10 Holiday Party Attire Atrocities

Remember, this is Christmas, not Halloween, and this is a company event, not Vegas. What happens at the company party does not stay at the company party.
The ElfWith all due respect to Will Ferrell's epic performance in the comedy classic Elf, dressing like this for a company ho
 FlasksWearing a drinking flask on your belt or in your pocket or exposed anywhere on your wardrobe is a great idea if you've
 Christmas sweaters Sweaters covered with Santas and snowflakes are an amusing Christmas staple. But they're too goofy for a
 Mistletoe on your head Mistletoe kisses are usually innocent fun, but wearing mistletoe is a tad forward, wouldn't you say?
 Hipster uniform We know you're free-spirited and too cool for corporate parties. But your company has gone out of its way to
 Jingle bells on your clothes You do know that "I'll be there with bells on" is just a figure of speech, right? Bells that ma
 Blinking lights Everyone knows Christmas is the season of lights. But can we please limit them to trees and houses? As a gen
 Santa outfitUnless you're actually being paid to play Santa Claus, this is just strange. And with open bars common at some c
 Reindeer antlers with Rudolph red noseA Rudolph headset is a better fit for an 8-year-old girl than a 48-year-old profession
 Just a hat (and little else)Who do you think you are, Baby New Year? Put on some clothes.

Welcome to the office holiday party: that annual perfect storm of co-workers, cocktails, revelry, and awkward moments.

We sincerely hope awkwardness doesn't trump fun at your company events. But if it does, don't make things more awkward by dressing like a fool.

Besides the obvious advice to dress tastefully -- ladies, that means avoiding skimpy dresses, and gentlemen, avoid shirts unbuttoned to the sternum -- we'd also like to warn you about overdoing your holiday attire to the point of being bizarre, or underplaying it to the point of being rude. The important thing is to walk the line of dressing formal without being boring, casual without being unkempt, and merry without being tacky.

Not to stereotype, but IT folks are not known for their fashion radar. Combine that with their independent, creative streak and you might witness some irreverent or over-the-top outfits. But this slideshow isn't only for IT staffers. Any employee can show up in holiday threads that cross the line. So this is for you, antler-and-red-nose-wearing sales guy. And you, overly enthusiastic marketing gal wearing an elaborate Santa hat that jingles when you move your head. But also you, hipster developer who's wearing what he wore to last week's Vampire Weekend show.

You want to dress festively, but avoid being garish or weird. Remember: A company party is a great occasion to unwind and socialize with colleagues, but you don't want to end up chatting with the CIO about digital disruption and data analytics while wearing a snowman sweater adorned with flashing lights. Should he take you seriously?

Remember, this is Christmas, not Halloween, and this is a company event, not Vegas. What happens at the company party does not stay at the company party. So act and dress accordingly.

Do dress up. Wear a red dress mixed with some green flourishes; wear a vibrant Christmas scarf or candy-cane colored tie, or even a Santa hat (no bells or lights please). Pin a sprig of holly on your sports coat. Get into the spirit of the season with your wardrobe; just don't turn yourself into a cartoon.

As a visual guide of "don'ts" we've put together some of the most cringe-worthy Christmas party get-ups we were able to find. Happy holidays!

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