Your company Christmas party is your annual opportunity to look your holiday best in front of your coworkers, or at least show the people you see every day that you own more than two shirts. You may agonize over your attire. But I’m here to tell you to do the opposite of what you’ve been told. Don’t bother with nice slacks or tie, and instead wear something that borders on stupid.

Do it. Give into your certain seasonal desires to wear a sweater vest or a copious amount of plaid. Anyone who advises you otherwise is a boring hater. To seasonal prints and patterns and red and green motifs and pants with li’l reindeer on’em, I say, why not?! The winter holidays are basically the only time of the year outside of Halloween that you can get away with looking dumb. I mean, mainstream Christmas celebrates a fat man jumping down a chimney into people’s houses and/or a baby born to a virgin in a barnyard, so I think you have some room to be creative here.

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That said, wear what makes you happy, whether that be a cheery red sweater or a plaid vest. If you’re tempted to don a santa hat, well then my merry man, go ahead. I’m also all for themed ties (only on Christmas), just maybe not this Nativity scene tie, although let’s just continue with a great many “why nots?!” because seriously why not to all of it. The more festive the better. I do reserve some judgments on Ugly Holiday Sweaters unless you’re attending a party themed around them, but who am I to stand in your way? You could also just wear black. Black works on any and all occasions and always looks good. But what fun is that? I’d even cosign a seasonal bowtie.

The only real guideline is wear something nicer than a hoodie. It’s a frickin’ holiday party. Don’t be a schlub. Enjoy it, in whatever way best expresses your cheer. People are in good spirits or drunk enough to pretend like they are. That’s what holiday parties are for. Drinking on the company dime and hooking up with coworkers you aren’t going to be able to look in the eye again until the next Christmas party. It’s funnier and even more uncomfortable if at least one of you is wearing suspenders. Tis the season!

Illustration by Tara Jacoby

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