New Year's Eve parties: We all love them, but a lot of times we can't figure out what to wear to them. It's never fun to be the only one in a gown when everyone else is wearing cocktail dresses, but then again it's not great to be wearing jeans when everyone else has on dress pants. How do we decipher what to wear? Better yet, once we do, what's in this year? Fear not, I have the answers to all your New Year's Eve party questions right here!
When it comes to determining what's appropriate, first, start with your invitation. If this was a verbal invitation from a friend to a get-together, ask them what they're wearing. Word-of-mouth invitations are usually low-key events, but just to be safe always ask your invitee for a little guidance. If this is a Facebook event, send them a direct message about the party, or try to determine based on the event description's wording what's appropriate to wear.
For example, if the picture for the event is a guy doing a keg-stand, it's pretty safe to say that jeans and a nice sweater will be A-OK. If the wording reads something along the lines of you being "cordially invited" to the gala of the year, consider something a little more formal.
Finally, if you received a hard copy invitation in the mail, consider this an occasion to dress up. Physical invitations are a rarity today, so if the invitee took the time to use them, I would consider this to be a more formal event. When in doubt, ask other guests what they're wearing or suggest what you might wear and gauge a response.
Now for the good stuff – what to wear:
Let's start with a casual party. We all know my favorite casual look for ladies is skinny jeans and boots with a cute top, but I'm well aware that look doesn't suit everyone. My suggestion: a nice pair of jeans (i.e. no rips, holes, paint marks, ripped bottoms, preferably a dark wash), a pair of cute shoes (heels or flats) and a nice sweater. Guys, as usual, you have it much easier. Stick with a pair of nicer dark-wash jeans as well, a button-up dress shirt (untucked please) and a nice pair of dress shoes.
Next is what I like to call "the in-betweener." You don't want ot wear a tux, but it's definitely not a party to wear jeans to. Since I feel most New Year's parties fall under this category, I want to give you multiple options, especially if you're anything like me, and it takes forever to decide what to wear.
This season, bold blue and metallics seem to be big for the ladies, as well as the glitz of sequins. I know, LBD is saying "hey what about me?" but you know what, you wear that dress so much during the year to other get-togethers, why not wear something a little more exciting? It is New Year's Eve after all!
If you're going out to a bar/pub etc., I definitely recommend a cocktail dress, maybe a pair of fun tights and matching heels. Also, the one-sleeved look has been huge all year, why not take this opportunity to try it out? Try places like Express, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, bebe, Body Central and Boscov's.
Finally, what to avoid: going out of your comfort zone. Keep in mind when dressing for a night out on the town that it will be crowded at most establishments, you will be on your feet most of the night, and you're going to want to dance the night away. Make sure whatever it is you choose to wear will suit all of those conditions and still look fabulous!
For the men: I don't think I can say enough about the effect a sharp-dressed man has on us women. Go with a pin-striped dress shirt under a solid sweater with matching slacks. Also, vests are very popular this year for over those dress shirts. If you opt for the sweater vest, be sure it doesn't make you look too bulky. If you're not convinced that dress slacks are for you, pair a nice pair of jeans, a dress shirt and a blazer along with your dress shoes. Finally, ties are optional unless you're wearing a full suit.
When it comes to that coveted New Year's Gala (usually a charity benefit), men have it the easiest of all. Grab that black tie and wear a suit. No questions here! Ladies will be having all the fun of playing dress-up. Just because it's a more formal event doesn't mean you have to wear a floor-length dress. I recommend a tea-length (below the knee to mid-calf) dress. Channel your inner Betty Draper, and go for a classic look with a touch of glitz and glamor. Try places such as White House/Black Market and Macy's.