Put your “out of office” on and stock up on the Beroccas; it’s the return of the office Christmas party. And from black-tie blowouts to cosy pubs with free-flowing fizz, Thomas Pink has put together the ultimate style guide for looking and feeling like a boss
Somehow, inexplicably, it’s that time of year again. The most “wonderful” time of the year when the streets are filled with stressed-out shoppers and the omnipresent crooning of Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey. As 25 December looms, thoughts and plans inevitably turn to the office Christmas party
For some, this will spark pure dread. After all, mixing overworked employees with the company credit card and drinking from noon is something of a ticking time bomb (with added glitter). For others, it’s an excuse to let their hair down and enjoy a much-needed afternoon off on company time. Whatever side of the pendulum you swing – or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle – what you wear is a crucial power move in bossing the office Christmas party. Your clothes absolutely make a statement and – like seeing your childhood teacher in the “normal world” – it’s a chance for your colleagues to see a different side of you. A more confident, self-assured and downright stylish side.
The nature and venue of the Christmas shindig will ultimately determine your outfit. But two rules to bear in mind: eschew the light-up Christmas jumper (even if Cathy from accounts insists on it ‘for a bit of fun’) and go easy on the shots. You’ll thank us in the morning – especially if the party lands mid-week and you foolishly haven’t booked the next day off.
Thomas Pink has heard through the grapevine that some companies now forgo boozy parties altogether and instead opt for “fun” activitybased days out, designed to encourage bonding. 2023 is a strange time indeed. If your office Christmas party involves a full-on itinerary and wholesome activities, such as an escape room, outdoor hike, indoor shuffleboard, clay pigeon shooting or – shudder – arts and crafts, then make sure you wear something practical yet polished. Try one of our Merino wool sweaters to keep out the chill, or add a gilet over a smart shirt. Our knitted mohair cardigans are cute, colourful and cosy without veering into novelty territory, and are great for throwing on over a smarter outfit. Particularly handy if you manage to sneak off to the pub later.
On the other end of the spectrum is the no-expense-spared formal affair, which is probably only liable to happen if your company’s end-ofyear profits are particularly healthy. Or you work at Apple. If your annual party is taking place in a five-star hotel or a grand reception room, then make sure to prepare your outfit well in advance. And if the dress code is black tie, then for goodness’ sake make sure you abide by the rules. Luckily for you, Thomas Pink has all the essentials, including crisp white evening shirts, black bow ties, cummerbunds and evening jackets. If you want to add a touch of personality, try one of our luxe velvet versions – available in navy or emerald green – or our dapper check jacket made from a traditional Black Watch fabric woven by Yorkshire heritage brand Abraham Moon. We also have a range of unstructured wool blazers in houndstooth, herringbone, plain block colours and silk-wool blends to add a modern twist to formalwear. We even sell cufflinks, collar stays, belts and silk ties. The full package indeed.
The average office Christmas party takes place in a local pub with a mediocre set menu, free-flowing fizz and a clever quiz full of insider jokes devised by Lucy the office manager. So far so satisfying. If this sounds familiar then you may be tempted to not put too much effort into your ensemble, especially if you work in a creative agency with a relaxed dress code or working-from-home habits have crept into your day-today life. But push the boat out a little this year with a well-put together outfit that will command compliments from your colleagues (especially those who primarily see you over Zoom). Why not go for one of our eyecatching Jermyn Street Edition shirts in either a bright plain colour or our signature multi-stripe? You could add a tie for extra panache, but these shirts don’t require much embellishment. Alternatively, our new Classic Fit smart casual cotton linen dyed shirts are bang on trend, available in various autumnal shades with a subtle, embellished fox logo. The unique linen-cotton blend is ideal for keeping warm on a chilly day, especially one that turns into a late night. Speaking of which, our brand-new cotton twill overshirt features internal lining to keep out the cold. It’s modern and stylish and a clever way to spice up a simple T-shirt and fitted jeans ensemble.
Ever look around the office and realise you’re one of the oldest in the room? It’s a sad but inevitable moment in every office worker’s life. If your Gen Z and younger millennial colleagues are keen to continue the party at some trendy Dalston club, then make sure that you’re dressed to impress. It’s a tricky one: you don’t want to be wearing anything too snazzy (this isn’t a stag do in Tiger Tiger Leicester Square, after all) but at the same time you can’t be too casual if dancing to Kendrick Lamar is on the cards. The aforementioned overshirt is a safe bet, or go one step further with our houndstooth wool pleated trousers and matching unstructured jacket. Soften the look by wearing it over our merino wool roll neck à la Idris Elba on the red carpet. If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a button-down white Oxford (without a tie) or a smart blue poplin shirt. And our new outerwear pieces – the Bomber jacket, M65 field jacket, chore jacket and pea coat – will keep you stylish and snug while waiting for the bouncer to let you in. And on the night bus home. Merry Christmas one and all.