Trying to figure out what to wear to office Christmas parties is always a perplexing task: you don’t want to show up looking like a stiff – on the other hand you don’t want to look like you just finished working on your car.

The office Christmas party is a stellar place to step up your game – both in your sense of style and in the eyes of your boss. Bonus alert: you’ll also show the hot new girl in sales just how good you can clean up.

Choosing the proper clothing for your office Christmas party all depends on your work environment; let’s break it down for you.

Your office is strictly business attire.

If you currently wear suits to work, odds are you’ll want to try to stick to your office dress code. Some places tend to  ’tone’ down the dress code for their Christmas office parties — but remember, this is still a work function so you’ll want to be dressed to fit and not look too out of place.

Try a modern fitting suit, not something you would normally wear to the office; slim fitting lines and a splash of color will do the trick. Try the ‘Producer Suit‘ from Express Men, add their ’1MX Fitted Shirt’ in a vibrant color for the Christmas spirit — let me suggest the Radiant RoseGrape Punch or Jungle for colors. Should you wear a tie? It’s not necessary, you’re already ‘dressed to a tee’ leave the tie at home this time.

Just don’t add too much color or you may end up looking like a peacock. No one wants to party with a peacock. Not even peacocks.

Your office has a mixed dress code.

If you work in an office where you’re blessed with a mix dress code — just make a small change to the way you go to work on a daily basis; just leave the ripped up jeans, sneakers and t-shirts in your closet. If you wear a suit to work on a daily basis, try the suggestion from above — try not to wear something you wear to work on a weekly basis. If you’re in the group that can wear jeans and a button up shirt — über-casual dress code.

We will still suggest a bit of business casual in this situation — a pair of dress slacks with a button-down shirt and a tie. Try out this ensemble from Banana Republic: The Mad Men Collection tailored slim suit pant paired with their slim fit stretch poplin dress shirt and solid-color tie. Leave the dress shoes in the closest and add a pair of chukka boots.

Still too dressy?

If you can’t break out of your rut of wearing jeans, this solution will work for most office Christmas parties. You can still have your jeans, but we’re going to add a bit of flavor to help you fit in. Jeans are the most versatile garments in your wardrobe — you just need to know a few things. No rips, no stone/acid wash and they should fit properly.

Try these dark rinse Buffalo David Bitton Jeans from Macy’s paired with this Marc Anthony Slim-Fit Dobby Casual Button-Front Shirt and this Marc Anthony Slim-Fit Velvet Sport Coat. A nice pair of casual dress shoes or casual boots will finish this look of nicely.

Now that we have laid this all out for you, you should have no problem making a great impression at your office Christmas. Just remember to keep the tie around your neck and not on your head.