We can hardly believe that Christmas and New Year’s are (literally) around the corner. In the midst of buying last-minute gifts, going out with friends, and wrapping up work deadlines for the year, time goes by ridiculously quick. However, despite all the craziness, there’s certainly one thing to look forward to when the holiday season hits: holiday parties. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small office gatherings to ugly sweater white elephant exchanges, to all-out jam-packed ragers, and every other variation in between. Holiday parties are the cream of the crop when it comes to getting dressed and going out. For all of the festivities you’ve got lined up over the next few weeks, you’re gonna need to know how to dress up and look your best. We’ve asked top menswear bloggers from the Style Guru Society to weigh in on holiday party looks, and show us how they will be dressing up for the office party, the casual get-together, the ugly sweater party, and the formal gathering. Read on for their best looks and style advice to get you through the season in style.
The Office Party
Rick, The Wingtip
“What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “office party?” To many, that entails men in boxy suits and women in boring pant- or skirt-suits gathering in cubicles. Does it really mean that, though? We now live in a very dynamic and progressive era. Granted, we live in California where people feel more comfortable wearing beanies and sweatpants. Nothing wrong with that, but the West Coast, the idea of dressing up seems to have taken the passenger seat while the East Coast takes all the credit. For that reason, I want to let you guys know that dressing up for the infamous “office party” does not have to be a burden. Rather, it can be a rather joyful experience! It is your time to shine and stand out amongst a sea of boring office outfits.
As you can see, I decided to ditch the full-blown suit and add a more modern and young look to my outfit. You definitely want to add some sense of formality; after all, it is a business party… right? So, you can accomplish that by wearing a solid white shirt and well-tailored suit pants. Then, give it a modern twist by adding textures! A wool blazer and a wool tie (powered by Ties.com) make your outfit stand out amongst the masses. Yeah, yeah, it may not be as cold here as it is on the East Coast. So what? Are you going to let your outerwear just gather dust in your closet? Use your holiday parties as an opportunity to bring out the coat and layer it over your blazer. Finally, bring your most polished briefcase, and you’ll be prepared to both ace your morning business presentation and wow your coworkers at the lunchtime party, with ease.
Ultimately, the point is that you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. Throw in the piece you like the most and wear it with pride. Remember, although it might be an office setting, we are a new generation when it comes to business attire. It is up to us to change the dynamic and culture of the 9-5 world. Merry Xmas!”
“When I attend a holiday party I want to make sure I ‘stand out’ from the crowd. An easy way to do this is by your outfit, of course. I focus on wearing something that is a touch of class with some personality, but nothing tacky. There’s a fine line there when it comes to holiday parties, and that has been very carefully considered. My career has been in large and medium-size organizations, so holiday parties are one of the few times I actually get to meet new people. I want to make sure I make a good impression. This year I’m wearing a sweater with a cool tie so I can be comfortable but fun at the same time.”
“I like to work with colors which draw from the holiday color palette without directly referencing any imagery. Reds, greens, deep shades of burgundy, etc. all work well together and bring to mind the warm feel of the season. It’s also the perfect time to bring out heavier textures, which I did with the pocket square and tie.”
The Casual Get-Together
Ryan, Brick and Vine
“For a casual holiday gathering, I’d go with one of my solid outfit go-to combos: denim on denim. For me, it’s a classic ensemble and it feels very comfortable, which is important if you’re going for a casual look. Since it is the holidays, after all, ditch the regular denim jacket and go with a sherpa trucker jacket instead. It’ll give your look a more festive, wintery feel.”
Jake, Oxford & Henley
“With the holiday season upon us, there are lots of opportunities to get together with friends and family. Most of these for me are going to be casual events. What I love about this time of year and especially the weather is that it allows for layering. I will usually go with some kind of collared shirt and sweater combination. If it’s cold, I have the sweater to cover me up, and if it gets a little warm I can always take it off. While I went more plain with gray and white tops, I added pops of color with green pants and red laces on my shoes. Have a great holiday everyone!”
The Ugly Sweater Party
“There are a ton of different ways to style an ugly Christmas sweater, and my look definitely is done with the idea of being casual and comfortable in mind. This look is perfect for the weekend, family gatherings, or even parties with friends. I am wearing an ugly Christmas sweater vest layered over a nice white turtleneck, which I then paired with chinos. This is a great casual look and will keep you comfortable all night long no matter what your festivities have in store. Feel free to style with a minimalistic watch and some bracelets!”
Baker, Ape is Dapper
“You get the invite every year. Some friend is throwing a party, and the dress code is that sweater you only wear once a year. And, it’s ugly. I’m not the biggest fan. So, when Ape gets dressed for ugly sweater parties, this outfit… well, the tie, is the solution. It’s just enough of the right aesthetic so that your friends won’t complain about you not wearing an ugly sweater, even though you aren’t. As for the outfit, I basically worked around the tie. The green oxford complements the Christmas tree design in the tie. The sweater is pretty damn Christmassy, too! You simply can’t go wrong with a thick shawl neck cardigan when it’s cold out. It’s a far cry from ugly, but that’s the point! I went with these chinos because khaki works with everything– it brings balance to the outfit. I couldn’t really explain the shoes and socks, though. I just figured they’d look good. Happy holidays, folks! Enjoy an eggnog or something for us.”
Jason, Oxford & Henley
“When attending an ugly sweater party, be sure to wear a sweater that means something to you, so if someone asks, you can explain it. In my case, I love “A Christmas Story” so this sweater was a major award of a purchase. For the rest of the outfit, don’t be afraid to go all out–greens and reds. Oh, and don’t forget the Santa or elf hat to complete the look. Sometimes I even like to wear a shirt and tie underneath to start the party. You can always undo the tie and collar as the party progresses.
Steve, The Social Cut
“I’ve never quite understood the concept of the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party. It must’ve been an excuse from some style-challenged guy that once showed up to a Christmas party wearing a terrible sweater, and played it off very well. As modern-day gentlemen, I say we do away with the ugly Christmas sweater this year and go with something more stylish that still keeps the holiday spirit! This holiday season, opt for a shawl collar cardigan with a festive pattern (I said festive–don’t get carried away) and pair it with a solid-colored turtleneck to earn those extra style points. A hat and sunglasses are optional. You’ll look casual and will definitely get heads turned your way.”
The Formal Gathering
John, Bull And Blossom John
“I think it’s important to not overdo a “classy event,” which says a lot coming from me, especially when so many people might consider my outfit to be overdoing it. I’ll start with the jacket. I found the jacket itself at a consignment shop for $10 and had my tailor add the bias tape to the edges for another $30. This jacket goes a long way in expressing my personal style so I didn’t need much else to do any of the talking for me. I picked a festive, silk bow tie that didn’t clash with the mood of the jacket. I went basic with my shirt and pants because I didn’t need them to do any work other than to keep the look grounded and simple. I finished with a black and white floral (so hot right now) pocket square. Overall, this isn’t something I wouldn’t wear day-to-day, which to me, is the entire point of attending classy, sophisticated events. You want to dress up, sure, but you also want to stay true to who you are and choose pieces that help you express your personal style.”
“I will be wearing a Robert Talbott plaid tuxedo pair with a crisp white shirt and black tie for this weekend’s formal holiday party. I chose this look because I wanted to be the best-dressed person at the party. 🙂 I know that most people will either wear a black suit or a traditional black tuxedo, and I wanted to stand out in a good way. I know my audience and I also know the tone of the party. I feel like this plaid tuxedo will not only turn heads but be memorable. When dressing for a formal gathering, know your audience, stay true to your style, and make sure that you love what you’re wearing. There’s nothing worse than wearing something you’re not completely committed to.”