Style Stories

Outfit formulas for getting dressed up

How to get dressed for NYE and still feel like you are yourself
by Leandra Medine Cohen
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When you’re thinking about what you’ll wear on New Years Eve, the key thing you want to consider is where you’re going to be. I can think of four categories/locations that would call for different outfit equations.

The first is for celebrating at home.

Then there is celebrating at someone else’s home.

Then there’s a restaurant

And then there’s THE CLUB but really this category captures any location less intimate than a restaurant but probably more intimate than a gigantic concert hall for which event, truly, anything goes. Like throw your balls to the walls and see what form they leave behind.

Celebrating at home

For celebrating at home, I recommend wearing something you’d want to wear out, but probably couldn’t because of weather constrictions or general distrust in the outfit’s ability to exit your home. For me, this looks like a sort of hodgepodge of items I live in over the summer, like these blue satin shorts from Dice Kayek (here they are in wool), and a top that is comfortable enough to lounge in, but nice enough to make me feel like I’m respecting the departure we’re gathered here for, bidding farewell to a great mass of time with aplomb.

Attersee top, Dice Kayek shorts (here are some friendly ones from Tibi), Saks Potts tights (these from Wolford look nice and thick, so they should last), Charvet slippers

And then, because it’s fun and unexpected, I’d add a pair of tights and specifically pair them with house slippers, which could be any slippers — they could be hotel slippers you brought home with you the last time you went away. But it’s a fun little quirk, a style note that you write to anchor into the art of hosting with some intentionality behind it, you know?

Like, “I knew you were all coming here, and I thought about that when I was getting dressed and I wanted to welcome you through my clothes, and convey that it’s cozy and comfy, but still chiciddy chic in here.”

The other thing you can do, and I think this is what I’m going to do, is pretend you’re like, Babe Paley. To channel that spirit, I would recommend a tasteful pairing of lush materials that espouse the principles of modesty without knocking you over the head with them:

This is a gold Michael Kors dress that was knee-length, which I bought from a consignment shop chopped into a micro mini. You can go one of two routes to approximate this one with a metallic top half a la button down, or tiny, micro mini a la this. And for the pants: an elastic waist makes the whole thing work — these are The Row’s gala pants. These are a solid comp, and I especially like that they’re brown.

Another note on these pants: they’re solid spring/summer/even fall companions but suck in the winter because they cling on account of static. One more reason they’re great to wear while hosting at home: you’re free from cling.

Celebrating at someone else’s home

For celebrating at someone else’s home, the principles aren’t all that different but there’s a chance you can keep your shoes on, so you’re probably going to want to wear something you’d feel just as good in while wearing shoes as you would while not. Maybe in fact this is the same outfit you’d pick to host from home, I don’t know, but in case it is not, this might jog your creativity.

Khaite top — but anything fitted to the body like this work, Courreges skirt, TBD belt and another good pair of promising lace tights

If you’d rather do it with pants, I suggest velvet (these are good), corduroy, or something, like, taffeta. Interpreted this way, think I’d go for a white tank/tee and style the chain belt over a la:

The belt is actually a triple-wrap necklace — get creative about fashioning your own! Connect two necklaces if you have the right ones and pretend its ‘88 again.

The other thing I’ll say is: a plain tank top or fitted t-shirt or if you have one of these expensive but seemingly ideal Khaite ribbed things, those are a great foil for this look. And the pants don’t have to be the listed fabrics! They could be brocade, or just printed/festive. The world is your wardrobe’s oyster, young mushroom. Which brings me to:

Celebrating at a restaurant

To do this, I hard recommend going the “taxi to table” route and living it up with your footwear. If you’re in a cold climate, which I for one am, you do want to make sure you’re temperamentally comfortable, so maybe don’t wear a tank top (it’s dif when you’re at home or at someone else’s place bc the door that separates inside from outside is not constantly swinging open at you). I’d recommend layers — keep it in the spirit of the season if you like:

Maria McManus top, La Double J pants (these are a different cut completely, but I like them for this outfit equation too), Amina Muaddi platforms

Paco Rabanne bracelet (this one w some blue links is 30% off), Arielle Ratner ring

I opted for a red t-neck under black and white stripes and paired both with these brocade pants. And then for the motherlode, add:

Amina Muaddi shoes

Impossible shoes that you make possible because that’s what a person in heels can do!

There are plenty of ways to strike the same balance — you can go the sweater route to pair with fancy pants, or reverse it with a fun top half/more subdued bottom. I landed somewhere in the middle here because red’s an electric color, and the stripes add a dizzying dimension of flare.

In particular, I’ll say that wearing black and white is the easiest, most effective way to get in theme for the spirit because B/W are practically the colors of NYE, with white standing in as a silver comp.

Here’s a wild card in the form of: Wolford body suit under Nafsika Skourti dress with a Cashmere in Love cropped sweater over that. The socks are Les Belles and the shoes are Gucci; if I were you and in the market for something similar, I’d definitely get these — more versatile

(Though to be clear, gold can stand in as an alternative to silver.)

…Maybe you can try to strike your balance with a black shirt or vest layered under something white or vice versa (black t-neck, white button down?) to wear with your fancy pants. If you’re going in the reverse direction:

The other thing I’ll say about this bodysuit is that it’s a perfect turtleneck for hair tucking. Meanwhile, this top is Siedres — do you have anything that’s velvet or like, lamé? Both will work. And so will any pair of pants (mine are from Pallas and I think these the same fit) in a durable fabric and reliable color — I especially like corduroy/velvet because of how lush color catches on to the fabric. The socks are my trusty grey Falke companions and the shoes are Manolo Blahnik. Any metallic/glitter pair you have will probably do! Though my preference with informal pants and a covered top is for sure something refined, so no platform.

Corduroy is a good foil! So could be cotton gabardine like this. Technically, those aren’t sequins.

Celebrating while out-out

Or alternatively, celebrating at the clurb: anything less intimate than a restaurant. To me, this is your chance to try something new and see how it works out at scale. Have you been wanting to try anything lately? I for one have been curious about pairing white tights with patent leather shoes and lo and behold, here I am:

What I did here was pair the top layer of an old dress (it comes with a gold lamé inner with crystal boobs on it, which often I wear over jeans) with a black tank from Coucou and high waist black underwear (a bathing suit bottom works too — maybe in fact a one-piece would be good). I’d have really preferred proper white tights like these but don’t have any, so here we are.

If you want to really fuck with people, I might suggest more unlikely shoes.

This coat is Rixo and a particularly prideful acquisition of late — quality buy at a good price but it will not keep you warm at temps below freezing if you aren’t wearing layers of wool under it. Size up so your knits will fit and you will be golden.

The way to encourage you to emulate this style has less to do with the actual clothes. It’s more about asking the question: what would be a style risk that you have enough confidence to take right now, even though you haven’t gotten around to taking it yet? The risk should relate to what is in your closet — and it’s easier to take that way. You’re familiar with the ridges of the clothes you own, but how can you think of them differently?

At the last minute, I decided to use the interior gold dress from the black slip to fashion one more look and in the end, I actually think this is my favorite of the bunch:

Tove Studio cardigan, Les Belles stockings, old Celine sandals, but wow I love these

Unexpected lesson of this exercise? The most satisfying execution of a new look (idea) comes from the contents of what you already own (know).

I am so grateful you give me enough reason to do this every week. I wish you the same reinforcement and thrill as you venture into whatever comes next for you. Happy new year my friend,