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What I Wore: Company Holiday Party

By Amalah

So after the flurry of cocktail-dress discussions, I’ve gotten a couple emails asking to see pictures of MY little black dress. Which has not been outside of the back of my closet since January 2006. That was the last time Jason’s company threw a big employee holiday party.
This year, however, Jason started a new job. Last Monday. And first thing Monday morning, he was presented with an invite to the company party. So Monday night, I pulled my dress out of plastic and tried it on.
Party Rule #1: Always, always, always try that dress on one last time.
Yeah. Turns out I’ve lost a liiiiiiitle bit of weight since I bought this dress (which was only about three months after Noah was born). And while usually unexpected weight loss is awesome — like pulling on your winter coat for the first time and finding $20 in the pocket — this was not super awesome. That unexpected $20 in the pocket was going to be EXPENSIVE.
There wasn’t enough time to get the dress altered, so it was off to the store. I ended up getting a black empire-waist strapless dress by BCBG Max Azria.
Party Rule #2: When shopping for a dress, always bring heels or go somewhere that will supply a pair in the dressing room.
Since the dress was a splurge, I hightailed it over to Filene’s Basement for shoes. And lo, the perfect pair of sparkly Calvin Kleins were on the clearance rack. One pair left, my size, 40% off $79. THAT is how you buy freaking shoes, people.
I borrowed a necklace from my mother-in-law and carried a black Coach evening bag I’ve had for ages (and one of the best bag investments I’ve ever made).
And since I’m a firm believer that getting ready for the party is quite often just as fun as the party itself, I treated myself to a mani/pedi AND a real, honest-to-God updo at the salon.
Party Rule #3: Always get your nails done in a color you have at home in case of last-time chips or smudges. (I ruined my pedicure getting out of the car, because I rule.)
I carried a winter white pashmina just in case 1) the room was freezing, or 2) I ended up being ridiculously overdressed.
Party Rule #4: It is always always always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Be the most fabulous girl in the room instead of the girl who didn’t get the dress code memo.
Turns out, the room was a sauna and I was most definitely NOT overdressed. There were some very underdressed guests and someone in a floor-length gown and one pregnant woman wearing an absolutely fabulous maternity dress that she got at Target (I asked, because I must have it) and a lot of girls stressing over collapsing French twists and frizzed-out curls, which made me extremely grateful for the Not Moving At All Updo of Steel that Phillip gave me.
(Although the next morning, not so much, when I realized that the company-discounted hotel room we’d gotten for the evening only offered a cheap drugstore-type shampoo and NO CONDITIONER. I think I left half of my hair in the tub.)
The food was yummy, the bar was open, I won some hands at Texas Hold’em and this really adorable old man asked me to dance and Jason didn’t stop looking at me all night and paying me compliments. Verdict: worth the hangover!
So now that the holiday party season is pretty much over, tell me. What did YOU wear?

Published January 14, 2008. Last updated January 14, 2008.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Amy also

    January 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Adorable! (And you are so right – that is EXACTLY how to buy shoes).
    I wore a black mock turtleneck short sleeved top with a glittery copper over-all leaf and vine design, from Sears for crying out loud, with black full-leg trousers and black patent peep toe kitten heels. It was great, except I don’t think I’ll do a (choke) turtleneck again like that – it was a bit too warm for the laidback holiday parties I went to.

  • Molly

    January 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    As die-hard shoe addict, LOVE.
    I wore this to my work’s 10-year anniversary party in Vegas!

  • BaltimoreGal

    January 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Exxxxcellent. Continue to show us the way!

  • Lori12309

    January 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Amy, you look delectable, but you didn’t need the necklace. You have such a lovely neck and beautiful skin. Don’t gild the lily, honey!
    And really, old geezers are the best. Hope you danced his britches off!

  • cagey

    January 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Great LBD advice. The best advice you ever gave me was about buying a nice LBD – I still have mine that I bought and it will never go out of style. I will definitely be taking your advice on a GOOD evening handbag – I have always bought cheapies before.
    Regarding the Target Liz Lange dress. You said you “must have it”. Hmmm…. What gives?

  • katishere

    January 14, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    awww you look lovely! for the bf’s holiday party i was stil feeling a tad sick so i ended up wearing black pants with a shiny silk top. the bf said i still looked great so that was nice. but some people at the event were seriously decked out. long dress? tuxedo with tails? luckily there was like a thousand people at the party so i was okay. phew! and then of course for my holiday party, it was during the work day and so i wore what i wore to work. jeans. 🙂

  • deanna

    January 14, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    This is almost the dress I wore (the one I wore is gone). Replace the pink sequins with silver sequins and you essentially have the dress. I somehow managed to get it altered in time for the event which was the next day. Good thing too the dress was for my ballroom dance studio’s Christmas party and I didn’t want to be pulling it up the whole time.
    Twirling in a sparkly dress is so much fun.

  • psumommy

    January 14, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    You look utterly amazing!
    I wore jeans and a t-shirt. Granted, I just went to an informal family party where everyone was wearing jeans and t-shirts (except for perhaps my great-aunt, who was wearing a reindeer sweater) so I had no chance to get all prettied up. Sigh!

  • missbritt

    January 15, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Oh I am so jealous – you look amazing!
    No holiday parties this year. No reason to wear a LBD in a long, long time.

  • anon y. miss

    January 15, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I’m with Cagey – you got news?

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    January 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Oh GOD, no. No news. Not pregnant. But I will still buy a $19 maternity dress ahead of time because I may POSSIBLY need it at SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE. But that point is NOT NOW.
    As for the necklace, you are sweet to compliment my skin, but sadly, up close and in real life I am covered in moles (not freckles, ugly raised moles) and I hate them. The necklace covered the three worst of them. Every once in awhile I convince a dermatologist to remove one, but I still have a bunch more to go. Yick.

  • cagey

    January 15, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I apologize for my comment. I was just hopeful.

  • SadieBug

    January 15, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I wore this adorable taffeta strapless bubble dress, which is on the Nordstrom website for $168 but I paid only $50 for at Macy’s thanks to coupons and sales. I wore it with pointy beaded stilettos and a chunky black beaded necklace. Slightly trendy LBD, but I loved the swishy sound it made.

  • Suzy Q

    January 15, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    So pretty! Yes, you. LOVE the hair!
    I wore black pants and a plum-colored satin top from Target that made my boobs look too big. But, nobody cared and it hid some of the waist issues. For $22, you really can’t ask for more.

  • themikestand

    January 16, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I wasn’t going to ask, but now I must. Where EVER did you get that little red firetruck??
    Also, you look very pretty.
    Sorry to hear about the sub-par Chardonnay at the par-tay. Oh, and I avoided our “holiday party” like the plague.

  • Tere

    January 16, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    That dress is down to $6-something at my Targets – unfortunately, I’ve only seen L and XL, which do me no good.
    Must have, for that second pregnancy I’ll have one day…