Office Apropos: 14 Outfits We Wore to Our Holiday Party

We’re in it! The peppermint frosting thick of office holiday party season! Which is why the members of Team Man Repeller found ourselves seated at a cozy West Village restaurant called Niche Niche (highly recommend if you’re at all partial to good food and intimate dinners) earlier this week, embarking on the annual tradition that is imbibing champagne alongside your coworkers.

The champagne was delicious, but everyone’s outfits were even more so, which is why we decided to document them thoroughly in a special edition of Office Apropos. Scroll down to see what we wore and hopefully glean some holiday party outfit ideas for yourself, office or otherwise.


Chanel pants, jacket, shirt, shoes and jewelryChanel pants, jacket, shirt, shoes and jewelry

It was 62 degrees and raining–the kind of rain that makes you wonder how there is even so much wet in the sky–but nothing would stand in the way of a pair of neoprene leggings speckled with tiny discs making up the words CHA and NEL, logo notwithstanding, as paired with a navy blue wool jacket complete with white linen collar and some patent leather boots, of the same color family. I put this look together like a DIY sandwich at the breakfast bar last week when I went to Chanel for a fitting to borrow clothes for an event they were hosting on the same night as our holiday party, but later. So while technically speaking, this is my lewk, it is very much not my look, and when the clock struck 12 (the next day), every last bit of it went back in a garment bag and alas, I was a pumpkin again. I don’t know why I feel like I have to tell you this, but lo and behold. It me.


I’m wearing this dress tucked into jeans because I love it so so much and couldn’t wait to wear it! I got it on super sale on Farfetch mainly because it reminds me of a Balenciaga runway dress that I yearned for back in the day! In my humble opinion, this is THE holiday ‘fit. If you invite me to a holiday situation,I suggest you make room for my balloon shoulders, starting now, because I’m definitely planning to wear it on repeat.


I was running late for a market appointment in the morning and a bit thrown off by the fact that it was supposed to be 60 degrees in mid-December, not to mention the challenge of putting together an outfit that was casual and functional enough for a regular day at the office and simultaneously festive enough that I could wear it to our holiday party at the end of the day without having to change or tweak anything. So! I tried on an uncharacteristic number of options before settling on this one. I was pleased with the results in that I felt like myself, albeit a slightly fancier version, but I’ll admit to being slightly jealous when I observed some of my colleagues upping their fancy factor x10. Therein lies the lesson for future Man Repeller office holiday shindigs: there’s no such thing as “overdressed.”


Last year I remember trying on 10 different outfits until I decided on one I ultimately didn’t feel like myself in. I guess I don’t feel like myself in festive-wear in general. Something about dressing up doesn’t feel like me anymore, perhaps because when I think of an outfit, I think of what I’ll be doing in it, and a party isn’t my normal MO. If I can’t do a squat in my outfit I get kind of anxious! Luckily, this year’s decision-making process was more efficient, because I settled on my outfit in bed before getting up for the day. The dress is a new style from Viva Aviva, and I love it. I wore it with a fringe-y western cashmere sweater from Wolf & Badger, and tied it all together with red lipstick. I used to wear lipstick every day when I first started working at Man Repeller. I never, ever wear it anymore though, because it dries up and is just another thing to worry about. I paired this all with my everyday jewelry, knee highs and a pair of flats as I knew I’d be walking to the train station post-partay.


I pre-ordered these trousers in the summer and just got them when I went back home over Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to live in them over the holidays. They’re like a heavy, slinky knit, so I was both incredibly comfortable and perfectly poised to have not just seconds but thirds of the incredible roast chicken and mashed potatoes on the table. They also came with a matching boob tube (tube top?), but my shoulders were feeling chilly, so went with this black top instead.


Picture a poodle who really needs to go outside to pee but desperately does not want to get wet, dramatically paused in the threshold of a doorway—that was my energy before leaving the house on this very rainy Tuesday morning. So I did what needed to be done: I quickly put together an outfit that would make me feel cozy and OK-ish during the day and could also be quickly turned into an outfit deemed “30% more festive” for our holiday party. If you’d seen me earlier, the silver skirt (actually a dress) would have been replaced by navy Dickies, and my tights and Mary Janes took the place of warm socks and sneakers. My only real complaint, given my emotional constraints in the morning, is that I’d prefer to have looked at night how I felt inside (100% festive).


Since my typical style is so casual, I sometimes have trouble “dressing up” without feeling like I’m wearing someone’s clothes, but these AYR trousers have rescued me from this predicament several times since I got them. I knew I was going to build an outfit around them in the morning—my thought was to go mostly black, since that feels inherently dressy to me, and when I realized this could be an opportunity to finally wear a new dickey from & Other Stories, the rest kind of followed. When I walked into the living room Avi said I looked like “if Diane Keaton were playing Han Solo.” I actually got three more Diane Keaton comparisons over the course of the day, which I consider the highest form of compliment!!!


I woke up the morning of our holiday party and was like…. “I have the best holiday dress in the world that I scored from Shop Odessa Rae but it’s 50 shades of too much and I’m nervous.” I wrapped it in a garment bag with two alternate light-weight options and when I got to work I was certain I wasn’t going to wear it. BUT thank G I had that White Claw at 5 p.m. because the porty girl in me said “TODAY,” and I Wonder-Woman-ed into my Geena Davis couture. The shoes I scored from The RealReal a while back after realizing I had a shocking lack of party shoes in my wardrobe. And the face? Straight from my paternal Grandpa but I make it work.


Vintage Betsey Johnson dress -- similar here, vintage blazer -- similar here, vintage Charles David boots Vintage Betsey Johnson dress -- similar here, vintage blazer -- similar here, vintage Charles David boots

This summer I was on a vintage hunt for the perfect LBD that was form fitting, fun, with a special detail. I picked up three on my first go and two of them were Betsey Johnson, which I loved—this being one of the two! As soon as I put it on, I knew it was meant to be–the ruffled lace trim detailing was that “something extra” I was looking for. I paired it with a blazer (because: winter) and my go-to everyday vintage boots.


December is slowly becoming my favorite month of the year in New York, and I think holiday party outfits (or “hol-par ‘fits” as per my group chat) have a lot to do with it. This outfit felt like an appropriately festive iteration of my usual “pants and a top” uniform. These Isabel Marant pants were the only thing I bought during the Black Friday sales, and I plan on wearing them as many times as possible before the month ends.


I bought this dress on sale several months ago and was saving it for a special occasion. I always love an all-over satin look and the polka dots make it less serious, perfect for pairing with sneakers.


Vintage 1920s dress -- another here, vintage Talbot's pants, vintage sandals -- similar here, Staud bag Vintage 1920s dress -- another here, vintage Talbot's pants, vintage sandals -- similar here, Staud bag

I’ve had this dress 5ever and never had a reason to bring it down from its designated spot on the wall (yes, clothes double as art in my apartment). UNTIL NOW. My aunt gave me this dress–she just so happens to own the coolest vintage clothing shop south of the Mason Dixon–and the pants are a hand-me-down from my mother. A true family affair!  The shoes wrap all the way up my leg, and I didn’t want them to be outshone by the dress, so with a little zhuzhing and bow-tying magic, they got to come out and play. Yes, I was probably overdressed. No, I do not regret it. Holiday parties are your time to shine, kid.


Vintage top -- similar here, Black by Maria Silver pants -- similar from Rolla's here, vintage boots -- similar hereVintage top -- similar here, Black by Maria Silver pants -- similar from Rolla's here, vintage boots -- similar here

For this edition of Holiday Party regalia, I took a page from Harling’s recent assertion that monochrome is an instant way to make a statement “without exerting too much undue effort.” I don’t know what I’ve been buying over the last couple of years, but there is simply no party-ready festive wear in my closet: no velvet, no sparkles, not even an LBD. It’s an assumption to limit “festive wear” to those ingredients—I know, I hear ya!—but I still found myself struggling to think up something to wear. So I did what any girl in a bind would do and went straight for head-to-toe ballerina (haters will call it “millennial”) pink. This babydoll top is my pride and joy. According to the tag, it’s a vintage maternity top from the 1950’s, but all you need to know is that it has pockets.


I’ve been obsessed with the “urban cowboy” look forever and while aimlessly scrolling on Black Friday, I came across this beauty. No, it wasn’t on sale. Yes, I still bought it without hesitation. The color is gorgeous, and appropriately called “butter.” I’d been looking for a long sleeved maxi for the holidays anyway, and this baby not only hit the mark but also had me fantasizing about styling it open like a duster coat with loose jeans for a more casual look. Catch me out on the farm churning my own butter in this dress after the holidays.

Photos by Bo Chapli.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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