Three in four female shoppers said they would like to see size standardisation across retailers.

London - The office Christmas party is supposed to be an opportunity to relax from the stresses of work.

But for half the guests, it can be a full-time job in itself, a survey reveals.

It found that women typically spend 12 hours picking the right look for the evening – longer than they spend at the party itself.

Nearly one in five (17 percent) spend at least two days choosing the perfect clothes and accessories to look their best.

A quarter admitted spending three hours thinking about what to wear, scouring magazines and websites to research the latest trends, before even hitting the shops.

An organised 11 percent start planning their outfit six weeks before the party, the poll of 2,000 women found, while three percent begin as early as October.

Nearly half (49 percent) said choosing outfits, doing their hair, sharing a few drinks with friends and applying make-up beats mingling with colleagues at the actual event.

Women try on an average of four outfits before picking the right number but one in ten will try on more than eight outfits, the study for drinks brand Lambrini found.

Woman are prepared to spend an average £68.79 (about R975) on their outfit – but three percent will splash out over £200.

On the day itself, 13 percent of those surveyed admitted taking five hours or more to look the part, with women from Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool most likely to fall into this category.

Lorna Tweed, of Lambrini, said: “Everyone loves a good Christmas party. It’s a chance for us to dress up and look our best – the perfect time to impress a special someone or get lucky under the mistletoe.

“However, for many of us it seems this build-up is better than the actual event itself.” - Daily Mail