Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy

Five Holiday Party Outfits You Can Also Wear to Work

  1. Outfits for day to evening
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    Outfits for day to evening

    Office-to-off-duty options.

    Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  2. For the local dive-bar gathering
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    For the local dive-bar gathering

    Festive sweater, check.

    Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  3. For the glitzy affair
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    For the glitzy affair

    Party shoes on.

    Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  4. For the catered dinner
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    For the catered dinner

    A suit, naturally.

    Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  5. For the conference-room toast
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    For the conference-room toast

    Your Champagne moment.

    Photograph by Boru O’Brien O’Connell for Bloomberg Businessweek; Hair: Megan Lanoux; Makeup: Lydia Foster; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  6. Styling tips for the hectic season
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    Styling tips for the hectic season

    Put Down the Ironic Holiday Sweater

    There was a time when you could wear a nerdy reindeer sweater and be viewed as clever. Then BuzzFeed happened, and now it seems everyone’s looking for ways to be “nostalgic”—including Target, Walmart, and Macy’s. All are selling brand-new, vintage-looking Christmas sweaters. The NBA is making team versions. There’s a Coke Zero-sponsored “Tacky Holiday Sweater Generator.” Your friend’s theme party has become a marketing concept. Not a funny-ugly one. An ugly one. Winter sweaters are still great, especially Fair Isle or even featuring tiny jacquard snowflakes. That’s festive. Enough.

    Illustration by Gilbert Ford for Businessweek; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  7. Party shoes that work at work
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    Party shoes that work at work

    Be the best-dressed person at the party without looking like an overdressed weirdo at the office (Illustration by Gilbert Ford for Businessweek; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy)
    Illustration by Gilbert Ford for Businessweek; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  8. Go ahead, break up your suit
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    Go ahead, break up your suit

    1: Everyday suit trousers pair well with a blazer or sport coat in a thicker fabric: wool, corduroy, or tweed. 

    2: If you go bolder on top—with a pattern, a color, a fabric such as velvet, or double-breasted—keep the pants neutral and solid. Or jeans, if the dress code allows.

    3: A solid white shirt and simple tie will ground the look. Don’t contrast a too-light jacket with too-dark pants, or vice versa.

    Photograph by Gallery Stock; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  9. The 5-minute bathroom updo
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    The 5-minute bathroom updo

    Try a braided bun. Abby Swan, of Marie Robinson Salon, explains

    Illustration by Gilbert Ford for Businessweek; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy
  10. Bet long on skirts
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    Bet long on skirts

    Evening gown? Not for daytime. Miniskirt? At the office, no way. When dressing for after-work events, a smart wager is a pencil skirt that hits at the knee or a trendier midcalf silhouette in a delicate fabric such as lace or silk brocade. Even better if it’s metallic or otherwise shines. Balance out the riskier length with a trim sweater in a neutral color. Then finish the outfit with feminine, not-as-chunky heels, tall enough to keep legs from looking truncated.

    Photograph by Per Zennström/Gallery Stock; Market editor: Shibon Kennedy