Office Holiday Party LBD: Day To Night Style Tips

How do you transform your workplace LBD (little black dress) to your office holiday party LBD? Many of us feel like we’ve recycled style tips too many times and aren’t in the market to buy a cocktail dress that collects dust in the closet.  We’ve also witnessed the backlash of trying “hot” editorial trends that come off as too risqué or inappropriate for an evening with the boss and co-workers.

Here are some festive style tips for taking that LBD from day to a night out with the team.  Shop the options below as well as regular and plus size work-friendly dresses.

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Bowties & Cuffs: Not just for men

Instead of a necklace, try a brightly printed bowtie.  You do *not* need a collar– in fact, it looks edgy and unexpected without one. Can’t tie a proper knot?  Watch this Nordstrom video or buy one that’s pre-tied.  If you have a short and wide neck, try one of these other tips. Pair with matching cuff bracelets to mimic a formal men’s look minus the button up!


Corsets & Kimono Belts

I’ve written about the power of a pretty corset before, and it holds true for the office party. Place it over your LBD for a sexy look that doesn’t reveal too much. Choose a style that doesn’t look like it belongs in the bedroom.  I’m a huge fan of Anne Namba Designs, who makes her corsets as outerwear from vintage obi materials.  They are works of art, and great conversation starters. If you wear a DD+ bra cup, you may want to consider other options.


screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-8-24-07-amPrinted Tights

These are not your grandmother’s tights.  They come in all weights, sheers, and exciting prints that you’ll have a hard time choosing a pair that’s right for you.  Great for women whose legs are their best feature or want to balance out their top-to-bottom proportions (think inverted triangles and ovals). Does your dress hit a little too high above the knee? Tights minimize the chance of a wardrobe malfunction while keeping it sassy. I’m loving


Pearls and Lapels

Yes, pearls are old school, but throw a slew of them on with a winter white tuxedo jacket, and you’ve got the office party power suit/dress. Mix and match the sizes and designs (a long string with a shorter wider strand, with a laureate gold tasseled necklace).  Or, go for a black pearl doubled up into a choker and clip on a sparkling pendant. The brighter, shinier colors and textures up top are great for triangle-shaped bodies.


Clutch: Retro and Whimsical



Laugh a little with clutches that tell their own story.  While in New Orleans, the gals at California Drawstrings introduced me to Mary Frances handbags– they’re perfect for a holiday party. Guitars, cameras, and even taxi cabs made of intricate beadwork.  The trick with handbags: make sure you can shake hands and hold a drink at the same time. So a wristlet or clutch that fits comfortably under your arm are great options. I find shoulder straps slide off while hugging and dancing, so I avoid them.

Have other great office holiday party LBD style tips for us?  Please share them in the comments.

If you’re ready to create a signature style that says who you are and where you’re going, contact me!



Thea Wood

Austin’s Signature Stylist


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