Without the helpful restraints of a corporate uniform, some workers think an after-business-hours event is an excuse to demonstrate their "gangsta-chic" or individual sartorial taste. Instead, think James Bond as opposed to Bail Bondsman.
There is a reason why Bond has worn a tuxedo at society events for decades. It looks great, has just the right touch of mystery, and doesn’t scream amateur. If black tie isn't required, opt for a navy blue or black suit or conservative cocktail dress. If a finer version is not financially feasible, a cheaper suit doesn’t have to look like the lining of a more expensive one. A good tailor can make a big difference towards making a potential boss look like the real thing.
Status expresses itself through more than clothes. A firm and brief handshake and a sincere smile with genuine eye contact can make an instant impression. So can a limp wet squeeze and fake grin. Hence, always go for option A.
If you’re socially savvy, suggest a toast to your fellow partiers and tell an anecdote or two that makes people laugh or think. The secret is being engaging, approachable and aware of your personal power.