Holiday party etiquette

Be a party professional’s resident relationship expert tells you how to make a great impression at his holiday party

Holiday parties can be tough and they’re even trickier when you’re the guest at your partner’s party. Chances are, you don’t know many people, and at the end of the night, your behaviour doesn’t just reflect on you, it reflects on him. Read on for the truth about making just the right impression.

• Bringing a present for his boss is a sure way to help him get ahead.

False. No one likes a brown-noser. Even worse is the spouse or partner who kisses up. Unless the boss is a personal friend of yours, stay out of the politics and, if anything, just add your name to the gift he takes to the office.

• Enjoying the open bar shows you’re a girl who knows how to have fun.

False. Nothing goes unnoticed at an office party. Even if nothing disastrous happens, your boozy breath and heavy eyelids will be noted. If you do decide to partake, make sure you drink a non-alcoholic beverage for every cocktail you have – and for goodness sake, don’t forget to eat!

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• It’s a good idea to wear something a little on the sexy side

True. A talk-about-it-the-next-day outfit is nothing to shy away from. But there’s a fine line between sexy and sleazy. A body-skimming cocktail dress, or a mini-dress with opaque tights is perfect. A skintight number with a plunging neckline and stilettos might have his colleagues mistaking you for a paid companion.

• You should let him do all the talking

False. As a guest, you have a responsibility to participate! Especially at an office party, outside guests provide a breath of fresh air. Instead of clinging mutely to your partner, mingle a little. Take your time getting to know people in his office and you’ll start to see his daily routine in a completely different light.

• Leaving early is acceptable

False. If you accept the invitation, for goodness sake, stick it out – no matter how boring it might be. Office parties don’t happen often enough to make an early exit forgivable, so smile, have another canapé and show your guy some support.

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