‘Tis the season to be jolly. And stylishly so. While Christmas (and holidays) couldn’t come soon enough, chances are you still have a few holiday soirees to attend before knock off. And that means a handful of suitable party outfit pieces to swap in and out in the coming weeks.
From blazers to button-down shirts, each of these five party items for guys are both smart – and fun – and will see you through the holiday party season, without a style hangover the next day.
Even if you’re not the blazer type, a suit jacket will really ramp up your office party style. This season exalts the velvet blazer, and dark jewel hues at that (think sapphire blue, emerald green and ruby red). It’s simple, bold and adds a touch of panache to almost any look.
Look for a slim blazer shape that cuts square on the shoulder before tapering in toward the waist, with enough to lift your arms and twist a bit (you made be called upon for a boogie later on). For that extra panache, opt for a contrast lapel – peak or notch – in black silk grosgrain. That’ll make the jacket – and champagne — really pop with your colleagues.
Style alternative: Not into velvet? Skip velour for a cotton blend jacket, in a rich festive colour or to change it up completely a light pastel.
If dressing for the party season was likened to building a house, then the shirt would be the concrete slab; foundational and sans fuss. Stay away from the gaudy floral shirt, especially if you go with a velvet jacket. Instead, make room for monochrome blacks, whites or greys. And stick to cotton; it breathes better and comes in a variety of weaves: poplin for a matte-finish or twill for something a little more silked. Lastly, the collar should be pressed and neat and if you’re going tie-less, avoid the plunging-neckline-hairy-chest combo. The seventies might be back in style, but even Tom Selleck regrets pulling that style move.
Style alternative: Swap out the button-up shirt for a black or white cotton tee, for neater and parred back look, that’s still chic. And tuck it in, no belt.
The Pants (aka Trousers in the UK)
Pants are tougher to navigate. So, find the space between smart and stylish with a pair of tailored pants in a straight-leg fit. Never baggy, never tight, the party pant should be a neutral colour – darker is more dapper – and not too office-y. To avoid the business blues, introduce a pant texture or print into the mix such as butcher’s stripe or windowpane check or even a livelier tartan. A cropped trouser length will also add a stylish finish. Pair with a vibrant sock. It is the festive season, after all.
Style alternative: A dark pair of denim jeans or chinos will cool down the look. But nothing skinny or ripped apart.
The loafer is the party stomper of the season. First up: tassels. Not just reserved for your Christmas tree, the decorative tassel loafer is a sure-fire way to heat up your feet come party time; stepping smartly from casual post-office drinks to full-blown festive season ‘dos. Not into dangly details? Try the classic penny loafer in supple calfskin or suede. Whatever you choose, the loafer sits nicely with a cropped trouser or rolled jean, keeping your look sharp, even if the jacket comes off during the night.
Style alternative: A classic leather lace up shoe is safer and hard to get wrong. Unlike loafers, socks are a must.
You can do everything right, outfit-wise, and then completely miss on the hair. Consider first, a fresh haircut. Seek the advice of a barber, who will be able to suggest a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, based on your face shape and lifestyle.
Then, look to styling options: more classic hairstyles such as the quiff or pompadour play into the posh party vibe perfectly. Plus, these styles – a little more textured and ruffled — work wonders with casual dressing, so they’re versatile post-party too. Or a simple side part is great for the gent who’s after a more time timeless touch.
Whatever style, the Mr Hawke pomade will see you get the texture, height and stability you need to see that quiff, or slicked back side part stay put, and on point, right up until you get back home and hit the pillow.
Main Image: Office Christmas Party