A common occurrence at consulting companies (and at clients) is a holiday celebration – are you confident in your corporate cocktail clothing choices?
The company party… can really impact your colleagues’ opinion of you – can’t be too candid, consume too much champagne, or cavort with co-workers. In addition to your actions which must be very intentional and considered, your clothing must also be conservative – ex: no cleavage.
When dressing for corporate evening events my first thought is – will colleagues still respect me and think highly of me after they see me wearing this outfit? Or is this more appropriate for a non-work event? Everything I wear has to represent me well, and further my personal brand and long-term goals.
This holiday dress is great for office events – the velvet adds an element of luxury and festivity along with the gathered sleeve, the collar is high, the fit is loose so that it doesn’t highlight any features inappropriately, and the length is a bit shorter than what I’d wear in the office, but still quite long. I found it in 2010 for NYE – at the time I was traveling a ton, and not feeling my healthiest (aka heavier than I wanted to be), and liked the fact that it was looser and hid the extra pounds. Even now with the pounds off I still like how it fits for corporate events.
I’ve paired it with nude hose (it’s winter and bare legs don’t look appropriate this time of year) and my favorite boots – a pair of Christian Louboutin knee highs that I bought in October 2009. I was just finishing up working with my first consulting client and was treating myself to a shopping trip weekend in Chicago (had driven down from Madison). I vividly remember walking into Neiman’s and coming across these and a pair of thigh-high skin tight ones – I tried on both on a whim and made the decision that I had to have these (the other pair while amazing was just too tough to wear with almost anything)… they were the most expensive pair of shoes I’d ever bought (actually they still may be – other than my custom ski boots!) and I opened a Neiman’s card that day too – I figured that I would a) always love these boots, and b) get plenty of use out of a Neiman’s card – a decade later and I have no regrets, I was correct on both accounts. I adore these boots – they always look great. I will say however that they are not made for walking… they are beautiful and ok for standing and sitting… hence why they are great for events, and not an everyday wardrobe staple.
My clutch was a great resale find – I snagged it at Moss in Austin in 2012ish and love it – it’s large enough to hold plenty but goes with everything.
For jewelry I’ve kept it minimal – just classic pieces I wear every day (ring and bracelet) along with classic micro pave diamond hoops.
While not wearing a coat here, I’d likely coordinate this dress with my grandmother’s large fur – it has a fabulously chic collar and adds elegance to any outfit. For a vegetarian option, a large black cashmere great coat would also look appropriate.
Choose cocktail attire considerately, and you’ll certainly continue to comply with unspoken corporate dress codes.
All my best,