You are currently viewing What to Wear New Year’s Eve, Where, When

This post provides styling inspirations for 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.



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


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

What to wear on New Year’s Eve depends foremost on your plans. 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. Therefore, before picking your NYE look consider

  • Where you will you go?
  • What transportation you will use?
  • Who will be your company?
  • What is in the weather forecast?


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 or 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. More on dressing for the opera.



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). 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.






How to Dress for a Semi-Formal Cocktail Party?

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




Best NYE Dance Party Outfit Ideas

The dress code for a NYE dance party depends on the location. 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 in that place.

Another hint for what to wear is the kind of music that is announced.

Outfit ideas for a

  • Latin Dance Party: Wear a fancy dress, and show skin strategically.
  • Swing dances: 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: Up-dressed jeans and a T-shirt are ok. Try a graphic Tee with dark blue jeans, and a leopard print jacket for a casual, posh look.
  • Dress code festive attire: Wear a cocktail dress with lots of accessories.
  • Private party: Ask the host whether there is a theme. Even if not, you get an idea of what the hostess has in mind.
  • New Year’s Ball
  • Military Ball



New Year’s Eve Dinner at a Winter Resort

Many winter resorts have dinning rooms with an open fire. Because you never know where the hostess will seat you, stay on the safe side for thermal comfort. Go for a cocktail or festive dress with sleeves, and have nice stole/cover-up to fight chilliness.


attire for a dinner at a winter resort of the last day of the year
Go for 3/4 or long sleeve fancy dress or top with black wool pants.



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.


mature woman in all black
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



end of the year bar hopping outfit ideas for windy weather
Bar hoping looks for windy weather with temperatures around the freezing point. Add a down coat as outerwear when it is dry, a lodden or trench coat when it is wet.




Celebrating at a Sports-Bar

When spending the evening celebrating in a sports bar go for a long sleeves, buttoned shirt and tights to not overly expose your skin to the cold and the views.

fashion blogger over 50 in 3 outfits showing what to wear New Years Eve
From left to right: NYE outfit inspirations for bar hopping in town, celebrating at a sports bar, and dancing at a bar with typically casual posh dress code.




Outfit Ideas for NYE Party at a Tropical Vacation Resort

Go for a dress that cannot be mistaken as your beach dress. For instance, a sultry black floral asymmetric hem. Add silver or leopard high heels, costume jewelry, and a party clutch.

Stylist tip: You can’t go wrong with a LBD.


LBD with mesh dress and abstract print dress for New Years Eve at a resort
Left: A black T-shirt dress dressed up with a beaded mesh dress with black pumps works for a resort party. Tip: You can even use your beaded swimwear coverup. Right: An abstract print fancy midi-dress with sandals is a Do for celebrating the end of the year at a resort.



Game or Video Night with Family or Friends

Chic PJs or loungewear or leggings with a cozy sweater are perfect for a family video night, game night or a stay-at-home date-night outfit.

When close friends come over, an upscale version of the leggings with sweater 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. It ensures there will be food you like and gives you better control of what you eat and your calorie intake.



style book author in casual video and game night NYE look with skirts
When playing games at a table or that require standing you can even wear a skirt, but style it posh casual.



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.

Expert tip: Resist use a firework as background because it can come across as drizzle.

More on what to wear and not to wear when live streaming




Wrapping Up What To Wear New Years Eve

To be best dressed for NYE take your plans, consider the

  • Weather forecast,
  • Way of commute to and from the place,
  • Dress code for the locations, or activities in mind.
  • For private parties, check whether there is a dress theme of what to wear for New Years Eve.

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.


Happy New Year

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.


Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved