Sleigh the Christmas party Sleigh the Christmas party

Christmas Party Wear 2023

Choosing the ‘right’ outfit for the Christmas party can sometimes feel like an impossible task. In fact, our latest research revealed that the nation voted it the hardest work event to dress for in the office calendar.

But there’s no need to fear, as the experts at PrettyLittleThing tell all on how you can sleigh your festive fit this year and beyond.

Whether you’re part of the 62.5% of Brits who are happy and excited about their Christmas party or the 30.8% who feel stressed, anxious or nervous - we’ve got you covered.

That’s right, PrettyLittleThing polled the UK and spoke with in-house stylist Ella Wright to find out exactly what Brits are apprehensive about when it comes to our Christmas party outfits and most importantly, how to wear your look with confidence.

Brits are worried about how they'll feel in their outfit on the day of thier christmas party Brits are worried about how they'll feel in their outfit on the day of thier christmas party

According to our data, almost two-thirds (63.9%) have a dress code tied to their Christmas party so it’s not a shock that there’s a long list of concerns when it comes to how to dress, with 71.8% sharing that they’re worried about some part of the event.

The research reveals partygoers' biggest worry is how they are going to feel in their outfit on the day. Socialising with colleagues outside of work is a worry for some, but we’re guessing this doesn’t include their work bestie.

That’s not all, nearly five in 10 are worried about what their colleagues' opinions of their party look will be (their boss included), whether their fit is work appropriate, and if they’ll turn up in the same thing as one of their colleagues.

Almost half (45.3%) of the Gen Zers that we polled said they either felt stressed, awkward, anxious, or scared about their party and we can only assume this pressure will be even worse for the 27.6% of Gen Z who are attending for the first time. It’s not all bad news though, as 32.6% feel happy about attending compared to only 24.3% of Millennials who feel the same way.

Brits' biggest concerns about attending the work Christmas party

I worry about how I'll feel in my outfit on the day


I worry about socialising with colleagues outside of working hours


I worry about what my colleagues will think of my outfit


I worry about my outfit being work-appropriate (e.g. too revealing)


I worry about wearing the same thing as a colleague


I worry about the behaviour of my colleagues


I worry about being overdressed


I worry about being underdressed


I worry about having a wardrobe malfunction


I worry about what my boss will think of my outfit


With more than half (56.5%) holding onto regrets from previous festive parties, it’s easy to see why there are worries about what to wear this year. The biggest regrets were not being more prepared, being overdressed, and their overall outfit choice.

It was also uncovered that almost four in 10 (38.2%) leave our fits to the last minute, so to avoid future what-ifs around not being prepared or finding out what colleagues are wearing, why not spend some time planning your look.

Brits' biggest regrets about attending the work Christmas party

I regret not being more prepared


I regret attending overdressed


I regret my overall outfit decision (e.g. the material, the length)


I regret being over prepared


I regret worrying about my outfit so much


I wouldn't wear that style of outfit again


I regret attending underdressed


I wish I asked my colleagues what they were wearing


I regret not dressing for the weather (e.g. not taking a coat)


I regret not researching the venue beforehand


It's official: The christmas party is the hardest work event to dress for It's official: The christmas party is the hardest work event to dress for

Nearly a quarter of Brits (23.5%) find the work Christmas party either difficult or really difficult to find an outfit for - in fact, it was voted the hardest work event when it comes to deciding what to wear (17.0%), closely followed by the summer party (16.6%) and client meetings (16.7%).

Looking at how different industries cope with festive party dressing, the data shows that those working in law enforcement and security have the hardest time, with almost half (45.5%) of those surveyed saying they find it difficult or very difficult.

Those working in social care are most likely to keep it low-key, with 46.7% reporting the dress code as casual. But HR and recruitment attendees were most likely (45.5%) to have a dress code that required them to go all out. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that they’re also the industry that finds the Christmas party the hardest work event to dress for.

Pretty little thing's work approved festive fits Pretty little thing's work approved festive fits

Twice as many (60.0%) of us have a festive dress code that requires us to dress up compared to those who will be keeping it casual (21.2%).

So, whether you leave choosing your party fit until the last minute like 38.2% of the nation, or you’re in the 19.4% who prep at least four weeks in advance, avoid outfit regret by drawing on inspiration from what other people might be choosing and PrettyLittleThing stylist, Ella Wright’s, top tips.

Looking at the colours people are opting for this party season we can see a clear winner, with the majority planning on a sophisticated all black outfit. Red is set to be the second most popular choice with a little over one in five planning to style the Christmassy colour.

While blue might not seem like the most festive choice, 21.0% are planning to incorporate it into their party fit. Rounding out the top five are two traditional Christmas choices, white and green.

Top five colours people will be opting for











Perhaps unsurprisingly, you can expect to see classic Christmas styles like velvet, sequins, and lace everywhere this year.

But our data revealed that two less obvious choices made it to the top five this season, with denim beating out the classics to take the top spot. Whilst jeans aren’t necessarily off the agenda for a more low-key event, we’re expecting denim corsets, skirts, and co-ords to have their moment at the work Christmas party this year.

That’s not all, we’re also anticipating that tailoring isn’t going anywhere yet either.

Top five styles people will be opting for











Pretty little thing's stylist Ella Wright's wardrobe spotlight Pretty little thing's stylist Ella Wright's wardrobe spotlight

If concerns are starting to creep in the closer you get to planning, PrettyLittleThing stylist Ella Wright has shared her top tips to help you choose a killer look, no matter what your concerns are:

For those worried about being underdressed

Jewellery can instantly glam up any outfit - bold earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets can really add that wow factor. Corsage neck flowers have been a massive trend this year too and we’re obsessed with statement earrings this party season.

A high heel or platform is another way to elevate your look. Think sequins, metallics, and glitter for dressing any outfit up for the party season! Try and work in some festive colours like reds, silvers, golds, or greens if you’re feeling bold.

Last, but most certainly not least, experiment with your accessories. This can be done through a pop of colour, metallic, or sequins. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a diamante bag as the glitz takes your outfit to the next level (and you can even wear it again on NYE!)

Statement earrings High stilettos Slouchy shoulder bag

For those worried about wearing the same thing as their colleague

We’ve all been there - the same outfit fear is real. A great way to overcome this worry is by styling your look with a jacket - buying ‘off the rack’ always runs the risk of someone turning up in the same outfit as you. Although the chances are rare, if one of your colleagues does end up twinning in the same dress, you can use your jacket to differentiate. Opt for something that’ll add some drama, such as this faux fur oversized maxi coat, which will become the focus of your outfit and keep you warm!

Make it your own so no one else is the same. Don’t be afraid to go all out and mix trends - velvet with lace, denim with lace, velvet with sequins. Alternatively, you can go wild with things like accessories that might not be in your everyday wardrobe - opt for gloves or chunky jewellery to look different and put your own flare on the outfit.

Statement shoes are also a great way to add some individuality to your look, these sequin over the knee boots are a PrettyLittleThing favourite.

Shopping on PLT Marketplace is another option. Buying pre-loved reduces the risk of someone having the same outfit on as you. Start shopping early so you’ve got plenty of time to browse and choose something that you’ll love and then when you’re finished you can even resell it to put towards your next party look.

Faux fur maxi coat Silver sequin over the knee heeled boots PLT Marketplace

For those worried about a wardrobe malfunction

If you’re worried about feeling too exposed in a mini dress or skirt, opt for trousers, a midi or maxi dress. Balance your outfit out by having your arms on show if you’re choosing something that’s longer in the leg so you’re still party-ready.

Adding an outer layer can also provide extra comfort whilst still being dressy and on-trend. Oversized blazers have been everywhere this year and they’re not going anywhere this season, so why not layer one over your look for comfort while still looking your best.

If you still can’t find something that you feel comfortable in in front of your colleagues, stick to the keep it covered method - think a long sleeve dress and nothing too low cut to prevent a potential nip slip after a few drinks! Covering up doesn’t have to feel boring though - opt for something in a bright colour so you still feel festive.

Black lace trouser with satin overskirt Black tailored oversized dad blazer Silver sequin shoulder pad micro mini dress

Armed with these tips and tricks you can now hit the dancefloor and enjoy some well-deserved fun feeling confident in your festive fit!

For more inspiration visit our work-approved Christmas party edit, where we’re confident there’ll be an option to help with all festive party fears.

Methodology and sources

PrettyLittleThing surveyed 1,528 UK participants in September - October 2023 whose workplace hosts an annual Christmas party. Questions were multiple choice, with the option to provide qualitative data where needed.

Respondents were split by generation, gender, city, and industry.