What to wear on New Year's Eve to any kind of countdown celebration

Want to know what to wear on New Year's Eve? We round up seven key outfit ideas for every type of party

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve
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Unsure what to wear on New Year’s Eve? As we prepare to welcome in 2023, New Year's Eve is our last opportunity to finish the year in style. The culmination of the holiday period, whether you love it, or loathe it, New Year's Eve is the perfect time to get the final wear of those party pieces too. 

By the time 31st December rolls around, hopefully, you've got plenty of mileage out of your holiday looks. And when it comes to what to wear on New Year's Eve, we're given one final opportunity to go all out before January hits. A continuation of festivities for many, sequins, glitz and glam are often the order of the night, but of course, if you're planning a more low-key event, then cozy might be more your speed. 

To ring in 2023 in style, it's important to first think about what your New Year's Eve celebrations entail. If you'll be heading out and will be getting transport home in the early hours, then make sure you have a good coat to beat the cold weather. For big nights out, or parties, sequins will help you sparkle into a new year, while low-key events on the sofa certainly demand the best loungewear or pajamas for added comfort. We round up what to wear on New Year's Eve, however you're ending 2022.

What to wear on New Year’s Eve: 7 New Year’s Eve Outfits For Every Type of Celebration 

Notepads at the ready. These street style influencers show us what to wear on New Year’s Eve for every sort of celebration, from glitz and glam for dressy dinner parties to snuggly loungewear for a cozy night in. 

1. Dinner party

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve to a dinner party

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The best cocktail dresses used to always be almost exclusively about the LBD (little black dress), but it’s been slightly overtaken by the arrival of the tailored two-piece in recent years, such as sharp tuxedos for women. Suiting is effortlessly chic, and the traditionally masculine silhouette makes it feel far cooler than a dress. Think less boardroom, and more dancefloor, and gravitate towards fabrics that could be described as soft, silky, shimmery, or shiny. If you’re feeling brave, you can button up the blazer and forgo a top, or layer a silky camisole underneath to give you more options for ways to wear. 

A styling tip… If you’re opting for wide-leg trousers, make sure the waist of the jacket is nipped in to avoid swamping your frame. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

2. Casual house party

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve to a house party

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There are some combinations that just never let you down and when it comes to classic style, jeans and a nice top is always a winner. The perfect smart casual outfit for when your best dresses feel a little too formal, your best jeans with a pretty top is a spot-on choice for a laidback house party. Remember that the darker the denim, the dressier your outfit will feel, so keeping it lighter will balance out an attention-grabbing blouse or shirt. Add a pair of stand-out earrings and a pointed heel and you’re good to go. 

A styling tip… A top with statement or padded shoulders paired with high-waisted jeans will contour your middle. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

3. Outdoors

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve outdoors

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It obviously depends on where in the world you reside, but if you’re in the northern hemisphere then New Year’s Eve is normally a pretty chilly affair. So if you’re spending the evening outdoors enjoying fireworks, waving sparklers, or simply having to get from A to B on public transport, it’s a smart idea to layer up. An oversized, calf-skimming faux fur coat is an easy way to make your outfit feel opulent without compromising on warmth. While some might wonder are teddy coats still in style 2022, this coat trend is very much still on the style agenda, both for this year and as part of the fashion trends 2023, making it one of the best winter coat styles to invest in. While bright color iterations are currently ruling this look, for a truly timeless design, black, beige, or brown are your best bet. 

A styling tip… It doesn’t matter too much what you’re wearing underneath our fur coat. Try all-black or all-white for a chic look. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

4. At a restaurant

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve at a restaurant

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If the prospect of counting down to midnight at a packed party is your idea of festive hell, celebrating at a restaurant is a good compromise. Step up your sartorial game from your normal go-to dinner outfit with a slinky silk slip skirt, easy to wear and style, it’ll feel far fancier than your jeans, without demanding too much effort. You could dress up your New Year's Eve outfit further by teaming your midi with an equally slinky top, or, pare it down by layering it with one of your best cashmere sweaters, playing on a contrast of fabrics. Tonal dressing remains a big trend, so choose a knit either in the same shade as your skirt, or a hue within the same color family, like soft pink and burgundy. 

A styling tip… The best knee-high boots are spot on for this look and will feel as glamorous as a court shoe without having to risk frost-bitten toes. 

Fashion Editor recommends… 

5. At a bar or club

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve at a bar or club

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If you’ve been organized enough to nab a ticket for a New Year’s Eve celebration, you best get dressed accordingly. If your night will involve dancing (and we really hope it does) shimmy into 2023 in style with the help of sequin separates. Sequin skirts have been huge this season, offering wearers versatility, and longevity to party outfits, and of course, they'll catch the light in the best possible way and invite plenty of compliments in the process. Wear your sequins any which way - on your top or bottom half, but ideally, you'll pair wear your sequins with a non-sequin item to avoid the look becoming overwhelming. With an outfit this fancy, you can afford to go easy on the rest, so keep your hair and makeup simple.

A styling tip… Try not to mix your metallics. If you normally wear gold jewelry, stick to gold sequins, and the same for silver. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

6. Quiet night in

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve for a quiet night in

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Just because you’re not going out doesn’t mean you can't see out the year in style and when it comes to what to wear for New Year's Eve for staying in, the best loungewear looks should be high on your list. From the best pajamas for women to your best joggers, stay comfortable and chic in matching sets and high-end fabrications for a relaxed end to 2022. 

A styling tip… Look for straight-to-market cashmere co-ords, which deliver on warmth, comfort, and style at a more cost-effective price point than designer brands. Alternatively, luxe it up with silky sets and fun feather trims. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

7. Black tie event

street style influencers showing what to wear on new year's eve for a black tie event

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Unless you have a social calendar to rival Jay Gatsby, the opportunity to go all-out in the glamour stakes tends to be a rare one. So, if you have an invite that requests you wear black tie, we think you should fully embrace the brief. A floor-sweeping maxi is our top pick, and the glitzier the better. Look for details like cut-out sections, statement shoulders, and embellishment, and festive fabrics like velvet, silk, and sequins to ensure your outfit is timely and appropriate. Keep your accessories simple to let your dress take center stage. You can’t go wrong with muted metallics like brushed silver and gold. 

A styling tip… An oversized blazer will add an edge to a very feminine frock. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

Is it OK to wear black on New Year’s Eve?

There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t wear black on New Year’s Eve. In fact, we’d actively encourage you to. Black has plenty going for it in terms of style. Firstly, it always feels evening-appropriate (which is perfect given you’ll be staying up at least until midnight), and secondly, it’s the perfect neutral base to build your outfit on. Mixing black with color can make bolder shades a bit jarring, so instead team with metallics like gold, silver, and bronze. If black makes you feel washed out, choose pieces with a lower neckline so the shade isn’t sitting so close to your face, or wear it on your bottom half, opting for color or metallics on your top. Adding a bold red lip will also liven up your complexion. 

What should you wear on New Year’s Eve?

The best thing to wear on New Year’s Eve is always something you feel comfortable in. There’s a lot of pressure at this time of year to step outside your comfort zone, but really, if you know what makes you feel good, lean in. Equally, if you find yourself drawn to something that feels a little bolder than you’d normally go for, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Because if you can’t go all out on New Year’s Eve, then when can you? 

Our advice for a spot-on outfit is to level up slightly from what you’d normally wear to a similar occasion. Accessories are an easy way to do this and have the potential to transform an outfit you’ve had for years into something that feels fresh and exciting. Statement earrings and necklaces are a great way to liven up a scoop or V-neck top, while a pair of fancy shoes will make even your most casual jeans feel suddenly glamorous. 

What does it mean to wear white on New Year’s Eve?

In Brazil, it has long been traditional to wear white on New Year’s Eve. It was sparked by religious rituals and is used to represent peace and purity. White also has connotations of cleanliness, making it a good color to wear to signify a fresh start for the year ahead. There are two caveats to wearing white on New Year’s Eve. Number one, if you’re attending a wedding, as it’s never a good idea to look like you’re trying to upstage the bride, and number two, if you’re drinking red wine. Other than that, it offers a lovely fresh alternative to the traditionally dark shades worn during party season. 

What color do you wear to a New Year’s Eve party?

Got a feeling 2023 is your year? When it comes to what to wear on New Year's Eve, manifest your best 12 months yet by dressing according to your hopes and dreams. People believe that wearing pink signifies romance, purple is associated with wisdom and blue embodies positivity. Red is all about passion, while green is said to attract and encourage growth. Metallics get in on the action too, with gold representing wealth and silver reflecting your dreams. So, if you needed an excuse to step out of a monochrome rut, this is your opportunity. You could even lace these colors through your January dressing too, helping to bring a little brightness to this typically dark month. 

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.