Office Holiday Party Memo of the Day

by Joey deVilla on December 13, 2007

Ah, the peril-fraught office holiday party…

Scene from an office Chistmas party: the drunken grope

I’ve always worked in small- to medium-sized companies that had casual dress codes — if they had any at all. Hence when the office Holiday/Christmas/Festivus/whatever party rolled around, the most I’ve ever received in the way of a dress guideline was “it’s at the Palais Royale, so it’s semi-formal”. It’s a simple, reasonable request (TSOT’s party, which takes place tomorrow, is semi-formal).

Other people are not so fortunate. A reader whom I’ll call “Noel” sent me a copy of the memo s/he received from her/his company’s social committee regarding appropriate dress for their upcoming holiday party. It appears below — the only change I’ve made was formatting it so that it’s easier to read:


This year’s event is not as formal as last years. The dress code is semi-formal/cocktail attire. Please find below some suitable clothing examples for the occasion:

Suitable Articles of Clothing:

  • For Women:
    • Dresses (short to mid-length elegant dresses, i.e. hem one inch above/below the knee to two inches above the ankle)
    • Pants Suits (ankle length hems)
    • Dress Suits (dressy evening separates, not business suits. hem knee length to floor length) (Suggestion: choose looks with a bit of sparkle or holiday bent (for example a beaded sweater with black pants, a red silk blouse with a black skirt). dressy evening separates)
  • For Men:
    • Suits
    • Tie (Optional) (General Rule of thumb: if a button-down shirt is worn with the suit, then a tie would be in good taste).
    • Dress shirt (with or without tie) with dress pants

Appropriate Fabrics and Materials:

  • Women: Silk, Chiffon, Satin, Sateen, Gossamer, Brocade, Rayon, Cashmere, Polyester, Velour, Velvet, Velveteen, etc.
    *Also, embellishments such as sequins and beads are appropriate for women.
  • Men: Wool, Polyester, Gabardine, Cotton, etc.

Many thanks,
Your Social Committee


When I asked “Noel” if I could post this memo on this blog, s/he replied: “Certain ‘cultures’ thrive in darkness. I think shedding a little light on this particular one would be a good thing!” In case you were wondering, the company from which this memo came is located somewhere in the greater Accordion City area.

Got any examples of corporate overly micro-managey behaviour that you’d like to share anonymously on an insanely popular blog? Send ‘em to me!

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