When it comes to your next office dinner party, dressing to impress and feeling smart is the aim. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about conveying professionalism and confidence. But you also need to look festive and the part.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through figuring out the ideal work dinner outfit. Whether you’re attending an elegant office gathering or a more casual work-related dinner, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore the world of office dinner party attire and ensure you’re perfectly dressed to exude smart and stylish vibes.
You must be thinking, why should I listen to her. I have been working in corporate world for over 17 years and have attended many many work parties of different kinds.
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What To Wear On A Business Dinner
Business dinners are much more professional setting of dinner party where the leaders of your company are attending. The dinner party may also include your clients who are invited to dine with you.
These are much more professional party settings and the requirement is to dress fancy but still be professional. Because you do need to look polished and presentable so you leave a good impression on your leaders.
Often times I see women not taking this seriously. This is also a great opportunity to network with clients or cross functional partners so build better relationship. And even though we think dressing up might not be necessary, you do need to look presentable.
Here are some ways to find out if a work dinner is a business or formal affair:
- Always check the venue. If its in a fancy location like a museum or theatre or a fancy hotel, most likely its a formal business party.
- Check the invitation for dress code. Your coordinators will send out an email with details. It’s a good place to check there. If you don’t see specifics, it’s always good to email back with questions.
- Check the dinner menu or what style of dinner is being served. If it’s a sit down dinner, it’s definitely formal. If its a small plate style of dinner, its usually cocktail dress code, which is still fancier than jeans and tshirt.
- Check whether it’s indoor or outdoor. Usually winter parties are always indoors, but if it’s summer time or you may live somewhere it’s always warm, this is important to check. This will also give you an idea of the theme of the party. Outdoor settings are a more relaxed than indoor.
- Is this a conference dinner. If you are headed to a conference and you have a dinner party, always assume that its a professional setting.
Satin Suit Set
Satin pants have become more popular with the rise of more polished and sophisticated style. They dress up even your everyday outfits.
A satin suit set looks sophisticated and formal wear ready. So you can easily wear this to your work dinner party to look put together and classy. There is no skin showing here, so nothing to be uncomfortable with.
In fact you can wear satin suit set for any other party with a formal dress code.
You can either wear knitwear or satin top with a contrasting color inside to create a chic party outfit that is comfortable and classy.
Polished Satin Long Dress
You don’t need to wear a long gown like you wear to a wedding party to work. Your outfit should be a bit more polished than fancy. So, instead of ball gown which ofcourse if the theme demands you have to wear, pick a long satin dress with sleeves.
Yes, don’t wear sleeveless satin dresses. No matter where you bought it from, it just looks cheap unless you are size 0.
Opt for a below the knee dress with sleeves that brings in elegance like you should have in a formal party. Add cute black sandals or any other shade and see how you will be head turner in the work dinner party in a good way.
Patterned Suit Set
You can also pick up a patterned suit set with matching pants and blazer in a classy pattern. This suit set will not only look chic for the dinner party, you will also stand out and look smart in it.
In terms of pattern just make sure you are not picking a really busy one. Look for a timeless pattern that you can wear over and over again for dinner party events. This way you have a collection of these outfits and you don’t have to go shopping every time you have a work event.
Match the shade of your sandals with the base color of the suit set and see how your outfit looks polished and sophisticated.
Blazer dress is the classiest work dinner party which will never fail you. It’s a combination of chic and sophistication. And you can also opt for short dress as long as it’s not too short. If it’s a short blazer dress it should fall atleast mid thigh. That way you have enough room when you sit down.
You don’t want to feel uncomfortable and fidget at a workplace dinner event where you might be entertaining clients.
You can also add pointed heel ankle boots and get away with them. The outfit will look polished and formal.
Elegant Sweater Dress
If the weather is chilly, you can also pick and elegant sweater dress that looks classy and sophisticated for a normal work dinner party. But in this case you should stick to dark tone colors. And to be honest black would look the best. Otherwise in any other shade, the knit fabric looks pretty casual.
The only other shade might look festive and work is red sweater dress. Add some chic accessories and you are comfortable, cozy and look sophisticated too.
Velvet Skirt And Shirt
For cooler weather velvet is another classy party fabric that looks elegant and sophisticated. But a velvet dress might look too much in any shade. Instead pick separates like a skirt and velvet shirt. This way, you can create a chic outfit without it being too much.
But the goal is to keep the color theme the same, so you look polished. Satin and velvet look great together because they have contrast textures.
This outfit will ooze sophistication and classy and will look great on everyone.
What To Wear On A Casual Work Dinner
Casual work dinners would be a bit more intimate involving close co workers or groups you are gathering with.
This could be one of the following settings:
- Dinner hosted in office after regular work hours to celebrate a milestone or something. This could also be hosted for clients who are attending any sessions.
- Dinner after an offsite with team members to celebrate everything you achieved together.
- Office celebration of any milestone at a restaurant or bar. This could be a little bit bigger than just your immediate coworkers. You could have cross functional teams or vendors joining in. Again the venue does not matter.
These kind of parties are a bit more casual and laidback and do not require a fancy gown. But that does not mean you will wear crop top and shorts or the most casual outfit to it.
You still want to look polished and sophisticated, so you can mingle with the rest of the team and feel confident.
Leather Pants and Patterned Top
Leather pants are perfect for dinner parties if where you live it gets slightly chilly at night or if it’s cold weather. They keep you warm and also look sophisticated. But not too fancy.
Pick either black or colored faux leather pants with blouse and add a jacket of your preference to create a smart casual yet party ready outfit that you can also wear to work.
So, you don’t have to change for the party.
Matching Sweater Skirt and Sweater
Another easy cold weather outfit that you can wear to office and head to your work dinner party later. This is great for cold weather work parties.
All you need is a black coat and some gold jewelry to elevate the outfit further. But if you are a minimalist, you can go just like this. The matching sweater skirt and sweater creates a dress version but because of the waist details, it looks more put together than a basic dress.
All Black Pants and Top With Colored Blazer
Blazers are excellent way of dressing up any casual outfit. If you have a smart casual work dress code, a colored blazer will come in handy. Wear an all black outfit with a black tee and black pants or jeans, and add a colored blazer for the third layer.
This outfit idea is great for warmer months when you don’t want a lot of layers. A lightweight blazer will help elevate your outfit and make it party ready in an instant. Pick black sandals to create a classy and sophisticated work dinner outfit that’s laidback as well.
Printed Dress and Blazer
For warmer months you would want to wear dresses for these kinds of parties. Perfect excuse to look cute and enjoy wearing something other than jeans or pants. But not all dresses will look polished for a work dinner party.
A shirt dress is the best work appropriate dress that always looks polished and sophisticated. Pick a longer below the knee dress to stay comfortable. Since it’s dinner time, you can grab a black shirt dress with fun prints to create a casual chic look.
Add a black blazer and cute mules to create the ultimate party outfit. You will stay comfortable and look chic and confident enjoying time with your co workers.
Colored Pleated Skirt with Leather Jacket
That’s the beauty of having the right wardrobe pieces that you can use to create party outfits. You don’t need to go out there and buy clothes just for parties, specially if its a casual work dinner party.
This printed pleated skirt outfit is fun, functional and party ready with a few details. The black top has a sweetheart neckline which looks dresses up compared to a tshirt. Combined with the black leather jacket it creates a chic night out look.
Adding black sandals just completed this party look. And the great part is that you can wear this to work during the day time and just touch up your makeup and be ready for dinner party.
What To Wear On A Holiday Dinner Party
I am clubbing all of different festivities that are celebrated in your office. This could be Christmas, halloween, or any other festivals that your company celebrates.
You still have to be mindful of the venue of the celebration to know how to dress for the occasion because this is the theme where you have a probability of under dressing or over dressing.
And often times it’s one or the other. But we can avoid that by checking the following:
- Check the venue of the party. That will indicate what is the theme of the party. And whether you need to dress casually or formally.
- Check whether it’s in office, if it is, most likely you can get aways with smart casual looks.
- Check whether it’s outdoor or indoor. This determines your shoes. If it’s a casual outdoor party, your shoes need to be comfortable because you could be walking a lot on grass or something.
If it’s a formal holiday party, you can pick any of the outfits shared above to look chic and polished.
If it’s a Christmas theme party, you can checkout some cute and casual Christmas outfits that are still dressed up. So you can go to office wearing them and get to party mode right after.
Here are some easy to create holiday themed party outfits that look great and are comfortable too.
Pink and Red Sweater and Pants
Red and pink are the perfect holiday colors that also look great together. Simply pick red or pink sweater and wear the other shade as the bottom. And you have a holiday ready outfit that looks sophisticated and classy.
You can take it up a notch by adding some pink or red pumps and handbag. This is my go to look if I don’t know what else to wear.
And if you have a fair isle sweater, it makes for a great casual holiday work party outfits.
Satin Top with Sequin Pants
Red and pink are not the only shades you can wear, you can also pick green color to look festive in your work party outfit. And sequin is a great way to elevate your simple outfit.
Pick a green satin top with black sequin pants and add a thick jacket so you stay warm. You can wear this outfit to any holiday party including work holiday party.
Pink or Red Sweater Dress
A colored sweater dress which is holiday theme would also be a great alternative for work holiday party. Again, I would pick a longer length because that will keep you comfortable and stylish.
This outfit is perfect for casual holiday work party where you don’t want to be over dressed, but also don’t want to wear any ugly sweaters. Add some jewelry and appropriate boots or sandals. Layer on a coat and you will stay comfortable and feel confident at the party.
Pink or Red Fit and Flare Dress
This is another dress variation that is casual yet chic. A red dress is an effortless way of looking festive at the party. Just pick a longer length to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the party.
Add black pumps and black coat to create a chic and sophisticated holiday work party look that is not over the top.
What To Never Wear To Work Dinner Parties?
This is the most important part to pay attention to. Workplace is somewhere we are always scrutinized. Whether you are in the office or somewhere representing the company. Even if you are with your co workers at an outside gathering, your actions and the way you present yourself reflects on the company you work for.
And people get fired often. So other than the common party etiquette of not over drinking or gossiping about anyone, you should also pay attention to what you wear.
Here are some party outfits to absolutely avoid:
- No cut out style of dresses or over exposing outfits. This not only makes you look cheap, often imply that you are not serious about your job. You are only here to party.
- Avoid wrap dresses or skirts. They have a high risk of getting loose and causing a fashion disaster. I have seen this too many times, so had to point it out.
- Less makeup is always better. You can always jazz up your look with a red lipstick, and accessories. But no crazy eye makeup or anything. Again, the goal is to look presentable so if a leader stops to chat with you, you don’t feel like you look weird.
- Don’t wear crazy shoes, stylish shoes are a must, but if you have a pair that hurts, you cannot be confident talking to anyone. So, keep that in mind.
- No visible underwear. This in general cheapens any outfit and if you are in a work party, this is downright tacky.