After a whirlwind weekend spent in panicked shopping, I finally settled on what to wear to my first ever office holiday party. It doesn’t get any more corporate, or conservative, than the office I temp in, and since I’m angling for them to hire me for real I’ve been ridiculously nervous about my gender presentation.  I walk the line with them – not wearing a full suit and tie, per se, but I’ll definitely display the blazer and pants from the men’s section, and I wear the most masculine women’s pinstripe suits I could find (which pretty much pass, to my discerning eye).

The holiday party is a different animal, however, since it’s fancy. Suit and tie required fancy. Beverly Hills Country Club fancy. Which means all the office women will be in their best cocktail motif. And me? I was worried I was going to be stuck wearing my same 9-5 workaday suit, since all my most fancy duds are very, very, very butch. Tie and suspender combo butch. And I’m still working up to that point with this office.

However! I’ve been saved by the androgynous choice of all ages, which I am dubbing the casual tuxedo look. Pair a tux jacket (dinner jacket, no tails) with a fancy-ish or tux shirt, leave off the tie, and shine up your shoes. I’m still looking for the right accessories – a good silver pendant woud be nice, but here’s what I’ve found:

armani exchange. 40% off. saved my life.

Behold the Sequin Shirt, from Armani Exchange. I was losing steam on Sunday, striking out on all the affordable tuxedo shirt fronts, and then my gf found this one in the least-likely-to-be-on-sale-or-ever-be-affordable store ever.

Let’s take a closer look.

tiny shiny sequins.

Never did I think I’d wear ANYTHING sequined (unless, of course, I was workin’ it with my drag-queen self). But these are actually so subtle while still adding that shiny flair, they’re really great, and I LOVE the covered placket. And the shirt fits me well in the torso – I am taking it to the tailor today to have the sleeves shortened a bit and the shoulders taken in. Once it’s all done and pressed I will be pretty and shiny and still butch.

I’m going to pair it with:

H&M one-button tux jacket.

Because I buy my jackets a bit small, so they fit snug in the shoulders and across the back, I rarely button them (I rarely can, but most folks don’t notice). That way the sequins will dazzle all the way down. Add some good black trousers and the right silver accessories and I think I might just pull it off. My gf will be in high-cocktail dress with the best of them.