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What to Wear to a Corporate Party

By: Martin Lucchi

Casual Fridays have created a certain crisis in the work force; how do you dress casual and still come off as a professional? This crisis is even more evident at the office party, where anything goes, and you have minimal time to change. What limits need to be enforced is up to debate, but a few basic concerns need to be addressed.

A good place to start is to keep your clothes to a PG-rating. For most items of clothing, this isn't usually a problem; shoes, pants, jackets, even scarves are usually G-rated. However, shirts and skirts are the big offenders. Skirts usually become an issue because they can show more than you want; just remember to keep the skirt within a hand's width of the knee, and definitely avoid slits, and those issues should be easy to avoid.

Shirts are an interesting issue on a lot of levels. T-shirts should be avoided at all costs, especially if they have something clever on them; your shirt should never appear smarter than you are. It is acceptable to wear a T-shirt under a button up shirt, open or otherwise, but a plain one is always best. Try to avoid open-chest shirts; quite frankly, even the most attractive chest will turn people off if exposed. Try to avoid tight shirts; this is more of a comfort factor than aesthetic.

Bras should always be worn to parties; they just tend to make the woman look more attractive. However, the bra does best if it?s invisible, just like any other item of underwear. That last applies to men as well; visible panty lines are never attractive. Pants should be loose; again, it?s more comfort than aesthetic. How can you dance in tight pants?

The biggest issue most people have with dressing up is basic coordination. Some colors (such as blue and yellow) tend to go together rather well, whereas others (blue and red) tend to create headaches when placed together. Others (such as blue and green) are attractive together, and others (blue and orange) should never be seen together. Patterns should be the same type, and the difference between them should be obvious; at the same time, a pattern with a solid is an excellent combination. Hawaiian prints are always fun, as are any outfits from different countries. The key is to have fun, but to not to the point that someone forms the fashion police specifically to deal with your outfit.

The key is to make a big splash, but not big enough that you are the only center of attention. The ideal outfit is one that allows you to make a big entrance and the fade into the background. It may sound contradictory, but you don?t want anyone to know exactly when you left. It not only makes you look suspicious when the police start asking for alibis, but an air of mystery should be created.

What you wear defines you in the eyes of those around you; bear that in mind when you dress and you should do fine.

Martin Lucchi is a Web Developer for Eclipse Leisure, a British company that organizes hen weekends, stag nights, Corporate Events and corporate Christmas parties for the UK and Europe.

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