Office Party Attire

The Holiday Office Party Conundrum: Women Worry More About The Office Party

Than Any Other Holiday Event

QVC Survey Finds 56 Percent of Women Are Stressed About What to Wear

Whether it’s selecting the right outfit or styling their hair or makeup, one out of two women say that prepping and primping for the holiday office party is more stressful than any other holiday event – including New Year’s Eve.

QVC surveyed over 1,500 American women about their confidence and concerns around annual holiday parties in the workplace.

The study was released today by QVC, Inc., the global leader in video and ecommerce retail.

Own Your Brand

“The holiday office party can be super stressful. It’s a celebration, but remember it’s also an extension of the workplace,” says Shawn Killinger, QVC Host. “You can and should own your individuality and your unique personal brand – just keep it professional!”

Women surveyed say that dressing for a cocktail party or a sit-down dinner with their colleagues is harder than figuring out what to wear for a party at the office or an after-work-hours gathering at a nearby bar. But in all cases, looking great and appearing professional are critical.

Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi has dressed the American working woman for nearly 30 years, so he intimately understands that looking good at the office means feeling good.

“The best thing you can wear to the office party is confidence,” says Mizrahi. “Wear something you love, that you feel fabulous in. Put on a color that makes you happy and then add a little sparkle – the sweater, the shoes or a statement necklace. That is a recipe for office party perfection.”

  • 66 percent of respondents agree that looking their best will help them make a good impression with their boss and other key executives they do not interact with on a daily basis.
  • Once at the party, 73 percent think that small talk is easier when they feel good about how they look.
  • 77 percent think it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. At the same time, almost 40 percent are concerned about wearing something that’s going to be physically uncomfortable.

Taking a Chance on a New Look

Despite the anxiety that the office holiday party can trigger, most women are still willing to take a style risk and try out a completely new look. Eight out of 10 women say they will rock a new look and try a new hairstyle just for the party.

“When attending a work holiday party, a surefire way to boost your mood and your confidence is to wear something you absolutely love and make sure your hair is on point with a fabulous blowout,” says Elise Ivy, host of Beauty iQ. “Nothing calms the nerves more effectively than knowing that you look your absolute best.”

According to the QVC survey, the two top hairstyle choices this holiday season are a sleek blowout (32 percent) and retro waves (33 percent).

“I love relaxed, glamorous waves for the holiday season,” says Sarah Potempa, celebrity hairstylist and inventor of The Beachwaver Co. “This classic hairstyle is so timeless and anyone can achieve the perfect modern wave at home with the right hair tool. The best feeling is walking into the party feeling like a million bucks, all without being too overdone.”

Sixty-four percent of women say their look for the office holiday party needs to easily go from day to night; and 53 percent say changing their makeup is their go-to way to do so.

“It’s always important to put your best face forward and the holiday office party is the perfect opportunity to try a new beauty look,” says Laura Geller, founder of Laura Geller New York. Women like to try a smoky eye this time of year; in fact, 24 percent of women say they will. “Opt for a darker shade in your everyday eyeshadow palette for an easy day-to-night upgrade,” explains Geller.


Social media exposure has also made an impact on women’s appearance. More than 75 percent of women agree that how they will look in pictures is a big consideration.

Survey Methodology

The QVC online survey polled over 1,500 American women ages 24-50, from November 21-November 28.  It was conducted using Toluna’s online panel and QuickSurveys. Figures for age, sex and region income were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the census population.

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