Welcome to my multi-part what-to-wear series on New Year's Eve! Previously: What to Wear That's Not a Suit or Tie.
If you're like me and you own infinity number of little black dresses and high heels, New Year's Eve is awesome and really straight forward. On the other hand, if the idea of wearing a dress makes you feel a little queasy and/or oppressed, New Year's can be sort of terrifying and stressful and maybe make you want to stay in all night and watch the ball drop with your roommate and seventeen cats. But never fear! I'll be rolling out some sweet styles for the femmebutch, the not-butch not-femme, the androgynous, the totally butch and the scared shitless of looking fancy. Well, okay, let's be real -- I'll do my best.
Bow Ties Are For Winners
The key to a perfect bow tie look is getting that old school dapper appeal without looking like a waiter. When you're picking a bow tie for New Year's Eve, I strongly recommend getting a black satin or black velvet one that you have to tie yourself. Although pre-tied bow ties are easier, they can sometimes have a slight 'high school band' look to them. Similarly, though there are plenty of opportunities where a funky bow tie might shine, New Year's Eve is not one of them. New Year's Eve is about looking chic, slick and put together.
Once you have your bow tie it's time to start pulling the rest of your look together. First off you're going to need a button front shirt in white or black. I have the same feelings about the 'Blaine from Glee Polo And Bow Tie' look that I do about colorful bow ties: cute, but not for New Year's. Like I said, a nice button front in black or white.
On bottom you can really wear whatever you want. If the event you're attending is dressier, go for a nice pair of straight leg black slacks. If you're going to a club or a house party, skinny, straight leg or bootcut dark wash or black jeans are a good option. I don't suggest wearing a skirt because the combination of a skirt with a bow tie can make you look a bit like a flight attendant/waiter/playboy bunny. If, on the other hand, you want to femme up this look then you can tuck your shirt in to a pair of black shorts with tights with heels.
Now, did you buy that blazer I told you to get? If not, this is a great time to get something swanky. I like the idea of a white blazer with silk lapels, but a crisp black or charcoal blazer would look nice too. If you don't have a blazer or feel like buying one, you could also go for a V-neck cardigan buttoned up. If you have a dark shirt wear a light sweater and if you wear a light shirt choose a black, navy or charcoal cardigan.
Unless you opted for dress pants, I vote for high top sneakers. Why? Because high top sneakers are awesome. Oh yeah and because when the girl you've been eyeing pops the cork on a freshly shaken bottle of Cristal (and/or Andre) you'll want to get close and act like it ain't no thang that your kicks are wet. That's not exactly going to fly if you're planning on wearing you're Sunday best. Plus, if you decide to go to club, there is a 100% chance someone will trample/skuff/vomit on your shoes. Lame.
Regardless of how you decide to style your bow tie, as long as you keep your clothe's lines crisp and your colors bold. Really though, consider a real, live, tie-it-yourself bow tie.
Feel free to ask me specific New Year's Eve fashion questions on Formspring or through ASS messaging and watch closely for more stuff about stuff to stuff your stuff into for New Year's Eve in the days/hours/moments to come!