Choosing the perfect outfit for a work holiday party comes with a neverending stream of questions and decisions: You want to be elegant but not over the top, you want to be casual but not sloppy, and you want to be festive but professional. On top of it all, you know you might have to brave the worst of December weather, leaving you to wish you had worn a onesie and a parka and called it a night. What's worse is that you probably have more than one office party to attend: There's your own, your significant other's, your clients'—the list of invitations is endless. Can your closet handle all the sequins and sparkles? We think not.
To help us choose perfect on-trend holiday outfits this year, we tapped Who What Wear fashion editor Aemilia Madden to help us find five holiday party outfit formulas that can work in virtually any setting. One perk of being part of a company like Clique is that our office holiday parties never fall short of chic women that look at once comfortable, fashion-forward, and festive. So whether you're running straight from a client meeting, spent a casual day in jeans at the office, or you're looking at a more formal soirée, we have the outfit for you. Just mix and match some of these pieces with what you already have in your closet—and you'll know what to wear at all your holiday parties this year.
Chunky Knit + Metallic Skirt + Mules
"Heading straight from work to the celebration? This ensemble is simple, but it feels just fancy enough for cocktails," says Madden. Swap out your daytime shoes for a fancier velvet heel if you must—and if you feel like dressing up your outfit with a statement bag, consider a weekly rental from Village Luxe.
Turtleneck + Slip Dress + Pumps
"While a slinky slip dress might usually feel like a bit much for a work function, adding a turtleneck underneath gives it a cool factor and a bit more coverage," says the fashion editor. Besides, you won't get cold if the wind is howling outside. Pair this simple ensemble with statement pumps and a bag.
Maxi Dress + Ankle Boots + Leather Jacket
"A maxi dress is more dramatic than something you might wear to a typical meeting, but for after hours, it's the ideal piece," explains Madden. "It's dramatic, but when it's paired with more grounded picks like sleek ankle boots and a fitted jacket, it all comes together." We particularly love this option if you're looking to dress down a favorite dress that gets little wear throughout the year.
Black Trousers + Deep-V Top + Pumps
"If you're looking to wear jeans to your office get-together, stick to a dark hue in a kick flare or skinny," explains the fashion editor. "A fancier top will help balance out the casual pants, and heels make for the perfect finishing touch to the look." Step it up a notch with tuxedo-style pants, and let your accessories make your outfit shine.
Midi Dress + Tall Boots + Statement Earrings
"Ready to show off your styling skills? Try pairing a floaty midi dress with heeled boots that hit at mid-calf or above the knee," says Madden. "Then, add a pair of eye-catching statement earrings to polish off the ensemble." This outfit formula is unexpected, daring, and cool.
And now, 13 business suits for women that make a bold statement in the boardroom.