Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shopping for the impossible: the office holiday party.

It's that time of year! Christmas lights blinking, carolers singing, store sales tempting, and its all leading to...the office holiday party! And lately, I've been hearing a lot of concern from my friends about what to wear (and maybe more importantly, what not to wear) to these events.

Work social events are inevitably awkward, something I've learned quickly since starting my first job. Not only are you trying to make small talk with the higher-ups for extended periods of time, but you're doing so while imbibing alcohol. Now, I don't know about you, but alcohol + me can make for awkward situations at the best of times, so the idea of that formula  working its magic in a professional environment is all kinds of terrifying.

From discussing work parties with friends, I know that finding dresses for such events is difficult for mostly everyone - so finding something that's conservative and cocktail-appropriate and also petite-friendly is almost nigh impossible. And, since I recently got my own invitation to our firm's annual holiday party, hunting down the perfect work-appropriate cocktail dress has been weighing heavily on my mind. A few other bloggers have posted about similar topics (namely, Jean from Extra Petite here and here, and Khatu here) but I thought I'd go ahead and share my own finds with you! I've ordered a few of these, and will hopefully be able to do a more comprehensive review soon.

First up are a few dresses from, unsurprisingly, ASOS. The one on the left comes in both black and red, but I prefer the black - it's less "va-va-voom" and more work-appropriate (and as you may or may not know, I'm a huge proponent of LBDs). And the shoulder detailing is so pretty! It keeps it from being any old black dress.  I am also adoring this dress on the right, which comes in red and purple - since it seems to have a longer hemline and a more conservative cut overall, I'm kind of liking the red color. It's festive, and since it is the holidays, red is totally appropriate, right? Both dresses are still available in small sizes, and best of all, they're are on sale for 25% off - at under $55. Such bargains!

Alternatively, if you prefer something a little more conservative, there's also this option from the ASOS 25% off sale (for $54.54) that I'm loving for its classic, almost 50's look, or this similarly classic Ann Taylor wrap dress on right. Both are also available in small sizes. 

Lastly, from AT's slightly more budget-friendly sister store, I'm loving these two dresses. Velvet is such an appropriate fabric for the holidays, and the soft texture is also a lovely way to dress up an LBD. The dress on the left retails for $98 (although I'm sure LOFT will have a sale soon, as it always does) and is still available in most petite sizes. The one on the right is also gorgeous - gold is also so appropriate for December, isn't it?! And the texture is lovely. It's a (slightly) cheaper $89.50 and available in most sizes, too.

Zara, H&M and Banana Republic are also selling a ton of work-appropriate (and pocket-sized!) cocktail dresses right now. Have any of these caught your eye? Are there any others that you've purchased or are considering?


  1. H&M has a TON of pretty ones. I really like the first ASOS one you linked. The shoulders add such interest to the dress. : )

  2. I went to H&M the other day and had to had to use every ounce of willpower I have to stop myself from buying 5 different dresses! There are just so many good ones out there right now!

  3. i think the first two are pretty but the black is a little short...unless maybe it's worn with black tights? and the last two are perfect! good luck ; )

  4. You're right, the first one could definitely be too short on someone even an inch or two taller than me! I think tights could be super cute with this dress, though - maybe something with a pattern?