It’s that time of year (cries of relief all ’round), we’re nearly to the finish line and silly season has well and truly begun. The question is inevitably asked …What to wear to the office Christmas party?

You’ll likely have to decide what to wear to at least one Christmas party to attend, if not also your partner’s, the social club, your networking group, book club, sports team, clients’… what to wear takes on new meaning with each occasion.

As a rule, let the location, time, the crowd and the dress code combine to guide you on what to wear. This sounds like a lot to take into account but for instance, if you know it’s a city bar with your colleagues straight after work on a Friday and they haven’t specified a dress code, everyone will just be wearing what they wore to work that day – don’t try to hard otherwise you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons.

On the other hand, if the invitation is for a Saturday night cocktail party, partners are invited and they’ve specified cocktail dress, then absolutely step it up. Putting in a little extra effort will go a long way to sending the message you want to be there (lets face it, office Christmas parties aren’t always high on the Saturday night wish list), but remember of course you’re still around work colleagues so your sexiest dress probably still shouldn’t make an appearance.

The tough situations are really the barefoot bowls parties and the like – the dress code is casual, but too casual and you could undo all your hard work looking professional and put-together throughout the year. My advice? It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Opt for a maxi dress or print pants and a top rather than shorts and a tee. Ballet flats also trump thongs in this situation, or even better, some nice flat metallic sandals.

Enjoy your hard-earned end of year celebrations, and let me know if you have any tricky dress code dilemmas that need solving.

Follow these five simple rules to ensure the night is one to remember (in a good way).