This Wednesday is my first proper work Christmas Party.
I love Christmas hype. I'm usually the one who hangs up mistletoe in November, and starts buying chestnuts as soon as they hit the shops mid October... So, having heard all about the tinsel and taboos of office Christmas parties, I was hoping to be ditching my usual shirts, blacks and greys to opt for something more festive and fabulous to wear.
As I read the invitation, panic set in:
'We ask you to be inkeeping with the venue and atmosphere of the club and adhere to a Smart/Casual dress code'.Oh no.
I'm sure 'smart/casual' and 'Christmas' don't fit on the same page.
I had thought about wearing a little black sequined number - imagining quirky ribboned bows on my heels and a good androgynous blazer to set it all off.
That dress code just downgraded my outfit from a Lamborghini to the new Fiat 500.
Christmas parties and work socials feel a little bit like the No Uniform Day at school. For me, it was always a giant freak-out the night before; sat on the bed in my underwear with clothes strewn about the place, desperately wondering what kind of kid I'll be perceived as at school for the next year, based on the one sole outfit I chose that evening.
I certainly haven't changed. Weekdays, I absent-mindedly pick one of the five rotational outfits which I have set out to the right of our wardrobe. Nice conforming colours perhaps, nothing too brash, tarty or exciting. These are the clothes which don't speak too loudly about who we may become once it hits 5:30pm - when our time is our own.
But now I'm flitting my wardrobe about in my mind - matching little black skirts with rock T-shirts, flower corsages and knee-high boots.
I wasn't the only one who feared wearing 'jeans-and-a-nice-top' whilst being placed on a table next to the CEO - who's wife prances about in couture. Whilst the girls secretly tried to find out what each other was wearing - trying to keep from wearing the most outrageous ensemble - and at the same time looking to trump the others, I decided to not freak out and throw everything I own about my flat. Not be the daring one who thinks that PVC trousers were a great idea. But remember that in order to look fabulous, I've just got to feel fabulous.
So what have I decided to do?
Yes. I've opted for the old faithful, the feel-good-every-time, the festive and fabulous...