Christmas Eve Eve! Today is the day when it truly feels like the festive season has begun.
Despite all the franticness leading up to this date (and this year has been the most frantic I’ve experienced!), there is a definite punctuation on the 23rd which means it’s time to stop.
For my last post of 2016 I am sharing 4 black tie NYE outfit ideas alongside some tips on how to create a sense of occasion for NYE. Sometimes it is just FUN to create an excuse to dress up.
🍸 How To Create A Sense Of Occasion For NYE 🎉
Create an event
I don’t know about you, but unless I have actual plans for New Year’s Eve, it can often slip by rather uneventfully. Some of my favourite new years have actually been extremely low-key – but this NYE I am really looking forward to a proper party.
If you are wanting to do something special for New Year’s Eve then take charge of plans and make a suggestion to your friends. Often I find people are grateful for the suggestion of doing something.
A few ideas for NYE get-togethers include:
- ‘Black Tie Just Because’ – If you and your friends love getting dressed up, then make it your mission to create an occasion to do it!
This year a big group of our friends are getting together for a black tie meal on the 31st. We instigated a dress code for the fun of it.
Unless you are a dignitary, or perhaps Mark Darcy, then there are rare few occasions when really dressing up is required. If you love a sense of occasion then creating a dress code is a super fun way to make an evening feel even more special. As for the food and drink – take a consensus. If people are happy to make a dish each you can easily do a tapas-style gathering meal. We’ve hired in catering for the evening from a local company, you could do the same (it’s surprisingly affordable) or you can create something similar with pre-prepared food from a supermarket.
- ‘A Champagne Brunch’ – You don’t have to celebrate NYE at the stroke of midnight. It may suit you and your invitees better to create an occasion earlier in the day. One of my very favourite things to do is to host brunch for friends, and welcoming in the new year is the perfect excuse to do so.
- ‘Cinema At Home’ – Given, some new years just arn’t destined for heels and cocktails. If a low-key NYE sounds like your idea of heaven, you can still create a sense of occasion around it. Invite your favourite movie-viewing partners, and make a big sleepover theme around it. Pyjamas, a plan of movies to delve in to, and champagne on the sofa sounds pretty awesome to me too.
Send out invitations
There is something about invitations which makes things feel more special. Paperless Post is my go-to. Easy, affordable and really very pretty.
Instigate a dress code
Whatever you are doing, it’s fun to instigate some sort of dress code. Be it ‘posh PJs’ for a sleepover, ‘Gossip Girl Best’ for a brunch, or ‘Black Tie’ for an evening do. Choose a dress code which suits your occasion and run with it.
Ask everyone to bring a bottle of fizz
A bottle of fizz makes everything feel like a special occasion. Ask every party attendee to bring one and you’ll surely be stocked up to celebrate NYE.
Pre-plan your menu
Don’t let food slip to the bottom of your to-do list. As I mentioned above, I’m a big fan of pre-prepared supermarket food, or anything Jamie Oliver – see his canapé selection.
Just have fun
Simple though it sounds, it’s sometimes easy (especially if you are organising an event) to forget just to let go. New Year’s Eve is a special time when we can shed the year behind and look forward to the prospect of a new year ahead. If I’m feeling nervous before having guests over, I like to have a glass of champagne on the go before they arrive, turn the music up and remember that the host sets the tone for the feeling of a party – so to be relaxed and welcoming is definitely a good idea!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my round up of tips for creating an occasion, if black tie is speaking to you, then I have a whole host of outfit ideas for you too below . . . !
4 Black Tie Outfit Ideas
Outfit 1 – The Show-Stopper
Pouch: Elizabeth Scarlett (Available at Hero) | Necklace: Lulu Frost (Old)
Sometimes THE dress is required. You know the one you look at, fall crazy in love with, and just somehow need to have/borrow/own/have close to you?!
Needle & Thread is a brand best-known for its heavenly embroidery and ethereal-yet-cool occasion pieces. I’m crazy about basically everything the brand does. This floor-length Ditsy Scatter Gown (still available in the shorter length) ‘had me at hello’. The colour is an unusual take for black tie, and the detailing is even more beautiful in person.
Sometimes a lot of detail can look fussy, but I never get a sense of this with Needle & Thread pieces – they are all well-balanced.
If I am wearing a very ‘dressy dress’ I like to keep something a little ‘undone’ in my look. For me, this meant wearing my hair wavy and tying it in a messy Bardot ponytail.
And remember – no dress is too precious to dance in! If you feel restricted, or like you won’t be able to relax in a dress – don’t go for it! I’m a firm believer in comfort first (haha I am aware of how boring that sounds!) – can you eat/laugh/dance and have a good time at the party in your dress?
Outfit 2 – The Fit-N-Flare Dress
Blue Velvet Dress: ‘Velvet Frost Dress’ Tracey Reese at Anthropologie | Velvet Bow Shoes: Next
There are rare few dress silhouettes more universally flattering than the fit-n-flare. Look for a slim waist and a full skirt. I particularly like quite a long skirt – better for a good swish and showing off nice heels!
This ‘frost’ dress from Tracey Reeses at Anthropologie is a true Blair Waldorf-level occasion dress. The colour is absolutely dreamy, and the peekaboo lace keeps the velvet from feeling too heavy.
Anthropologie has an amazing selection of cocktail & occasion dresses. Anthropologie’s curation always feels a little different – the pieces I find there tend to always be something which captures my imagination and yes, my money too.
Outfit 3 – The Party Dress
I love a pretty, short and flirty party dress. Star prints and star embroidery are one of my random favourite things on a dress (genuinely I gravitate to them for some reason?!) and so this sweet floppy ‘Etoile’ dress from Anthropologie had my attention right away.
If you’re looking to go short, they something playful is the way to go. Short hemlines look great with flat shoes too, so if you know you’ll most likely feel most comfortable in occasion flats – then a shorter hem line is a great counter-balance.
Outfit 4 – The Non-Tux Tux
Heels: Old | Bag: Next
True story – I love wearing trousers for an occasion. I feel so comfortable in a jump suit or tuxedo. There is something innately cool about going against the ‘dress dress-code’ and choosing trousers.
Jigsaw is creating some stunning pieces right now, and this matching satin crêpe trouser and top set is absolutely gorgeous to touch. The fluid silhouette is relaxed yet glamorous, and wearing them makes you feel like some sort of slinky panther.
Wide-leg trousers and a longer top is a great alternative to a ‘jacket and trousers’ tuxedo look. It’s less structured and feels more ‘Library drawing room with Whiskey to hand’.
Whatever you choose to do for New Year’s Eve this year I hope you have a WONDERFUL time welcoming in 2017.
2016 has been a crazy year for many reasons, many of which we universally feel. I am so looking forward to starting afresh in January, and that is something I am happy to toast to!
Thank you so much for supporting The Elgin Avenue and my endeavours this year. I am sending a huge virtual hug your way.
This is my last blog post for 2016, I shall see you on the flip side!
Wishing love, happiness and lots of good food to you all and your loved ones!
Love, Monica x
A HUGE thank you to Hannah’s B&B for our stunning shoot location.