How to Dress for Any Occasion
The Occasion: A Business Dinner or a Company Party
Old etiquette: Your nine-to-five wear puts in some overtime.
New etiquette: Keep things professional (you’re still working) but in line with the event.
What to wear: When you’re dressing for a work function, the culture of your office should prevail. “If it’s a conservative environment, dress conservatively for events, too,” says fashion stylist Joseph Williamson. But no matter how relaxed your office environment or the occasion (that means you, company picnic!), never wear anything provocative. “A too-revealing outfit can prevent you from being taken seriously when it comes to job promotions,” warns Fox. And, yes, that includes the “sexy cat” costume you’ve been eyeing for the annual Halloween bash.
For business dinners, office wear is appropriate (provided your workplace isn’t overly casual): trousers with a refined sweater or a blouse and blazer. If you’re going to a work party straight from the office, try a sheath or a wrap dress in a dark shade, or “wear a suit and bring along a feminine blouse and evening-appropriate shoes, like in a metallic shade,” suggests Leah Ingram, an etiquette authority and the founder of giftsandetiquette.com, based in New Hope, Pennsylvania. “Or you could simply swap your jewelry for something a little bolder―a chunky necklace instead of pearls.” As for that company picnic, choose knee-length shorts and a short-sleeve top, or a sundress with sandals―nothing ripped, frayed, or strapless.