Not quite work and not quite play - The end of year work party can be a time of conflict and confusion for many men. To help you navigate the muddied waters and potential pitfalls of being over or under-dressed, we've created a quick guide on how to work it amongst your co-workers.
The Dress Code
The first and primary point of call on what to wear is the work party e-vite. While smart-casual is the golden standard for the vast majority of Australian companies, do not deviate from the dress code stated on your invitation - even if Black Tie tailoring is required.
If the dress code isn't mentioned in the e-vite and HR isn't responding to your emails, mirror what you wear to work on Fridays and introduce a flash of colour with some contrast accessories.
Mr Smarty Pants
The golden rule for smart-casual is to keep it simple. While it can be tempting to use this as an opportunity to show up your colleagues, opting for an over the top ensemble with cravat and cane to match is much more likely to do more harm than good.
Try mixing up your tops and bottoms and through in a bit of colour blocking to keep your look clean but interesting. While chinos are always a solid start for any smart-casual setting, go for something a little gutsier and try a patterned linen pant. This will keep you mobile on the dance floor and will discretely soak up any excess sweat that may ensue.
Shop our collection of tailored separates.
Sneaking in Style
If your work welcomes a casual dress code, don't shy away from clean suit and sneaker combination. The stripped back simplicity of a navy suit and a pair white sneakers can help keep you on your feet as you mingling with upper management.
Find the right sneaker can be a bit of a balancing act. While too sporty will look like you stumble out of the gym and into a party, too showy will look like you've gone full fashion victim. Stick to low-tops in single colourways (preferably white) and leave your multi-colour Dunks for the weekend.
Shop this summer collection of cool wool suits.
A Formal Affair
Whether it been a record year of profits or someone in Head Office has just finished rewatching another run of Mad Men, you may find yourself in a much more formal setting than you're used to.
The basics rules of the Black-Tie dress code call for a return to the classic dinner suit, complemented with a formal white shirt, bow tie and black leather shoe. Rise to the occasion and relegate your standard neckwear and opt for a silk tie-your-own bowtie. While it may take a little of time to master the art of the bow, this DIY deviation will be sure to help you stand out amongst a sea of black and white.
Whether classic or contemporary, shop our formal range.
The Final Word
The end of year work party can be a political landmine, but it's also a great opportunity to venture outside your department and get chummy with your colleagues. Chew the fat with the boss, get to know Gary from the accounting team and steer clear of the sartorial Christmas sweater.
Shop our summer sale for all your work party essentials.