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NYE: Five Scenarios, Five Dress Codes

Fireworks over English Bay display image by Jon Rawlinson

We love to party. We love tradition. We love alcohol. We love fresh starts. We all love NYE.

But the age old dilemma is asked again, like last year – what do I wear? Well it simply comes down to what you’re going to be doing on this night of ends and beginnings, who you’ll be spending it with, what your budget is and what will be appropriate.

So I’ve decided to give you some ideas based on likely scenarios both for ladies and gentlemen on what to consider wearing on the biggest party night of the year.

NYE shoes

Scenario 1. Young, hip night club singles NYE.

Aim of night: To party with friends and allow the night to take its course, potentially ending in someone else’s bed.

Fashion goal: To be individual, sexy, flirtatious and exert a sense of confidence and care-free freedom.

Scene: Cocktail bars and nibbles or drinks at a friend’s place followed by a fully fledged night of dance, alcohol and risqué behavior –its NYE you’re going to be at it all night and sleep all day.

Women: Frivolous youth = big pops of color for stand out attention – think 80s bright, fruity lollipop tones and juicy rainbow colors. Some great suggestions are sequined mini-dresses with tights and platform heels, studded rock star belts and big costume accessories. Think glitzy, think fun.  

Men: I’m hot, I rock mindset. This calls for neutral tee’s teamed with dark bottoms, way out of the ball-park rock star primaries and street-wear prints with converse sneakers, Ed Hardy accessories and sophisticated timepieces (ie. an Armani or Gucci watch).


Scenario 2. The family party.

Aim of night: Enjoy a few drinks, start a drunk conversation with your Uncle about world politics, attempt not to strangle the rug rats that squirt silly-string in your ear and watch the fireworks exploding all across the world as your sing Auld Lang Syne with those you love.

Fashion Goal: To wear something comfortable but stylish which you don’t mind spilling your salsa dip on.

Scene: Your mother’s house, your father’s house, your Aunt and Uncle’s house, your cousin’s house. There are Christmas decorations, artworks and an open fire not to mention photo frames with images designed to embarrass and torture even the most condescending of us.

Both men and women: When it comes to family events wear whatever you want. They’re your family, there’s no pretence so comfy is key. Christmas colors are fine, and given the weather you can’t go wrong with jeans and a sweater and good boots.   

NYE dresses

Scenario 3. Dinner and celebration with other couples.

Aim of night: To socialize and network with other couples of similar interests and commonality.

Fashion Goal: Dress to impress and make a statement of your situation to others in your group by presenting style, class and a strong bond to your partner.

Scene: A private party at an exclusive restaurant, tickets that were purchased 2 months in advance, open bar and soft music, possibly a live band, h’orderves, low lighting and couples sashaying around an intimate dance floor.

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