Dressing Down: 5 Alternatives to a Dress for NYE


The humble and reliable dress has served us all very well over the course of our sartorial lives. I can’t count the number of times a simple LBD has come to the rescue, in the face of impromptu parties, ruined outfits, and ambiguous dress codes. But sometimes it just feels too much like the obvious choice. This New Year’s Eve, why not break the mould and have the most exciting outfit at the party by ditching the dress and choosing one of these alternatives?

A Well-Tailored Suit: They’re not just for boys you know! Pick the kind of thing Janelle Monae would be proud of, with a slim cut and a few well-chosen accessories. No need to stick to black though; you can change things up with a white blazer, or if patterns are more your style, this Mango suit is perfect. Make sure to add a slick hair and make-up look, and voila!

  Glittery Leggings with a T-shirt: If your NYE plans involve a dress code which is more than a little confusing (I mean, what exactly is smart-casual?) then simply combine something which screams “party til sunrise” with something else which whispers “night in watching Hootenanny”. These leggings from French Connection are a true scene-stealer, but can still look semi-casual if you pair them with a classic plain white tee. A Primark basic will do, though there are some very flattering ones at Banana Republic at the moment. Alternatively, switch it round and wear your comfiest jeans with a dazzling statement top.

  A Jumpsuit: This could be something of a daring move, especially if you’ve never worn one before. If you’re unsure, the best way to go is to find something fairly simple, like this T-shirt style jumpsuit from Warehouse. While plain, this can be accessorized with a killer pair of heels, statement necklace, and a clutch bag. Bam. You’ll definitely be the most fashion-forward person in the room.

  A Statement Jacket: This can be worn any way you like: with the jumpsuit, over a plain black T-shirt and trousers, or maybe – for those fearless of the cold – with a pair of shorts. There are so many styles to choose from, all of which will have a great impact, but one trend worth investigating this season is the use of jacquard. This complex style of weaving allows for different textures within the same pattern, and can be found everywhere this season from the catwalk to the High Street. If you have a lot of cash to splash, why not invest in this gorgeous gold creation from Saint Laurent? Or if that’s a little out of your price range, turn to our old favourite New Look, whose Kelly Brook jacket has something of a Gatsby vibe about it. A Skirt: To tell the truth, I don’t often wear skirts for fear of looking a little prim or schoolgirl-ish. If you’re the same, the best way to avoid that feeling is to forgo a black or grey skirt and make sure to wear something with a distinct party air about it. This star-print skirt can either be dressed up with a stunning item like a sequin crop top or look laid-back when paired with your favourite Winter fluffy jumper. On top of that, if you add a thick pair of tights and you can get away with wearing it for the journey home in the morning without attracting disapproving glances. All images from the retailers’ websites.


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