How do you go from your work­ing day at­tire to get­ting your glam on in the of­fice toi­lets? If it is a work-re­lated event, how far do you take that glam­our? Jackie O’Fee has some an­swers.

NZ Business - - CONTENTS - Jackie O’Fee is the owner of per­sonal style con­sul­tancy Sig­na­ture Style. She works with both in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions. sig­na­

Christ­mas par­ties: How glam­orous is too glam­orous? By Jackie O’Fee.

HEAD­ING INTO Christ­mas of­ten means Christ­mas par­ties – not just your own, but also those of the clients and sup­pli­ers you do busi­ness with.

While it's al­ways lovely to get an in­vi­ta­tion to a spe­cial event it can also be chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially when it is work re­lated or straight af­ter work. How do you go from your work­ing day at­tire to get­ting your glam on in the of­fice toi­lets? If it is a work-re­lated event, how far do you take that glam­our? Can you look ‘sexy' or is that un­der­min­ing your care­fully main­tained cred­i­bil­ity?

For men, it's ac­tu­ally quite easy. You can look the part by wear­ing a dark suit for the day and in the evening sim­ply add a beau­ti­ful shirt that's a step-up from your usual day­wear: think crisp, tex­tured white or some­thing with a slight sheen in the fab­ric.

One thing that is ab­so­lutely key for men how­ever is that your shoes be suf­fi­ciently dressy enough – no suede, no rub­ber soles, no train­ers. Choose a leather pair with a bit of a sheen.

For women, it is slightly more com­pli­cated. To save you schlep­ping your en­tire out­fit to the of­fice on the day of an event, here are my tips for get­ting ‘gala func­tion ap­pro­pri­ate' di­rectly from the of­fice. • On the day of the event wear a sim­ple dark dress or pant suit. For day­time, add a brightly coloured jacket, a scarf and your nor­mal work­ing-day shoes and ac­ces­sories. If wear­ing pants, en­sure they are • slim-line enough to team well with a more glam­orous shoe. • Take in your kit bag: strappy high-heels, jet beads and ear­rings (or other glam­orous ‘ evening' jew­ellery), an evening clutch and a pair of sheer tights. If wear­ing pants, take a dressy top ( that is, some­thing beaded or silky/shiny). • Take your make-up to touch up and in­ten­sify your day­time eye­shadow with darker shadow, add more gloss and con­sider putting your hair up. If this is be­yond your skill- set, it is worth book­ing in to have your make-up and hair done. • Trade your day­time look for your night-time look by swap­ping your shoes, adding the jew­ellery, and re­plac­ing your nor­mal hand­bag for your evening purse. • Step out and en­joy the evening.

To the next point – how sexy can you take your look for a work event? I say tread a lit­tle care­fully here, as you don't want to be the topic of wa­ter­cooler con­ver­sa­tion for weeks fol­low­ing the event.

Yes, an out-of-hours func­tion is a great op­por­tu­nity to show a lit­tle more of who you are when not in the con­fines of a busi­ness meet­ing, but that should mean show­ing an­other facet to your per­son­al­ity rather than show­ing too much flesh.

Think about the look you are por­tray­ing – so­phis­ti­cated and el­e­gant main­tains who you are with­out com­pro­mis­ing your cred­i­bil­ity and, as such, will al­ways win over any­thing overtly sexy. Head in that di­rec­tion and you may find you come across as trashy and tarty, or even worse, des­per­ate for at­ten­tion.

Re­mem­ber too, that you are still os­ten­si­bly ‘work­ing' when at­tend­ing an event such as this – keep your al­co­hol con­sump­tion to a level where you can still think straight and main­tain your busi­ness status. As al­ways in a work­ing sit­u­a­tion, keep your man­ners im­pec­ca­ble and las­civ­i­ous thoughts to your­self.

You can party hard with your friends, but it pays to be care­ful when with work col­leagues or clients.

Yes, al­co­hol and so­cial events can be great lu­bri­ca­tors of busi­ness re­la­tion­ships, but your rep­u­ta­tion as a ‘party an­i­mal' will only take you so far and is cer­tainly the last thing you want to be de­fined as in busi­ness.

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