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November 11, 2014

The Office Holiday Party: Gents' 6 Key Looks for 3 Types of Parties

The office party might be one of the trickier events to dress for this holiday season. So, it’s time to start thinking about it earlier rather than later. You want to look appropriate to the occasion, but you are still going to be with people you work with everyday – people who report to you, and people you report to. The office party can usually be broken down to 3 general types that often take place after work (excluding a more formal outing, which we’ll talk about next week):
1. In the office : The company may cater it or even suggest a potluck, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than any other kind of office party. Your company is still taking the time and effort to celebrate everyone, and that’s always a good time. Wearing office-appropriate pieces, like a jacket in bolder patterns or a snappy tie with some color, are great options, since you’ll still be at the office and not changing.
2. An activity: Some companies take the holiday season as an opportunity for a little team bonding by actually DOING something. It might be something active like bowling or a karaoke night, or it might be something to watch, like going to a comedy show or concert. There are often drinks or dinner, too. It’s important to dress for the occasion in a festive way, while keeping in mind that you are with your office mates – too casual can be inappropriate, especially if you are a leader in the organization. Take the opportunity to show some after 5 style, with a pair of great jeans and a cool sweater.
3. At a casual restaurant or venue: This is the dressiest, and most common, of the three options we’re talking about today. But you don’t want to go overboard. You'll probably go straight from work, so ideally, you’ll want to wear something to the office that easily transitions into an evening look with some holiday spirit, while still being work-friendly. It’s the perfect time for a festive tie (and no, that doesn’t mean a tie with little Santa’s on it).
Here are our top picks for some key looks for each type of party –whether you work in a conservative or more creative workplace. Let us know what you think in the comments below and on social media. Let the holiday season begin!
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306611997&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446732958
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Sand  - Wool-Blend Knit Cardigan Jacket
Wool-Blend Knit Cardigan Jacket
Sand
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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From Sand, this shawl collar jacket sweater is a great modern sport coat replacement that can be dressed up or down – making it an ideal choice for the office party, since you’ll be at work all day. While still casual, you can dress this sweater up a bit with charcoal or black wool pants, a white or blue dress shirt, and tie. If the event is truly casual, pairing it with a casual button up shirt or long sleeve t-shirt and dark wash jeans is going to look crisp and definitely party appropriate.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/peter-millar-flynn-classic-fit-navy-check-sport-coat/3735325 Peter Millar - Flynn Classic Fit Navy Check Sport Coat
Peter Millar - Flynn Classic Fit Navy Check Sport Coat
1. In the Office: For those “at-the-office” parties, this check sport coat from Peter Millar will transition effortlessly. The tight check pattern on the wool navy ground allows for multiple shirt and tie choices. So, you’ll be able to accent with a bold patterned shirt and some festive color for the day of the party, and where it with more neutral colors the rest of the season. The fit is classic and the pattern provides just the right amount of interest.
http://www.ledbury.com/products/burgundy-morgan-shirt Ledbury - The Burgundy Morgan Check Shirt
Ledbury - The Burgundy Morgan Check Shirt
Step up the festive feel with this burgundy and blue plaid shirt from Ledbury. It’s an unexpected, yet perfect, match to the sport coat and has just a touch of red to tie in some of the other pieces to this look. The lightweight cotton poplin is soft and comfortable, too.
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Merino-Wool-Button-Front-Vest/MS00559,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - Merino Wool Button-Front Vest
Brooks Brothers - Merino Wool Button-Front Vest
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Brooks Brothers - Merino Wool Button-Front Vest
Merino Wool Button-Front Vest
Brooks Brothers
Sold by: Brooks Brothers

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Adding an additional layer of a sweater vest is a great way to bring in some color and soften up the look of the sport coat for a casual party. Brooks Brothers’ merino wool version works really well under a jacket, with the v-neckline being low enough to really let the shirt and tie pop. And in red, you subtly bring in that festive holiday color.
http://www.jmclaughlin.com/italian-tie-in-stripe.html J. McLaughlin - Italian Tie in Stripes
J. McLaughlin - Italian Tie in Stripes
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J. McLaughlin - Italian Tie in Stripes
Italian Tie in Stripes
J. McLaughlin
Sold by: J. McLaughlin

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This dark washed blue and red striped tie from J. McLaughlin is the finishing touch to pull the colors together for a festive, but far from over-the-top, look.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/santorelli-flat-front-wool-trousers/2969054 Santorelli - Flat Front Wool Trousers
Santorelli - Flat Front Wool Trousers
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Santorelli - Flat Front Wool Trousers
Flat Front Wool Trousers
Santorelli
Sold by: Nordstrom

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For a traditional office setting, keep the core pieces of your outfit classic, so the accent pieces (tie, sweater, shirt) can make the holiday statement. These simple charcoal wool flat front pants from Santorelli are the easy choice, and you’ll get plenty of use out of them all year. These very well made Italian pants have a classic fit and are lined to the knee for added comfort.
http://www.zappos.com/cole-haan-lenox-hill-split-ox-java-suede-waterproof Cole Haan - Lenox Hill Split Ox Oxford
Cole Haan - Lenox Hill Split Ox Oxford
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Cole Haan - Lenox Hill Split Ox Oxford
Lenox Hill Split Ox Oxford
Cole Haan
Sold by: Zappos

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You don’t need a formal shoe with this outfit, and Cole Haan’s brown suede oxford looks great with the blues and greys in this outfit. Even better, the suede is water resistant to deal with any nasty weather on the way home – or drinks that may be spilled over the course of the night.
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Milano-Fit-Windowpane-Quilted-Sport-Coat/MM00273,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Windowpane Quilted Sport Coat
Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Windowpane Quilted Sport Coat
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Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Windowpane Quilted Sport Coat
Milano Fit Windowpane Quilted Sport Coat
Brooks Brothers
Sold by: Brooks Brothers

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2. In the Office: This plaid sport coat from Brooks Brothers in their trim fit Milano model will add life to any staid office party. While not traditional holiday colors, the sophisticated winter colors have a seasonal feel that is just right. Dressing for a holiday party doesn’t need to scream red and green – subtle pops of color go a long way to create a stylish and work appropriate look.
http://www.ledbury.com/products/the-westerham-chambray Ledbury - The Westerham Chambray Shirt
Ledbury - The Westerham Chambray Shirt
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Ledbury - The Westerham Chambray Shirt
This blue chambray shirt from Ledbury coordinates well with the colors in the sport coat and has a ruggedly casual party feel that works so well with the masculine colors of the jacket.
http://www.eastdane.com/intro-cardigan-sns-herning/vp/v=1/1563233942.htm S.N.S. Herning - Intro Cardigan
S.N.S. Herning - Intro Cardigan
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S.N.S. Herning - Intro Cardigan
Intro Cardigan
S.N.S. Herning
Sold by: East Dane

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Layers are a great way to create a casually finished look that is so appropriate for a party at the office. The cream color of this wool S.N.S Herning cardigan gives a little light to this outfit. We mean that literally, too. This is a lighter weight wool, so you won’t get too hot with all these layers at the party – sweat is not an accessory we’re going for.
http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=47826126 Polo Ralph Lauren - Thin-Striped Knit Wool Tie
Polo Ralph Lauren - Thin-Striped Knit Wool Tie
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Polo Ralph Lauren - Thin-Striped Knit Wool Tie
Thin-Striped Knit Wool Tie
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sold by: Ralph Lauren

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Sure, you may not get tons of opportunities to wear this tie throughout the year, but you’ll get plenty of use out of it during the holiday season. It’s a way to do traditional holiday colors that is still stylishly modern, since Polo Ralph Lauren smartly toned down the colors, using a deeper wine red and olive green. And that works beautifully with this jacket. If you don’t want to commit to the holiday that strongly, the other color way offered - blue and green - works with this outfit, too.
http://www.agjeans.com/the-matchbox-summit-green/d/9412 AG Jeans - The Matchbox Jeans
AG Jeans - The Matchbox Jeans
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AG Jeans - The Matchbox Jeans
The Matchbox Jeans
AG Jeans
Sold by: AG Jeans

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There are several great pant options for this jacket. While you can certainly go with a pair of dark jeans or deep brown wool pants, these super soft twill jeans from AG Jeans in a deep olive green look great for a casual party. The fit is a slim straight leg, which works really well with the layered look.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/to-boot-new-york-cornell-chukka-boot-men/3724719 To Boot New York - Cornell Chukka Boot
To Boot New York - Cornell Chukka Boot
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To Boot New York - Cornell Chukka Boot
Cornell Chukka Boot
To Boot New York
Sold by: Nordstrom

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We won’t leaving you hanging without giving you just the right shoe, too. This dark brown leather chukka style from To Boot New York is just the fashion forward statement to complete the outfit.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Vince-Chunky-Crewneck-Sweater-Wine-Vince-Chunky-Crewneck-Sweater/prod176120017___/p.prod Vince - Chunky Crewneck Sweater
Vince - Chunky Crewneck Sweater
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Vince - Chunky Crewneck Sweater
Chunky Crewneck Sweater
Vince
Sold by: Neiman Marcus

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3. Activity: If you’re heading out to do something fun with your office mates, you want to be comfortable - keeping in mind that you will be mingling with your co-workers, employees, and superiors. This chunky ribbed pullover sweater from Vince is in a deep wine color that subtly says it’s the holiday time. The vented hem that is slightly longer in the back provides a relaxed look, great with dark wash jeans and some key accessories.
http://www.ledbury.com/products/essex-stripe-shirt Ledbury - The Essex Stripe 120 Shirt
Ledbury - The Essex Stripe 120 Shirt
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Ledbury - The Essex Stripe 120 Shirt
The Essex Stripe 120 Shirt
Ledbury
Sold by: Ledbury

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While you may be doing something like having a games night, you are still doing it with the people you work with. So, the juxtaposition of this polished blue stripe spread collar dress shirt from Ledbury is the ideal match for the casual styling of the sweater. It brings the sweater up just a notch, while still looking easy and cool.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/tiesandpocketsquares/ties/PRDOVR~B1854/B1854.jsp J. Crew - English Wool Tie
J. Crew - English Wool Tie
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J. Crew - English Wool Tie
English Wool Tie
J. Crew
Sold by: J. Crew

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And the outfit is even better once you add this green English tweed tie from J.Crew. It's a touch of holiday color, but in a dapper and sophisticated way that still has a perfectly casual feel.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/joes-classic-easy-straight-leg-jeans-cullen/3848754 Joe's Jeans - Classic Easy Straight Leg Jeans
Joe's Jeans - Classic Easy Straight Leg Jeans
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Joe's Jeans - Classic Easy Straight Leg Jeans
Classic Easy Straight Leg Jeans
Joe's Jeans
Sold by: Nordstrom

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These dark wash jeans from Joe’s Jeans is just right with the Vince sweater and additional pieces. The classic fit with a straight leg is a great fit for most gents, and will be comfortable for any fun coming your way.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/john-varvatos-star-usa-hipster-chukka-boot-men/3554496 John Varvatos Star USA - Hipster Chukka Boot
John Varvatos Star USA - Hipster Chukka Boot
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John Varvatos Star USA - Hipster Chukka Boot
Hipster Chukka Boot
John Varvatos Star USA
Sold by: Nordstrom

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These chukka boots (a low, lace up boot that is a definite must-have this season) from John Varvatos Star USA look great with these jeans, and you’ll want to wear them with everything in your wardrobe. They have a casual feel with a whole lot of modern detail – even the sole is cool. Click through the “shop it” button to take a look at the rubber and linen sole. Don’t worry, they still have plenty of traction.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sweaters/LAMBSWOOL/PRDOVR~95066/95066.jsp J. Crew - Lambswool Three-pocket Cardigan
J. Crew - Lambswool Three-pocket Cardigan
4. Activity: A shawl collar cardigan sweater is a perfect choice for any holiday activity, especially one with the team from the office. It has a finished look of a sport coat, but in such an easy and fashionably casual way. And, most importantly, it is easy to take off if you are called upon to bowl or play darts. The heather pine is deep and rich, making it not only seasonally appropriate, but a great color all winter long. You can’t beat the price for this kind of quality – even the buttons are leather.
http://www.hugoboss.com/us/%27gordon%27-regular-fit%2C-spread-collar-textured-cotton-dress-shirt-/hbna50273626.html BOSS Hugo Boss - Gordon Textured Cotton Dress Shirt
BOSS Hugo Boss - Gordon Textured Cotton Dress Shirt
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Gordon Textured Cotton Dress Shirt
Gordon Textured Cotton Dress Shirt
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Hugo Boss

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The subtle texture in this deep blue dress shirt from Hugo Boss looks sharp with the rib stitch of the sweater. And the spread collar sits well with the shawl collar.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306621784&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446653133 Eton of Sweden - Multistriped Silk Tie
Eton of Sweden - Multistriped Silk Tie
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Eton of Sweden - Multistriped Silk Tie
Multistriped Silk Tie
Eton of Sweden
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Adding a tie to the outfit creates a polished and festive look, especially when its this one from Eton. As we’ve talked about, holiday dressing doesn’t need to be bright red and grass green. This multi-stripe tie has a bit of green in it, but it’s the combination of all the heathered colors in its silk fabrication that really pop the deeper colors of the sweater and shirt.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306621784&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446702534 Canali - Wool Medallion Pocket Square
Canali - Wool Medallion Pocket Square
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Canali - Wool Medallion Pocket Square
Wool Medallion Pocket Square
Canali
Sold by: Saks Fifth Aveue

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A pocket square for my sweater? Absolutely. As we mentioned, treat this sweater like a sport coat. And if you are looking to add a flash of color to your sport coat, you’d add a pocket square. So let’s do the same thing here – not something you’d do everyday, but it’s defintely a fun touch for a party look. Fold this wool Canali into a neat square so that only the white and blue pattern shows, folded side sticking out (see the way the pocket square is folded in the sport coat of our 2nd outfit above).
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ag-graduate-sud-tailored-straight-leg-pants/3645155 AG Jeans - Graduate SUD Tailored Straight Leg Pants
AG Jeans - Graduate SUD Tailored Straight Leg Pants
These dark grey AG Jeans are soft as can be, but also rich and saturated looking. They’ll provide the comfort you’ll be looking for as the night goes on, and the polished look is the added bonus. The leg is straight and narrower, with a fit that looks great on most gents.
http://www.zappos.com/frye-bennett-oxford-black Frye - Bennett Oxford Shoes
Frye - Bennett Oxford Shoes
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Frye - Bennett Oxford Shoes
Bennett Oxford Shoes
Frye
Sold by: Zappos

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To complete the outfit, these black oxfords from Frye have simple style in black hammered leather. They’re just a nice, updated shoe that works with this outfit, as well as many others in your closet. These shoes work with jeans and khaki’s, too.
http://www.hugoboss.com/us/boss-the-james-modern-fit-virgin-wool-sport-coat-1/hbna50224769.html BOSS Hugo Boss - The James Virgin Wool Sport Coat
BOSS Hugo Boss - The James Virgin Wool Sport Coat
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BOSS Hugo Boss - The James Virgin Wool Sport Coat
The James Virgin Wool Sport Coat
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Hugo Boss

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5. Casual Restaurant/Venue: You can never go wrong with a navy blazer – whether it’s for a day at the office, or for an office holiday party. You can dress it up with a few key holiday accessories and still maintain a professional look, so it will take you to a casual restaurant or bar with ease. The fit of this Hugo Boss navy blazer is classic, but the look is modern.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/gitman-regular-fit-fit-mini-check-cotton-english-spread-collar-dress-shirt/3744676 Gitman Bros. - Mini Check Cotton English Spread Collar Dress Shirt
Gitman Bros.  - Mini Check Cotton English Spread Collar Dress Shirt
Clean and dapper, this blue and white mini grid check from Gitman Bros. is so classic with the navy blazer that it looks fresh and new.
http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=43992626 Polo Ralph Lauren - Paisley Wool Challis Bow Tie
Polo Ralph Lauren - Paisley Wool Challis Bow Tie
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Polo Ralph Lauren - Paisley Wool Challis Bow Tie
Paisley Wool Challis Bow Tie
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sold by: Ralph Lauren

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And here is your holiday pop. This amazing challis wool bow tie from Polo Ralph Lauren is the star of the outfit, with just the right amount of star power. The green, red and blue colors in the paisley are perfect for the holidays. Bow ties may not be part of your weekday wardrobe but they are a great holiday statement, especially when they look like this.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/tiesandpocketsquares/pocketsquares/PRDOVR~B6226/B6226.jsp J. Crew - Italian Wool Pocket Square
J. Crew - Italian Wool Pocket Square
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J. Crew - Italian Wool Pocket Square
Italian Wool Pocket Square
J. Crew
Sold by: J. Crew

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We’ve been adding pocket squares to our looks, since they can instantly make any look feel a little more special. So, don’t forget this Italian wool navy mini houndstooth one from J. Crew when you’re stepping out for the party.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-hugo-boss-jeffrey-us-flat-front-wool-trousers/2885305 BOSS Hugo Boss - Jeffrey Flat Front Wool Trousers
BOSS Hugo Boss - Jeffrey Flat Front Wool Trousers
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Jeffrey Flat Front Wool Trousers
Jeffrey Flat Front Wool Trousers
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Nordstrom

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These dark grey wool pants from Hugo Boss add elegance without looking fussy. They are lined to the knee for added comfort, and the fit is classic – all adding up to a timelessly modern choice.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306421085&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446741818 BOSS Hugo Boss - Solid Wool-Blend Socks
BOSS Hugo Boss - Solid Wool-Blend Socks
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Solid Wool-Blend Socks
Solid Wool-Blend Socks
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Socks are an opportunity to have fun with your party wardrobe. Not only can you add a dash of holiday cheer and smiles, these red wool/silk/cashmere blend socks from Hugo Boss socks are incredibly comfortable.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/john-varvatos-star-usa-moda-charcoal-glen-plaid-wool-blazer/3717717 John Varvatos Star USA - Moda Charcoal Glen Plaid Wool Blazer
John Varvatos Star USA - Moda Charcoal Glen Plaid Wool Blazer
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John Varvatos Star USA - Moda Charcoal Glen Plaid Wool Blazer
Moda Charcoal Glen Plaid Wool Blazer
John Varvatos Star USA
Sold by: Nordstrom

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6. Casual Restaurant/Venue: Heading off to a casual dinner and drinks for the office holiday party is a time to take things up a notch, even if you work in an atmosphere that is generally casual. This wool muted glen plaid sport coat from John Varvatos Star USA offers a modern background for some dapper holiday accessories. The fit is trim and contemporary, perfect for a stylish night out.
http://www.hugoboss.com/us/%27eaglex%27-slim-fit%2C-spread-collar-cotton-striped-dress-shirt-/hbna50272505.html HUGO Hugo Boss - EagleX Striped Dress Shirt
HUGO Hugo Boss - EagleX Striped Dress Shirt
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HUGO Hugo Boss - EagleX Striped Dress Shirt
EagleX Striped Dress Shirt
HUGO Hugo Boss
Sold by: Hugo Boss

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Adding a trim fit, narrow striped shirt from Hugo Boss compliments the muted plaid of the jacket, and offers an easy background for a fun, holiday tie.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/tiesandpocketsquares/ties/PRDOVR~B6199/B6199.jsp J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
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J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
Scottish Wool Tie
J. Crew
Sold by: J. Crew

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And here is that fun holiday tie. The red plaid wool is a party statement that we really, really like. It’s such a smart way to do a holiday classic that’s not at all kitschy. And the juxtaposition of this bolder plaid, with the muted plaid of the sport coat, work really well together. If a tartan plaid is just too much for you, take a look at this red and blue stripe silk knit.
http://www.theory.com/Marlo-New-Tailor-Suit-Pant/D0071223,default,pd.html Theory - Marlo Suit Pants
Theory - Marlo Suit Pants
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Theory - Marlo Suit Pants
Marlo Suit Pants
Theory
Sold by: Theory

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You are never going to go wrong with a contemporary fitting pair of charcoal wool pants. They dress up and down effortlessly, so if you aren’t sure how dressy people will be, these are a safe bet. But even better than that, this pair from Theory is made of luxurious wool in a great fit that will be a staple in your wardrobe well after the holiday season. And they look so polished with this this glen plaid jacket. If you want to wear jeans instead, and that is most likely perfectly acceptable for a party like this, AG Jean’s trim fitting black jeans are a great alternative.
http://www.zappos.com/allen-edmonds-mctavish-black-wax-infused-leather Allen-Edmonds - Mctavish Shoes
Allen-Edmonds - Mctavish Shoes
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Allen-Edmonds - Mctavish Shoes
Mctavish Shoes
Allen-Edmonds
Sold by: Zappos

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These black waxed leather brogues from Allen-Edmonds add a modern look that works with everything here. And they have such updated charm, you’ll wear them to complete many other outfits, year round.
 

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