New Years Eve Fashion Part Three: Watching The Ball Drop At Home

Welcome to my multi-part what-to-wear series on New Year’s Eve! Previously: New Year’s Eve Fashion Part Two: What to Wear That’s Not a Suit or Tie and New Year’s Eve Fashion Part Two: Maybe You Should Rock a Bow 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.


Some years you really want to go all out for the countdown to January 1st. You get dressed up all dapper, buy one to twelve bottles of champagne, rent a limo and maybe even travel to Atlantic City. The world is your oyster. But maybe not this year. Maybe this year you can’t decide between two sets of friends and you really just want to stay at home with your adorable new Great Dane puppy. Maybe. But just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan the perfect outfit to ring in the new year.

What to Wear When You’re Staying Home

There are, of course, lots of different versions of staying at home for New Year’s Eve. First up is the most obvious one: blowing off New Year’s plans completely and watching the ball drop all alone on the couch. This is suspiciously the most fun ever. But what to wear when you’re all by yourself?

I suggest a fitted V-neck and the most comfortable jeans you own. That way you’ll look approachable when you open the door for delivery but you’ll still be as comfortable as possible. Alternatively, I always love a good tank top and yoga pants combo. This allows me to suddenly walk across the street to get pre-made cookie dough while still looking as though maybe I just returned form yoga class and/or a yoga themed New Year’s celebration. Sweatpants are also a great option if you don’t want to get grease from the popcorn on your jeans as you wipe your hand. I strongly suggest checking out Riese’s detailing for dressing alone in your apartment (from where I stole the image below) and the best sweatpants.

Alternatively, you could be settling in for a nice cozy New Year’s date night for two. If that’s the case, then you’ve opened up a whole new world. You want your girlfriend/partner/wife to know you enjoy and look forward to New Year’s with her just as much as a big party, but you want to be comfortable enough to inevitably end up eating in front of the TV.

I suggest going with a business casual look and wearing a V-neck sweater over a button up shirt with comfy jeans or slacks. I do not suggest wearing a tie because they’re uncomfortable and hard to take off in the heat of the moment. Also, a tie might put too much pressure on your honey to fancy it up when she wants to lay low. A V-neck over a button up looks casual but thoughtful and put together. Since it’s just the two of you, you don’t need to worry too much about wearing your nicest black button up or white sweater. Feel free to keep it simple and even wear one of your everyday plaids. The key here is to show thought in what you’re wearing making an At Home night a Date Night.

Best of all, even if it’s just the two of you, you and your honey could hilariously rock it over the top with 2012 New Year’s Eve glasses and party hats. I mean, have you considered getting plastic New Year’s necklaces for both of you? Nothing says romance like cheap party supplies.


Finally you might be spending the evening doing the most advanced form of staying at home: cooking for others. Cooking for others at your own home on New Year’s Eve is dangerous stuff. Usually anyone will arrive to a New Year’s evening in their fancy pants clothes so, unless you specifically tell everyone to dress mega casual, expect to do the same. You might even have to wear shoes which, I know, is totally ridiculous since it’s your house for god sakes.

The key though, is the apron. Regardless if you’re the skirt wearing sort, an apron can be the most important key to a host ensemble. Why? Because no matter what you serve or how last minute your planning was your friend(s)/family/that special someone will think you slaved over it all night. You can even rock a more comfortable outfit as the apron will lend you that put together look. If you’re more femme and want to wear a cutsie apron, you can wear it as your guest(s) are arriving and then literally leave the apron on all night. Every time someone points it out you just have to be all, “Oh my! I nearly forgot! Well, I’ve still got some things in the oven.” See?!? You can be pulling pizza rolls out of the freezer and slapping them on a pan and everyone will think you’ve gone through tons of spectacular party planning efforts.

If you want to really impress the girl of your dreams, maybe you should invest in a My Drunk Kitchen apron.


Regardless of your At Home plans, you’re sure to have a stellar night as long as you strike a balance between comfortable and snazzy when you suit up. Worst case scenario, it’s your house: you can always wear your birthday suit.


Feel free to ask me specific New Year’s Eve fashion questions on Formspring or through ASS messaging!

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. Thank you AS! I was feeling depressed about being home for NYE this year, but this article has made it feel like it’s a valid option!

  2. I’ve spent the last few new years eves alone. I make homemade cream soda, and have a tv or movie marathon. This year it’s The Pink Panther movies and cartoons. I am so excited for it.

    • I’ve spent the last few NYEs alone, too. I may have to steal your idea of homemade cream soda though, that sounds delightful!

      I’m normally really lazy and just wear pajamas, but maybe this year I’ll follow Lizz’s advice and do the v-neck and jeans thing. That way I can stop being so lazy. (Not that wearing PJs is inherently lazy, but when I’m on break from school, I turn into a sloth and it’s not good. So yeah.)

    • o solo homo…

      me too. i usually eat cheese and get drunk on champagne with my grandparents on nye, but this year they’re far away ):

      • p.s. i know that makes me sound really uncool. which i generally am. but actually this is one thing i do because my grandparents are badass.

  3. Pingback: New Years Eve Fashion Part Three: Watching The Ball Drop At Home – Autostraddle | Luxe Clothes

  4. Since my girlfriend is away over the Atlantic I’ll be rocking NYE with the dog at home. If I’m not in my pyjamas I’ll be styling my baggy jeans and plaid shirt look. Watching either Jools Holland’s Hootenanny or an X-Files marathon. Bliss!

  5. Note to self: buy more sweatpants because they look better onn you then your pyjamas even if you aren’t going to wear them to the supermarket like the rest of the decidedly non-gay neighbourhood.

  6. yeessss, i spent all day feeling like a moron for sitting home alone on NYE, but now it’s aiiight. got a bottle of champagne (ok, two) and a new red dress. i would normally not tell people i like drinking alone but this is my last chance to get really drunk before my insanely huge & horribly scary exam in mid january so it’s totally legit.

    oh procedural law, how i loathe ye

  7. Thanks for these articles! They’re thoughtful and detailed, and helpful! I thought I wouldn’t need them because I was planning to hike a mountain tonight so my attire would b thermal underwear, down jacket, under armor tights, snow pants, and winter boots. But then I got invited to a chill house party, so I’m going to wear a v-neck sweater. It will be a nice change for my friends to see me in something besides a flannel!

  8. Staying home on NYE is the perfect time to wear whatever-the-hell you want. You don’t have to worry about all of the practicalities, like wearing something warm enough or choosing practical shoes. I have the problem of wanting to get really really glammed up, like black tie glammed up, yet can not afford to go do anything that fancy. Staying in, whether alone or with others, is the perfect way to solve all those practicality problems. I stayed home last year and wore a vintage prom dress. It was great!

  9. It’s 10pm, I’m in my most comfortable jeans (slightly sprayed with carrot baby food, but you can only tell from up close) and a baby proof sweater (a.k.a. one I don’t care about). Our very own little human of four months is sleeping in our bed, grunting in her sleep. In front of me I have a water glass with a sip of whiskey (we are responsible parents, what if we have to take her to a doctor in the middle of the night) that I will probably refill just one (read: several) more times.

    Can’t wait to reminisce about the past year in bed while the fireworks reflect on the bedroom walls.

    Also lets hope the little human stays asleep.

  10. Yeah, NYE at home by yourself is great! It’s 10 pm over here, so I can honestly tell you that it is. Cava, potato chips and typically Dutch NYE snacks wearing jeans and a fleece. Also, I love that I can go to sleep at midnight.

    • Lucky you, going to sleep at midnight. Here on the southside of Rotterdam the noise will last for some time….
      Gelukkig nieuw jaar!

      • In the centre of Utrecht it’s pretty quiet for now, but in other parts of the city it’s really bad! I love fire works, but the adolescent boys lighting fire crackers all day is just plain annoying.
        Hope you can sleep through all the noise. Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

  11. 7pm: I’m house sitting a black lab tonight in underarmour, jeans, and an oversized thermal. Getting over a cold, so soup and gallons of Throat Comfort tea. Thinking about filling out a paper address book or reading the Little House books. Success. Probably won’t make it to midnight…

  12. Tonight I am staying home, alone, with a very large bottle of $10 sparkling wine, a bag of microwave popcorn and DS9 on my Netflix. For the occasion I am wearing blue scrub pants and a black tank top with a pair of those fuzzy socks and it’s all perfect (or will be when the parents gtfo the house so I can be aaallllllll alone omg so excited).

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