By Mollie Quirk published
Your favorite couple is tying the knot on New Year's Eve, and you're invited! Wonderful, until you realize you have no idea what to wear to a New Year's Eve wedding. Well, fear not, because we've compiled a handy guide of the dos and the don'ts of what to wear to a wedding on NYE, plus the outfits you'll want to consider for a celebration of love, as one year ends and a new one begins.
We won't deny that New Year's Eve has the potential to be, arguably, the most glamorous night of the year. So, when a wedding is thrown into the mix, the pressure to find the perfect amped even more—it can feel daunting to decide what to wear, especially if there's no dress code. Can you wear white? Can you wear black? Are jeans appropriate? All valid questions—and the answers will very much depend on the kind of wedding you’re attending.
Our experts have pulled together to share all of the insights and suggestions you could possibly need to help you navigate this unique wardrobe dilemma, plus a whole host of ideas for what you can wear, too.
A wedding plus New Year's Eve: what can I wear?
While getting dressed for a wedding can be joyous, deciding what to wear to a New Year's Eve wedding might make your mind start to spin a little—in the manner of Cher's rotating wardrobe in Clueless. In part, this is because you're combining two potentially huge occasions, both of which already afford a wealth of wardrobe options, from bright and bold to muted and classic. Reframe this a little and, rather than fretting, you'll see that this actually means there is going to be an ensemble out there for every NYE wedding theme.
Emily Potts, Senior Stylist at Nasty Gal, reiterates this, “New Year’s Eve outfits are usually the height of glamour, add in a wedding and the options are truly endless." In addition to urging us to "pile on the glitz", Emily offers a starting point for styling your outfit to attend NYE nuptials: the top trends to take note of right now.
"This year we’ll see a clash of romantic styles and fun party pieces, with ruffles and the return of the mini dress for that party edge," Potts reveals. "Don’t miss out on the opportunity to show off some killer statement heels, too." Need something new to fit this brief? We've got you covered.
The best brands for a New Year's Eve wedding
- Anthropologie—unique, colorful pieces, from $180/£148
- Marks & Spencer—classic pieces that never date, from $139/£79
- Quiz Clothing—affordable pieces that nail the trends, from $125.99/£89.99
- Reformation—sustainable clothing in a modern cut, from $178/£180
- River Island—trend-led pieces in contemporary styles, from $102/£55
5 KEY PIECES TO WEAR TO A NEW YEAR'S EVE WEDDING
1. A SEQUINED DRESS
Sequins aren't restricted when it comes to what to wear on Christmas Day—they can be worn throughout the year, too, and they're more than apt for a New Year's Eve event. Don't be afraid to go all-out; NYE is one of the most stylish nights of the year so, if you're heading to a chic wedding on 31 December, amp it up with a sequined dress.
And just because you're wearing a boldly finished dress, that doesn't mean you can't accessorize. Stylist Emily Potts encouraged us to style up already glitzy ensembles with, "statement jewelry and opulent textures, such as feathers, satin, and lace." Most of the time, we'd adhere to the 'less is more' way of thinking, but when you're attending a glittering New Year's event, we say go big.
River Island Black Sequin Mini Dress | $102/£55
Combining a high neck and a mini length, this stunning dress is perfect for styling with tights and a luxe faux-fur jacket. Team with some ankle boots and your best crossbody bag for a more formal look.
Superdry Woven Short Sleeve Sequinned Midi Dress | $125/£94.99
Mixing classic and contemporary styling, this tiered dress is ideal for NYE occasions—whether that's a wedding, a party, or sipping fizz on a balcony while watching the fireworks. Wear with heels if you're attending a wedding, or sneakers if you're out on the town.
2. A FAUX-FUR COAT
It's cold out there—really cold—and if you're flitting from the church to the reception venue, you're going to want to be warm. Keep the cold at bay by wearing the chicest overcoat we could muster—a classic faux-fur number, of course. Timelessly trendy, faux-fur coats remain all the rage and look extremely chic when paired with an over-the-top outfit for a glamorous occasion, such as a wedding on 31 December.
"You can use the colder weather to your advantage by pairing more subtle styles of dress with a statement winter coat," Emily Potts from Nasty Gal told us. "From patterned trenches to feather jackets, a winter wedding is a great opportunity to don attention-grabbing outerwear.”
Jakke Katrina Chestnut Belted Faux-Fur Coat | $295/£260
A timeless faux-fur coat that you'll wear time and again, this chestnut-hued belted number from Jakke is a true investment piece. Throw over a sequined dress and head to the most glamorous NYE wedding reception—you'll look cozy and chic, simultaneously.
Lipsy Paneled Faux Fur Coat | $141/£90
In a dreamy cream hue, this short faux-fur coat is perfect for wearing to indoor NYE events, where a big bulky coat wouldn't be necessary. It teams just as well with midi or mini dresses as it does with faux-leather trousers or a glitzy jumpsuit.
French Connection Dallow Faux-Fur Chevron Jacket | $228/£182.40
For the more daring dresser, this chevron-print jacket boasts faux fur in multicolor—perfect for party season generally, but even more so for NYE celebrations. Wear over sequined dresses, velvet jumpsuits, or with midi skirts and chunky boots for a funky look that will turn heads.
3. A JUMPSUIT
When it comes to winter event attire, the humble jumpsuit is often overlooked—but we're here to remind you just how amazing these one-pieces can be. Effortless to style up, the jumpsuit can be thrown on with some classic court heels, a flashy winter coat, and a necklace, and you'll be all set.
M&S x GHOST Satin Belted Wide Leg Jumpsuit | $139/£79
In an emerald-green hue, this satin jumpsuit makes an ideal outfit for a New Year's Eve bash, and an even more perfect option if you're attending an NYE wedding. Wear with some glitzy court shoes in a contrasting black hue, team with a black crossbody or hobo bag, and throw on a cozy coat.
Nasty Gal Sequin Sweetheart Neckline Jumpsuit | $189/£109
In a champagne hue—that says 'celebration' without even trying—this jumpsuit with a sweetheart neckline is a great piece to wear to attend a winter wedding. Glam it up with matching gold accessories, or contrast with mixed metals or block colors, such as black or brown.
4. A STATEMENT MIDI SKIRT
If you don't have a midi skirt in your closet already, get one, ASAP. One of the easiest pieces to style, midi skirts can be worn with almost any top, knit, or tee, and pair well with almost any shoes or boots, too. A great all-rounder, they are often underrated when it comes to occasion wear. We suggest styling a satin midi with a plain black fine-knit roll-neck, tights, and heels for a sleek finish, or jazzing one up with a sequin top and borg jacket.
Nasty Gal Ruched Button Detail Satin Midi Skirt | $79/£45
If you want to stand out while attending an NYE wedding (without overshadowing the bride, of course), pink is the perfect color to wear. While it might not be for everyone, due to its thigh-high split, this ruched number looks great paired with black ankle boots, a black roll-neck top, and leopard-print accessories—the ultimate glam wedding guest.
Anthropologie Maeve Sequined Midi Skirt | $140/£98
Constructed from the most festive red hue, and finished with large red sequins, this midi dress is made for a winter wedding. Wear with a cropped knit jumper, some calf-high boots, and a stylish jacket or shrug and you'll be the talk of the crowd when the clock strikes 12.
Reformation Petites Pratt Skirt | $178/£180
Oh-so-perfect for winter weddings, as it can be easily dressed up or down, this silk slip-style skirt is available in three colorways (we are loving the black/brown hue). Team with a roll-neck and some court shoes, top with a luxe trench or faux-fur coat and you're ready to go.
5. STYLISH SHOES OR BOOTS
Although sandals and sky-high heels are pretty, sophisticated, and, typically, classic wedding-guest attire, they're not the most practical shoes for a winter wedding. With temperatures plummeting and snowflakes potentially getting ready to scatter from the skies, consider boots. They might not be your go-to for glamorous events, but they can actually be apt for winter wedding dressing.
If you're headed to a countryside location, or one where you'll have to walk through narrow lanes or along city streets between the ceremony and the reception, then a classic flat Chelsea boot might be up your alley. But if you know that you won't have to wander around too much, you might lean towards a court or heeled boot.
Dune London Bow Trim Pointed Toe Court Shoes | $170/£120
A classic court is a real wardrobe essential, whatever time of year, so investing in these stunning embellished heels from Dune is a no-brainer. Similar to Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos (check out our guide on how to dress like Carrie Bradshaw for more inspiration) you could wear these shoes to work and then on to a wedding with complete ease.
NEW YEAR'S EVE WEDDING DRESS CODE—SOME HANDY GUIDELINES
There are so many dos and don'ts when it comes to dressing to attend somebody's wedding. To help you out, we've compiled a list of some handy pointers for when you're planning the perfect ensemble.
CAN YOU WEAR WHITE TO A NEW YEAR'S EVE WEDDING?
The time of year is irrelevant—New Year's Eve or not, wearing white to a wedding is still frowned upon. White remains a color that is reserved for the bride and groom; unless the dress code explicitly asks guests to wear white, or states that they can do, avoid outfits in this tone at all costs. Silver sequins should be fine though.
CAN YOU WEAR BLACK TO A NEW YEAR'S EVE WEDDING?
An all-black ensemble isn't usually something you'd associate with a wedding; traditionally, if the wedding is happening at any other time of the year (and it wasn't stated on the invite as the dress code) black clothes should be avoided. However, for a New Year's Eve wedding, in the middle of party season—where black is both chic and prevalent—why not? Providing you glam up the black outfit with sequins, jewelry, faux fur, or a pop of color, you should be absolutely fine.
IS IT OK TO WEAR JEANS TO A NEW YEAR'S EVE WEDDING?
New Year's Eve weddings tend to be a tad more formal than spring or summer weddings—which is saying quite a lot, actually. While informal summer dos might enable you to get away with more casual clothes—jeans with a breezy blouse, at a push—NYE is one of the most glitzy nights of the year, so it seems wise to steer clear of casual fabrics or cuts. That being said, if the theme of the wedding allows, black skinny jeans (or faux leather jeans in a dark color) teamed with a sequined top or dressy blouse would likely be ideal.
Mollie Quirk is a freelance journalist and features writer from London, England. With a First-class degree in Journalism and over eight years of online writing experience, Mollie is an expert in her field. At a UK size 16–18, she specialises in writing about plus size fashion and issues surrounding body image – knowing firsthand what it’s like to style a fuller figure, Mollie knows what plus size women want and need. Having written for some of the most well-known publications around the world, Mollie has hopes of continuing her career and eventually becoming a plus size fashion editor. When she’s not writing or styling up outfits she can usually be found upcycling second hand furniture, listening to country music with her cat, or sipping coffee in a corner of London.
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