What Your Office Holiday Party Outfit Says About You: An In-Depth Analysis and Guide

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Yes my friend, people are judging you based on your clothes. Unfair? Perhaps, but they are. So when you are getting ready to head off to your work's holiday party this year, please consult this guide and dress for the occasion.


1. The LBD.

Pros: The little black dress. How could you go wrong with this classic? Women have been stocking their closets with the short black cocktail frock ever since the 1920s, and they've been in style ever since. Simple, elegant, refined, you will never be out of place in an LBD.

Cons: Everyone else will be in a Little Black Dress. This outfit is so safe, so ubiquitous that you are bound to be just one of many in an all-black wearing, martini-swigging army. And if you happen to live in New York, fuggitaboutit! You wear black every day! This is a party! Change! These are your colleagues and your bosses. You want distinguish yourself, you want to make a name for yourself. In this job market, you cannot afford to fade into the crowd.


2. The Party Girl Dress

Pros: You are fun loving, fun-filled and just plain fun. You are wearing a short dress with a bow on it so you are in instant party mode. "Look at me! I have a bow!" I'm like a present!" You will sip cocktails, start a conga line and chase people around with the mistletoe.

Cons: You will be the last person to leave. You will be wasted, your flirty jokes will give way to slurred speech and inappropriate innuendo. You will flirt with your boss, then, once rejected, you will drunk dial your ex on speaker phone and smear your mascara. This look will not give you points with the higher ups. Sure you may be a fun party-girl, but is that who you are going to promote to Vice President? Playing up your youthful lightheartedness may give the impression that you are not a hard worker and that you really are too young and immature to be taken seriously.


3. The Business Suit

Pros: You clearly came straight from work. This makes you a rockstar in the eyes of your bosses. You are a hard worker, willing to put in the hours and sacrifice yourself until the job is done. You will earn major points with this outfit.

Cons: You probably arrived late, not even taking a second to peek in the mirror. Your hair is a mess, you have coffee stains on your shirt and you are still talking about work even though you are on your third eggnog. You probably won't have fun in this restrictive ensemble. Your coworkers will resent you for showing them up and assume you have no life and they will not ask you to dance. Plus they will already be totally bombed by the time you get there and you will not get any of their inside jokes. You will probably leave early and head back to the office.


4. The Holiday Sweater

Pros: You are casual, into the holiday spirit and probably a nice gal. People will appreciate that you are into the Christmas spirit. You look festive and that makes people happy. Plus, in this staid outfit you will probably not end up grinding on the dance floor with Steve from accounting, or end up making out with your assistant Mark while in line for the bathroom. You are keeping it under wraps, which is good because hey, you actually have to come back and work with these people.

Cons: People may make fun of you behind your back. You are wearing a dorky sweater. No one wants to make out with you.


5. The Elegant Gold Party Dress

Pros: You will walk in the room and the music will stop. Everyone will look up and see you enter the room like the golden goddess that you are. Your dress will fit perfectly, your hair and makeup flawless. You will sip champagne without smearing your lipstick, you will make light, witty conversation all night. You will glance to your left and see people mouth the words "who is that?" You will have the wherewithal to only eat one cookie, and no crumbs will fall on your dress or get stuck in your teeth. You will not tell your coworkers what you have always wanted to tell them. You will not cry.

Cons: People will either fall madly in love with your or jealously resent you. They can't help it, look at you! You are a polarizing figure, you have to take a side, I mean, look at you!