We’ve been invited to a Holiday Party, being hosted by the VP at my husband’s company. This is the first time that I’ll be meeting anyone that he works with (he just started at this location in July), and I’m very anxious to make a good impression (the VP is the highest-ranked person in the building). The party is at their home, and I have no idea what to wear – the invitation didn’t say! Do you have any advice for an outfit that would be appropriate for this occasion?
First: Happy Holidays! Second, we really feel for you, because this situation could be extremely awkward. The dress code could be anywhere from “festive sweater with jeans” to “festive jacket with work attire” to “LBD” to (if the company is very large, the VP is very swanky, and only executives are invited) something even more than LBD. First, if your husband has any female friends in his company (either colleagues, or the significant other of a colleague), bug him until he asks one of them (unless you are also friends with them, in which case, ask yourself). Another option might be to call the VP’s secretary directly (do not call the VP). Express your excitement for the invitation, and ask about the dress code for women. If you really feel awkward about asking the secretary, ask a question about directions or something innocuous like that and then slide the question in near the end. A “safe” bet might be to wear a black shift dress, black hose and pumps, and a festive red or orange jacket or structured sweater — think velvet, silk shantung, etc. (We would suggest avoiding embroidered sequins — you can always tuck a sparkly brooch or necklace in your pocket, and “trade up” or down as necessary once you’ve arrived and assessed the situation.) (Update: see our more recent roundup of festive blazers here.) [Read more...]