Cracking the NYE party dress code
It’s almost time to shake off the serious and prepare for the silly season. This year has been crazy (if you ask me): deadlines, bottomlessmimosa brunches at the weekends, followed by more deadlines. The truth is, I’d be happy just to go right to bed and sleep through the festive season, but I know I’d regret not celebrating the memories and achievements of 2018 by dressing up and getting down.
Plus, a New Year’s Eve party is the perfect opportunity to embrace the ’80s trend that’s been filling this season with colour, bedazzlement and print. I love the idea of taking trending animal print and upping the ante by pairing it with highlighter green, or finding a statement ruffle on a dress and owning it like it’s something new.
Keep an eye out for an outfit even when you don’t have a party lined up, then get it and store it for the inevitable. Alternatively, you can get creative with what you already own. Having said that, let’s put to bed everything we think we know about party dressing. I’m a huge fan of breaking the ‘rules’: embellished boots with a floral dress to lunch? Yes, please! A candy-pink suit with a pair of metallic heels and a slogan tee, just because? Why not? I mean, who wrote the rule book in the first place, anyway?
You see, most people associate sequins, sparkle or sheen with a night out, but truth be told, we have been so accustomed to dress codes that we have forgotten our true selves. Don’t get me wrong; a tiny bit of sparkle can take your look that much further and shouldn’t be dismissed, but it doesn’t take a whole lot to crack the code. All you need is the confidence to rock pretty much anything in the way it deserves to be seen out and about.
Heels are, in my opinion, a gamechanger, but what if you’re terrible at walking in them or you can’t find the height that will be your saving grace when standing or dancing for hours? I love wearing heels, but I also love closing the dance floor, and I simply cannot do that if my feet are in agony just past my bedtime. Luckily for us, the kitten heel is eager and willing to save the night, and with so many variations out there right now, you’re bound to get your hands (or feet) on a winning pair.
The real secret to nailing it in heels, is support. Don’t underestimate the power of an ankle strap. Remember that stilettos are evil. Keep in mind that chunky block heels or platforms
perfectly balance comfort and height (they’re just not that good for cobbled streets). And, if you’re not a professional when it comes to a single, thin strap, opt for a broader one, multi straps or closed shoes to avoid grip failure.
Now, let’s talk about how to nail the smart-casual dress code with what you may already have in your wardrobe. The most obvious place to start is with denim. It is a classic, a staple and certainly not too casual if you do it right. To avoid being under or over-dressed, marry two possibilities by wearing a party dress over your jeans. The trick is to balance proportions – there should be an equal amount of dress and denim on show. You could also throw on a denim jacket over your slinky slip dress, or trade in smart tapered trousers for straight-cut jeans paired with a longerlength blazer and a camisole. Et voilà – smart casual.
Just remember: once you eliminate the dread of dressing to impress, you can get creative, break the rules, own what you define as party dressing, and choose comfort (you don’t want to spend the night tugging at your Spanx or keeping your breasts in check). After that, confidence comes naturally and owning the night is a guarantee. mc