It’s fair to say that, for many people, 2016 has not been the best year. Perhaps, you think, we have nothing to celebrate. We say think again. Use New Year’s Eve to exorcise the demons of the last 364 days and look ahead to a better, brighter, less shit-filled 2017 (is someone looking after David Attenborough?). If, on the other hand, you’ve had a top notch 12 months, good for you, and long may it continue.
House party, winter ball or firework display, however you choose to usher in the New Year, do it in style. We may have lost Bowie, George Michael, Prince et al., but at least once this year, you should be able to say that you partied like it’s 1999.
Balling In Black Tie
So you’ve bucked 2016’s misery and wound up at a classy bash – congrats. Should the rules of formal dress sound scary, take comfort in the fact that they are actually very simple, provided you follow these steps (and swerve these common mistakes).
Assuming you’ve got a well-fitting dinner jacket, the most important thing to know is that, when it comes to accessories, the ‘tie’ in black tie refers to a bow tie, not a neck-tie. It should also really be hand tied, so learn how.
Next, use a point, not wing collared shirt. While traditional, wing collars smack of hired formalwear and a standard collar will look great in its place. Lastly, picking the right dress shoes is the difference between getting dressed and dressing up. Invest if you can. If not, polish your black leather Oxfords until you can see your face in them.
Braving The Club
What on earth are you doing going clubbing on New Year’s Eve? Here are some initial suggestions for braving the masses: a riot shield, a hazmat suit and a helmet.
Of course, what you wear depends on what sort of club you’re heading to. A bottle service bar or something that’s members only requires something very different to a warehouse rave. That being said, there is an outfit that will bridge the gap and it’s very easy to put together.
Start with a pair of smart boots in black or dark brown, followed by black jeans, a T-shirt and leather jacket. If it’s looking cold, throw a black hoodie under the leather jacket. You are now ready to face whatever the night throws at you, be it the champagne or zombie apocalypse.
Attending A Dinner Party
Congratulations, you’re now officially an adult. The graduation from attending a house party to a dinner party on New Year’s Eve might not be something you’re thrilled about, but it does at least afford you the occasion to dress like you’ve made something of your life.
In this case, we’re referring to relaxed tailoring. What does that mean exactly? It means a suit worn with smart trainers, a T-shirt, a roll neck; basically anything but a shirt and tie.
The suit you choose shouldn’t be one that you could wear to work. The lapels should be slimmer, the jacket a single or two button and the trousers narrower. You should, however, count on using both parts separately throughout the year to capitalise on your investment.
White sneakers are the prevailing footwear of choice and it makes sense to wear a T-shirt to match. A pocket square is optional but at this time of year, socks are not.
‘Turning Up’ At A House Party
Pat yourself on the back dear reader because you have made the right choice. A warm house, close friends, free booze and minimal toilet queues; never let it be said that FashionBeans doesn’t know how to party.
Assuming you’re travelling to rather than hosting said party, you’ll want an outfit adaptable at a moment’s notice, so layer up. A shirt worn over a T-shirt can be buttoned or unbuttoned if you find you’ve misjudged the dress code. Similarly, a thick gauge cardigan or coat can come in handy for lending to those less well prepared than you.
To nail colour coordination, start with the lightest shade at the bottom and work up to darker hues. For instance: a white T-shirt, a chambray denim shirt, a navy cardigan and a grey or navy jacket. For your bottom half, jeans and trainers are more than acceptable.
Be A Rocket Man
Newsflash, the idea that you lose most heat from your head is one of the most common style myths. That said, some ballast on your bonnet – in the form of a a simple beanie or trapper hat – shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re planning on spending the night looking up at fireworks.
As for gloves, we often find they tend to trap the cold in, rather keep it out. You’re better off keeping your hands in your pockets. If that’s not an option (snowball fights, beer holding etc.) then a smartphone-compatible leather pair, like those from Jaeger below, will add a welcome layer of insulation and allow you to capture the spectacle for double-taps on the ‘gram.
All of this is pointless, of course, if you don’t wear a decent coat. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you need a down-filled jacket to stay comfortably warm. If that doesn’t sit well with your sartorial outlook, the alternative is a shearling jacket. But they do not come cheap.