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GNW cashmere merono sweater, LV silk scarf, fishnets, Chantelle silver sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, dagwood beads necklace, DIY feldspat ear studs, Lily Lulu tulle skirt

In this post, I provide styling suggestions for ten different New Year’s Eve entertainments for different climate regions including an online family party. Read and see what to wear New Years Eve, where and when.


  1. Why to Adapt Your New Year’s Eve Look to Your Plans
  2. What to Wear New Years Eve to the Theater or Opera
  3. Attending a Semi-Formal Cocktail Party
  4. NYE Dance Party Outfit Ideas
  5. New Year’s Eve Dinner at a Winter Resort
  6. Celebrating at a Sports-bar
  7. New Year’s Eve Looks for on The Town
  8. Party at a Tropical Resort
  9. Video Night with Family or Friends
  10. New Year’s Eve Zoom-meeting with Family
  11. Wrapping Up What To Wear New Years Eve
  12. Happy New Year


Disclosure: This post has affiliate links to cover the costs of blogging.


Why to Adapt Your New Year’s Eve Look to Your Plans

As I discuss in my style book How to Dress for Success in Midlife, what to wear on New Year’s Eve depends foremost on your plans. This means where you will you go, what transportation you will use, who will be your company, and of course, and what is in the weather forecast. To get the idea, just imagine wearing a strapless long evening gown with a little faux fur stole and strappy 4 inches (10 cm) heels in a blizzard in Chicago. It’s a perfect recipe to start the New Year with a cold even when it is only four blocks to the opera. Take a cab!

Adapt your New Year's Eve outfit to where you go. #NewYearsEve Click To Tweet


what to wear New Years Eve post banner with person and fireworks



What to Wear New Years Eve to the Theater or Opera

The opera and theater are your chance to dress up in an evening gown. Accessorize with cover-up, bold drop earrings, clutch and fancy sandals. In cold places like New York, add a long faux fur coat, and a hat for the commute. Wear boots, and swap them for your evening sandals or pumps at the coat clerk’s.


five ideas what to wear NYE
From left to right. Navy blue flutter sleeve evening gown, velvet green high-low hem gown, sequin dress, long red attire, and lace midi bridal dress (all from Ever Pretty and still available) with antique coverup (thrift store find). The long-sleeve evening garments are best for cold climate with an evening coat or cropped faux fur jacket. The sleeveless attire is best when you live in the south. Add a stole for the way home.





Attending a Semi-Formal Dance or Cocktail Party

Semi-formal dances and cocktail parties on NYE ask for at least prom or cocktail dresses, respectively. Go for a solid color midi-version, and style with statement costume jewelry and a crystal-embellished clutch or sandals. Not both. Alternatively, go for a  sequin dress or a lace dress with crystals. Satin sandals or a satin clutch are great finishing touches.


Ever Pretty cocktail dresses suggestion what to wear NYE
Stylish V Neck Ruched Irregular Midi Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress $42.99 (left), and Spaghetti Strap Shirring Asymmetrical Paillette Short Cocktail Dress $44.99 (right). The chiffon dress would look great with a crystal necklace, earrings, clutch and sandals like those shown in the carousel below. When your style is glam, add a crystal barrette.  The sequin dress looks best with satin or suede in nude or pearl. Both available at Ever Pretty.



NYE Dance Party Outfit Ideas

This event is a tricky one. When the party is at a Western bar, roadhouse or dance place, what to wear to a NYE party differs strongly. Your best bet is to check whether there is a dress code. If not, go for a notch up of what is worn typically at dances at that place.

Another hint for what to wear is the kind of music that is announced. For a Latin dance music, a fancy dress, and showing skin strategically is in order. When Swing dance is announced, a retro 1950s dress is fine. When music of a special decade is advertised, a piece from that decade styled modern is a safe option. Country and Western music permits jeans and a T-shirt. Try a graphic Tee with dark blue jeans, and a leopard print jacket for a casual, but stylish look.

When the dress code is festive attire a cocktail dress with lots of accessories is in order. If it’s a private party, ask the host whether there is a theme. Even if not, doing so gives you an idea of what the hostess has in mind.


New Year’s Eve Dinner at a Winter Resort

Many winter resorts have dinning rooms with an open fire. You never know where the hostess will seat you for dinner. Close to the fire it may be comfortable or even too hot. Far away, it may be too chilly for a cocktail dress. To stay on the safe side and not freeze, wear a lace top under your lace cocktail dress as is shown in the left photo below. An alternative would be a nice stole or cover-up like in the right photo below.


blogger Nicole in the Gold Room showing a NYE semi-formal attire
Self-made turquoise 40s inspired dress with abstract floral print, Hermes collier de chien bangle, statement peridot, amethyst, and citrine necklace with matching earring and bracelet, and Valentino studs


Do you want more outfit suggestions for various dressing situations? Then my style recipe book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife” is right for you.  Buy it now.


woman in sequin dres as an example for what to wear on New Years Eve
Head band and velvet sequin semi-formal sheath c/o AmiClubWear


New Year’s Eve Looks for on The Town

The photos below give suggestions for outfits created for walking from one bar to the next when you live some where down south. Take a coat and you have what to wear in cold, wet weather. Add a down coat or shearling and you are good to stay warm at below freezing temperatures. Take a big bag that holds the shoes you want to wear sitting at the bar. Just leave the boots with your coat at the coat clerk’s, if there is one. Otherwise, place the boots under the table.

Recall wet boots – no matter whether due to sweating or wet weather – cause cold feet when you go outside.


what to wear NYE for bar hopping
Cold climate region outfit: London Jean leather pants, Michael Kors sequin cardigan, Salamander shearling booties, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Anne Klein sweater, and Nordgreen designer watch. Get 15% off with my discount code HLSTYLE


midlife blogger in leather dress with layering piece, black and white scarf, animal print tight and white booties NYE outfit
Halogen LBD, Fendi boots, GNW tights, unbranded striped scarf, opaque top c/o Cami Confidential for bar hoping in cold climate. Add a down coat as outerwear.


stylist showing what to wear for New Years Eve bar hoping in sequin top, faux fur bomber jacket, boyfriend jeans
Tucker for Target faux fur bomber jacket, London Jean BF, statement studded heels, and striped sequin tunic. Perfect for bar hoping in warm climate regions



Celebrating at a Sports-bar

The next photos give inspiration for spending the evening celebrating in a sports bar. The long sleeves, buttoned shirt and tights are not overly exposing skin to the cold and the views, and the posh golden shorts are festive, but go well with the more relaxed sport theme of the location.


style blogger wearing a cape hoodie as outerwear for NYE bar hoping
Notations cardigan worn as top, printed tights (gift from colleague), Oliveo leather shorts, Puma sneakers, Cape hoodie c/o Tricia Tanaka. In warm climate regions, the cape hoodie may be enough as outerwear. Cape hoodie review.


midlife woman in posh casual look for playing games on NYE at a sports bar
Riders by Lee black and white Buffalo plaid button-down with own long sleeve Tee, Banana Republic skirt, Jord bamboo watch, GNW tight, and Sanchez riding boots.


fashion blogger over 50 showing what to wear New Years eve featuring a sequin sweater with BF jeans
Michael Kors sequin sweater with London Jean boyfriend jeans, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Puma sneakers, GNW sweater, DKNY socks, and statement belt



Party at a Tropical Vacation Resort

A black floral asymmetric hem dress is sultry and cannot be mistaken as your beach dress. Put on some silver or leopard high heels and you are ready for an Argentine Tango with the “macho” of your choice ;). Well, you can’t go wrong with a LBD.

style blogger over 50 walking down a boating deck
Banana Republic abstract print fit-and-flare dress, Very Fine Dancing Dancesport shoes, statement panther belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle


stylist in a little black dress with mesh overlay for New Year's
Little black dress with boat neck c/o Covered Perfectly worn under own mesh dress with pumps


over 50 years old style book author in Fashom maxi dress walking in the yard
24/7 Frenzy multicolor dress, Hermes collier de chien bangle, leaf earrings, Madden Girls sandals (all own) and leather pearls necklace c/o Wendy Mignot


See these great outfit inspirations for various New Year's Eve occasions. #NewYearsEve Click To Tweet


Video Night with Family or Friends

Chic PJs or loungewear or leggings with a cozy sweater are perfect for a family video night or a stay-at-home date-night outfit. When close friends come over, an upscale version of the leggings with sweater version or fancy athleisure wear are fine for a casual video night. It’s a chance to wear those sequin leggings or that sequin top. But keep the look in the glam casual or posh casual, but comfortable ballpark. Depending on the number of guest you might sit on a pillow on the floor. Plus, you don’t want to out-dress the host(ess).


Tip: Ask whether you can bring finger-food or a dish. If so, you are sure there will be food you like and you are in better control of what you eat and the calories you take in.


style book author in casual video night NYE look of jeans, sweater, scarf
London Jean boyfriend jeans, Escada denim booties, statement belt, Anne Klein cashmere cable knit sweater, silk scarf, Hermes collier de chien bangle



New Year’s Eve Zoom-meeting with Family

When a video meeting with family is on the schedule, avoid tops that are busy like small floral prints, hounds tooth, pinpoints, small stripes, sequins, herring-bone, snake or leopard print or even polka dots. They lead to drizzly patterns on the screen. It is unpleasant to look at. This is especially true when you or another party in the meeting has a low bandwidth. You can wear these print and patterns as bottoms like in the outfit inspiration. When you go for a printed item on top, make sure the print is large like in the scarf.

It’s a virtual NYE, not a Halloween party!

In addition, recall it’s sort of dressing for family reunion, even though it’s just virtual. But someone might hit the recording button or take a screenshot.

When you plan to use a festive background make sure you don’t wear anything green. The software will otherwise not be able to create a correct background. You don’t want to have a spooky screen where only your hands, neck and face show. Also resist the idea to use a firework as background. It also can come across as drizzle.

Avoid a firework background or green sweater.


fashion blogger in snake print skirt, pink sweater, OTK boots, scarf
Banana Republic straight snake-print skirt, GNW cashmere merino wool sweater, LV silk scarf, Hermes enamel H-bangle, Dior over-the-knee boots, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Dagwood statement necklace, DIY feldspar studs



Wrapping Up What To Wear New Years Eve

To be best dressed for NYE take your plans, the weather forecast, the way of commute to and from the place, and the dress code for the locations or activities in mind. If no dress code is given by the event itself, dress-up a notch from what is typically worn for the activity and/or at the place. Check whether there is a dress theme of what to wear for New Years Eve.


Happy New Year

What are you planning to do on the last day of the year? Are you throwing a party or go out? Have you made some resolutions? What are they?

Celebrate safely.

Is dressing your best on your resolution list? Then register for my Newsletter to know about new posts, how tos and special style subjects. I’d highly appreciate it if you take the time to sign up and ask your friends to sign up too!!


Photos: G. Kramm

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