The Christmas party: your ultimate survival guide
In day one of a two-day party special, we focus on women's fashion, how to behave at the dreaded office bash and how to decline an invite gracefully
The annual Christmas party is almost here. And after 12 months chained to your desk, it's finally time to ditch the work duds, and swap deadlines for the dancefloor.
While Santa may be suited and booted for the season, the end-of-year bash is generally a more relaxed affair. But plunging necklines, VPLs and novelty jumpers are still a ho-ho-no by the free bar.
From the classic LBD to heels that will take you from work to twerk, here we reveal how to strike the right balance between 'naughty' and 'nice' at this year's work do.
Jingle Belle Frock:
Keep it classy at the Christmas party in a Little Black Dress. Velvet, asymmetric or lace, the LBD is back with a bang this season. And Kelly Brook always gets it right with her little black dress with a touch of lace and skater skirt.
Splurge: Jacques Vert Black Velvet Dress (above), €199, available from Arnotts
Scrooge: Penneys Black Velvet Dress, €14
Christmas Time is Ear:
Transform your look from 'business' to 'party' quicker than you can say 'canapé' with a pair of statement earrings. Jennifer Lawrence rocked a Neil Lane pair at The Hunger Games premiere last month. But there are plenty of budget options if your Christmas bonus doesn't quite stretch that far. Remember: if they look like they belong on the tree, they're too big.
Splurge: Kenneth Jay Lane Earrings, €105, available from Brown Thomas
Scrooge: Penneys Earrings, €4
O Holy Tights:
As temperatures tumble, black tights are a girls' best friend. Get a leg up at the Christmas bash by swapping your trusty 50 Deniers for something a little racier. Naff Christmas-themed tights are all over the high street this festive season. If you're hoping to climb the corporate ladder in 2016 though, start with a pair of lacey tights that scream CE-Woah.
Splurge: Wolford Lace Tights (above), €79, available from www.wolfordshop.ie
Scrooge: Jonathan Aston Lace Tights, €17.50, available from www.legslove.ie
Step Into Christmas
Party like a pro(fessional) in a pair of classic courts with a Christmassy twist. Low vamp ones that lengthen the leg and flash a little toe cleavage are the most flattering. Podiatrists say a mid heel - no higher than three inches - is best for rocking around the Christmas tree. But don't forget to pack the blister plasters - just in case!
Splurge: Carvela Glitter Courts, €92
Scrooge: Deichmann Glitter Courts, €24.90, available from www.deichmann.com
Santa's Got a Brand New Bag:
Dashing from desk to dancefloor in fifteen minutes flat? Simply steal Santa's style with an oversized bag. Opt for a soft clutch you can stuff with everything from foundation to fold-up flats. Make a statement to your boss with an on-trend slogan style. Just make sure it's got a zip top to keep those all-important drinks vouchers safe!
Splurge: Charlotte Olympia Slogan Clutch, €287, available from www.net-a-porter.com
Scrooge: S.Oliver Slogan Clutch (above), €35.99, available from www.soliver.eu
Baby, It's Cold Outside:
A cuddly winter coat is a must for surviving the office Christmas party in one piece. For a hint of Hollywood (Los Angeles) glamour on a Holywood (County Down) budget, go faux. Wrap up in one of this season's longline creations like Salma Hayek. Yule thank us when you're queuing for a taxi outside Coppers at four in the morning.
Splurge: Phase Eight Faux Fur Coat, €149.25, available from www.phase-eight.com
Scrooge: Dorothy Perkins Faux Fur Coat, €38