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Seven Tips for a Perfectly Polished Corporate Holiday Party Look

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Earlier this week, Racked DC listed 12 places to shop for a holiday party dress in Washington. And now, stylist, blogger, and image consultant Monica Barnett of Blueprint for Style is sharing her advice for picking out your look for the minefield that is the corporate holiday party. Even if you're shopping your own closet this year for a dress, her tips could help prevent sartorial disasters. Here's what she had to say:

"The holiday office party is about being festive and bringing together everyone for a last hoorah before the year closes out. And you'll have an opportunity to connect or leave an impression on your colleagues and higher ups! Besides refraining from too many trips to the spiked eggnog bowl, here are a few fashion considerations — no matter if your company is going all-out with a catered dinner and entertainment, or if it's just punch and cookies around the water cooler.

1. Go dark (vs. light). In the office holiday attire hierarchy, the darker the better simply because darker indicates more dressy. For gents, that means you should leave the grey suit at home and stick with your dark or midnight navy suit— unless it's black tie. For ladies, you can always go red as it's the acceptable color for the holidays but don't venture any further to the left of the color spectrum.

2. Add sequins always. Sequins can go from day to evening, and work to weekend if you do it right. For the office holiday party, adding sequins is a big "yes" as long as it's not head to toe because you don't want to look like you're hitting the red carpet. Rather choose a sequin top or sequin bottom, and keep the rest fairly simple. Steer clear of bodycon pieces because the sparkle plus the body-hugging items is too much.

3. Plan to be a "hit at the party." If you do it right, folks will want to hang out afterwards or move to an after-party of sorts. Your holiday look should be built to last the entire night. Comfortable shoes like the Ivanka Trump Anita, Betsey Johnson Gown, or Enzo Show You have enough heel to be feminine and fun but not too high that you feel inappropriate and are looking to go barefoot halfway through the night.

4. Read the invitation. Very few things could make the evening worse than showing up inappropriately dressed. It takes a minute to set yourself up for success.

5. Refrain from too much skin. Showing skin in the form of cleavage is a no-no any day of the week so the holiday office party is no exception. Plus, plan to polish off your look with hosiery. Stay away from opaque as they look heavy and don't elongate your leg, and stick with an ultra-sheer pair that matches your skin tone.

6. Metallics are always appropriate. In my new book due out in January, one of my admonishments is to find your go-to set of metallic accessories so you can amp up any look you want. Think jewelry, shoes and clutch and look for items in the same color family like gold, silver, platinum, or bronze. This will allow you to take even a pair of black pants and shimmery top, and dress it up!

7. Pictures will be taken and memories made. Wear makeup. While you may not go all out on an everyday basis, the holiday office party should signal that you have polish and finish. At a minimum, plan for eye concealer, blush and a bright lip. Not gloss, actual lipstick."
· Where to Buy Holiday Party Dresses in Washington [Racked DC]