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The Glitz and Glamour of New Year’s Eve Fashion By: Maitri Choksi

I’m sure we can all agree that every once in a while it’s fun to trade out our sweatpants and hoodies for a bit of glamour and style. Especially now in the age of Covid where like most people, I’ve been living in various pajama pants and oversized t-shirts. Whether you’re staying in or having a (socially-distant) get together, what better occasion to dress up for than New Year’s Eve?

If you’ve ever wondered why we adorn ourselves with glitter and tinsel to bring in the New Year, look no further. Dressing up for the New Year goes all the way back to ancient civilizations like Babylon, where NYE was seen as the struggle between order and chaos. To celebrate this, the ancient Babylonians would dress up in ornate costumes and masks, anything outside of the norm.

The second revival of the New Year’s Eve festivities came in the late 1800s. It started being a bigger deal as watches and other time telling devices became more commonplace, heightening people’s excitement over the moment that signaled a significant change in time. That, combined with mass migration towards large cities, helped grow the world’s fascination with ringing in the new year. In the early 1900s, three New York socialites threw a large and fancy party that garnered the attention of the Washington Post. The article reporting on their gowns of silk, chiffon and beaded appliques, inspired the general public and sparked the flames of the glitz and glamour of NYE fashion that we all know of today.

In the more recent years, New Years has been seen as a fresh start and a new beginning. According to Louise Miller, author of New Year's Customs, Traditions & Superstitions From Around The World, “many cultures view what occurs on New Year’s Eve and Day as what will set the tone and mood for the new year.” Wearing your newest, shiniest and best clothes is thought to bring good luck and attract prosperity for the year to follow. In other words, New Year’s Eve symbolizes “out with the old and in with the new” kind of thing.

Now on to the part most of you are probably looking forward to, the fashion! In order to put together the perfect outfit, there are a few aspects we must first consider. Colors, your preferred amount of glitter/sparkle/shiny things and personal style.


According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2021 is the year of the Metal Ox. Because of this, silver and grey tones are considered good luck. However, if your wardrobe is lacking in silver and greys, you could always go for the classic, black and gold. I would suggest any dark tones with some contrasting element. Combos like navy and white, royal purple and grey, or forest green and pale gold. Along the lines of color it’s also important to take into account your inclination towards glitter, tinsel and other sparkly shiny elements.

All Things Glitter

If you’re comfortable with it, glitter is a perfect way to dress up any NYE outfit. For all of you fashion risk takers and wannabe human disco balls, a sequined dress, jacket, skirt or shirt would pair wonderfully with a sleek black counterpart.

For those of you who aren’t as comfortable being the center of the party, glitter nail polish, shoes, jewelry or any various other accessories, may be the way to go. Combined with a crushed velvet dress, faux leather pants and a comfy sweater, or a simple blouse and jeans, glitter accessories go well with any outfit (or even sweatpants!)

Fit and Personal Style

The last thing to consider is the fit. If you follow the formula of having contrasting fitting articles you can’t go wrong. Basically if your top is more form fitting, make sure your bottoms are looser, or if you’re wearing form fitting bottoms your top should be loose and flowy. Some examples of this combo that you can dress up or down are: a bodycon skirt paired with a loose button up, crop tops or a fitted tee with flare/bootcut jeans, or leggings/joggers with an oversized t-shirt.

The best outfit of course is the one that’s comfortable and makes you happy. Whatever you decide to wear this NYE, I hope that it brings you luck and prosperity as we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in 2021!

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