1. Stick to the dress code
Now is not the time to be too casual. We are always fans of dressing up over dressing down. If the invitation does not specify exactly what the dress code is, vet out the venue ahead of time and make sure you look the part of someone who is interested in succeeding both at work and during after-hours. You cannot go wrong with a well-tailored suit and tie with dress shoes. Unless your party is at a dive bar, skip the casual wear.
2. Don’t wear what you wore to work
Take some extra time to go home and change. Many work parties are on Thursday or Friday nights, which likely means that you will have been in the office all day. Rather than be rumpled and wrinkled, switch into something freshly pressed. This will also ensure you aren’t the first to show up at the party – major faux pas.
3. Imbibe cautiously
Although it might seem like everyone else is doing it, there are always higher-ups observing. This is not the opportune time to completely let loose and guzzle down the open bar. If you choose to drink, drink wisely, hydrate with water in between beverages, and keep your wits about you.
4. Prepare for cold weather and after parties
Make sure you bring appropriate outerwear incase the party transitions elsewhere as the night unfolds. Gloves and a warm enough – yet still formal—jacket are your best bet. This step funnels into Step 2 – going home to change rather than changing at work insures you don’t have to lug a bag of clothes around with you all night.
5. Dress for success the day after
Odds are Rule 3 may not have been followed as planned. Get out of bed, hydrate, put on your best work clothes. A nice cashmere sweater and fitted slacks should do the trick. Looking sharp could potentially minimize any of the damage that may have occurred the night before!