an excellent complement to the lighter blazer. Ensure they have only a slight break, if they have one at all.
Loafers are a solid choice, but derby shoes or Chelsea boots are other great options.
Semi-Formal/Cocktail Christmas Party
Dressing up for a cocktail or semi-formal event means looking chic without being overly strict about fashion rules.
This is easiest to do when you start with a dressy suit as your foundation. Navy, burgundy, or charcoal suits work best for this situation.
However, don’t automatically reach for your white dress shirt. You can relax the look with a pale dress shirt of another shade.
You can add some more color through your tie. If you’ve gone with a grey suit, pick a deep holiday green or a power red for a navy suit.
Seal the party vibe with double monk strap shoes.
Festive-Themed Christmas Party
Here’s a party that is asking you to be bold in your fashion choices! You have tons of chances to add color to your outfit.
You can deck yourself out with a super festive blazer, identifiable through either a bold color or a colorful print. Pair them with dark or similarly colored pants.
Or why not just grab a gorgeous burgundy suit? It’s practically pre-designed with the holidays in mind.
Add a bit of subtle flair with party print socks. As for shoes, go with any shoe that you think rocks.
Casual Christmas Party
A casual Christmas party dress code can be found practically anywhere: a neighborhood party, a dinner party, or an open concert. Either way, informal parties are a time for comfort.
Chinos are comfortable, but you run the risk of looking like you are trying to dress up.
Instead, stick with jeans and an awesome, fitted T-shirt. The jeans should be fitted and in a medium shade; avoid dark ones.
Your shirt can be colorful, a great fit, and in excellent condition. Toss on a leather jacket if you need warmth.
Christmas is all about family, isn’t it? And if being with family makes you feel cozy, this is perfect for you because it’s all about dressing comfy.
Grab a favorite warm sweater or other long-sleeved pullover. Choosing one that’s simple, not bold, or covered in wild patterns is best.
You don’t need to try too hard with family; that’s the beauty of this time of year!
Christmas Party Attire FAQs
Ready for a quick round-robin to answer your most pressing Christmas party outfits? Here’s a quick TL;DR so you can drop the clothing stress and get down to the season’s festivities.
What do men wear to a Christmas party?
The short answer is that men wear something similar to what they would typically wear to a non-holiday party, only with a dash of something special. That can be color, texture, or even cut.
What is festive attire for a Christmas party?
Festive attire is a little something “extra” for your outfit. You don’t want to go overboard so that you look like a giant wrapped gift that belongs under the tree, but play with one feature that you don’t generally focus on.
Can you wear jeans to a Christmas party?
You certainly can if it’s a casual or family event. However, remember that you should still respect your fellow attendees, so make sure they are clean, free from tears, and fit well.
What to wear to a work Christmas party?
Work parties are typically just for the employees, not clients, so you can feel relaxed in your clothing. Stick with a business casual feeling when putting together your colors and prints.
Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.