It’s that time of year when it seems like there is a holiday event to attend almost every week. From the formal party to the required office gathering, here are our recommendations to navigate all the aspects of attending these functions.
What to wear: Stick to the classic black tux, with a tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, trousers with a satin stripe, and patent leather shoes.
What to do: Be sure to RSVP. Don’t limit yourself to conversation with your few close friends or acquaintances in attendance. It is polite and beneficial to mingle with other guests. Be sure to not overindulge with alcoholic beverages, and when it comes time for toasting, make eye contact as you lightly clink glasses. For an extra gentlemanly touch, send a hand-written thank you card to the host the day after the event.
What to wear: You cannot go wrong with a well-tailored suit. It’s always safe to go with classic colors such as grey, navy, or black.
What to do: The most important rule is actually what not to do: do not get drunk. You do not want to be “that guy” at the office party. Stick to wine, not hard liquor or beer, and don’t have more than two glasses. Mingle with coworkers and try to discuss things other than business.
Informal Gathering of Friends
What to wear: While this event calls for “casual” you are still attending a holiday event, so bring it up a notch from jeans and a sweatshirt. Denim may be perfectly appropriate, but dress it up a bit with a nice sweater (unless it is specifically an ugly-sweater party) or sharp blazer.
What to do: Since this is supposed to be a joyful gathering, try and stick to lighthearted topics of conversation. Attempt to avoid religion, politics, and topics of that nature. Additionally, be sure not to dominate any conversation. A true gentleman knows listening can more important than talking. Lastly, don’t be the first to leave and don’t overstay your welcome. There will usually be a natural point in the evening when most guests tend to leave. Leave at this point.
Also, think about bringing a gift. It doesn’t have to be large, but it should be somewhat thoughtful. A nice bottle of wine is always a safe choice. However, when feasible, try to personalize an otherwise standard gift choice based on something unique you might know about him/her or referencing an enjoyable shared experience in the past.
So go forth to eat, drink, and be merry!