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NYE Party Outfit Hacks That I Tried (and Maybe Pulled Off?)

T-minus one day until we say farewell to collectively the most challenging year of our lives. Now we don’t know about you, but buying a new “New Year’s outfit” felt as necessary as Tayshia giving a second chance to Ben (clearly the woman was fully in love with Zac, DUH). But hey, you might have woken up this morning in the mood to dress up “a little” using what you already have in your closet. It might just be the pickup we all could use, right? So since last year’s post was all about this repurposing idea we thought, why not repost for the fun reminder? So hopefully this post gives you a couple of ideas that make you feel festive and beautiful to bring in this hopefully (if not just slightly) better new year. xx

Welcome to the last fashion post of the year, folks, and for those of you actually on the internet on this VERY busy Saturday, this is for you. Let me be clear, our New Year’s Eve will be spent up at the mountain house, having our now-annual scavenger hunt in the woods with the kids, and celebrating with some friends at 6pm. So I likely won’t be wearing a strapless jumper or a sequin jacket, but instead of buying more clothes (we are done buying over here, for a while) we came up with some fun hacks that I could try to convince you of. Hopefully, this serves as a “how to amp up” what you maybe already have – either dress it down or dress it up for a more ‘I’m going to party and hit rock bottom so I can really start my resolutions’ vibe.

#1 T-shirt Under Strapless Dress (Or Jumpsuit)

Here’s the case for this outfit: I can’t wear strapless dresses (I feel like I explode out of them and show too much flesh) so this is a solution that I LOVE, that actually looks very cool. I borrowed this jumper from my friend (it’s old, sorry – but SO RAD) and with a t-shirt underneath I actually love it. It just feels a little more intentional and fun. So if you have an old strapless bridesmaid dress that the bride promised “was so cute and you could totally wear it again” maybe this is its moment. The key is that the shirt has to be casual (and fitted) and I think that if it were vintage or had a cool graphic on it that would be even better for that 80’s vibe (but I like the simplicity for this one). I think that it makes strapless look cooler, especially when it’s a sweetheart neckline. But I’m sure not all of you will agree.

I apologize for that ill wrapped present – the kids keep ALMOST opening them …. little drunk raccoons.

Now that I think of it, the shirt under the dress thing reminds me SO much of growing up LDS where we had to cover our shoulders and we would put T’s under all our spring dresses (dresses that definitely weren’t meant to have T-shirts under them). I think the rules have changed now, but I know this look is “in” at the moment.

Here are some options in case you don’t have a strapless dress or jumpsuit and want one.

emily henderson new years eve outfit04

1. Women’s Sleeveless Sweetheart Jumpsuit | 2. Isn’t It Iconic Strapless Dress | 3. Lioness Old Flame Strapless Mini Dress | 4. Elia Strapless Jumpsuit | 5. Women’s Animal Print Sleeveless Mini Dress | 6. Boss Jumpsuit | 7. Royal Blue Strapless Jumpsuit | 8. Hayden Strapless Velvet Jumpsuit | 9. Chic Red Jumpsuit

#2 Socks With an Open Toe Shoe

I don’t know guys. I’ve wanted to try this for a while, and I think it is fun but is it ridiculous? Or just fun and different for New Year’s Eve? I’ve seen it done where I’ve liked it … maybe I needed to slouch them more – you tell me…

But I do think I would leave the house like that, at least on New Years, because it feels like the right occasion to do so.

The key (I think) is not having them be tube socks and I suppose they also need to be thin with some sparkle or special detail. I’ve been on Man Repeller so many times looking for ‘how to style socks with open-toed shoes’ and it’s hard to find ANY inspiration or rules so I don’t know if I’m pulling this off exactly. It actually inspired me to answer more of those questions for you in the home space, those questions that may seem obvious to me but may not be for most people.

Here are some fun sock options in case all you have are those classic tube socks:)

emily henderson new years eve outfit06

1. Scallop Sheer Crew Sock | 2. Chenille Velour Cuffed Trouser Socks | 3. Pieces Purple Glitter Sock  | 4. Soft Roll Top Sock | 5. Starry Night Sheer Slouch Socks | 6. Sparkle Party Crew Sock | 7. Ankle Socks In Black & Glitter | 8. Richer Poorer Salem Quarter Sock | 9. Elvira Fishnet Socks 

#3: Dress Up a Vintage T With Awesome Earrings and a Leather Skirt

This look is super not me, but I’m still pretty into it and it was SO easy. I figured that most people have a black leather mini, and for my style, I like them to be styled more casually (I wouldn’t wear a super tight, revealing top with a leather mini because I think the skirt already has that vibe). So I’ve always worn it with a boxy sweater, but for NYE I love the boxy T, as it leans into the  ‘I didn’t really think about it, but don’t I look pretty cool’ vibe that maybe you are going for?

I showed Brian these photos because I stole his vintage Grateful Dead shirt and, I don’t know, I hoped he would think I looked cool or something in it but instead, he was like ‘ha, that’s not vintage, it’s from Target’ which was HILARIOUS. I think I’d rather it be a lighter color, like white with some band graphics on it, to give it a bit more contrast (but that’s just my personal taste).

I borrowed those earrings from Veronica who always wears EPIC earrings. They really do take any simple or casual outfit to the next level. I’ve been slow to get on the earring train mostly because A. I’m going to lose those them, and B. having usually big blonde hair and big boobs, big earrings just feel like a lot, and can go too cheesy and ’80s mom. But I’m going to try more, especially now that my hair is shorter (sadly – didn’t cut, just took out my extensions) and I always wear it up anyway.

Everyone in the office decided that earrings either need to be BIG or make some sort of statement, to really be cool. Or if you have multiple piercings a bunch of tiny earrings are so cute mixed and matched. I have seriously been thinking about getting a few piercings up my ear, a la Emily Schuman, in 2020 and think it would go nicely with my current mid-life crisis. You?

Here are some affordable favorites if you are looking.

emily henderson new years eve outfit09

1. Contessa Tassel Earrings | 2. Long Earrings | 3. Anne + Julia Duo | 4. The Oblong Hoops | 5. Poppy Puffy Heart Drop Earrings | 6. Geometric Organic Shape Minimalist Earrings | 7. Essential Large Chunky Hoop Earrings | 8. Drop Earrings | 9. Sibilia Spotted Hoop Post Earrings 

#4 Pair Sequins With an Everyday Outfit

You have jeans and a t-shirt I am sure, and MAYBE you’ve joined my snakeskin shootie train (all aboard?) so all you have to do for this one is add sequins or a BIG old pop of red. If I were just going to over to hang with my friends on NYE this is what I would wear and I LOVE it. (Yes, we shot this a while ago for that makeup post, but just realized it is a great talking point here). It’s comfortable, but still festive and party appropriate.

In case you don’t have a sequin top in your closet…

emily henderson new years eve outfit11

1. Luna Sequin Blouse | 2. Madeline Sequin Top | 3. Sequin Blazer Dress | 4. Sequined Jacket | 5. Sequined Diana Sequined Blazer | 6. Sparkle Blazer

I personally think that sequins are best dressed down, even if it’s a dress. I would wear a sequin gown with sneakers or weird boots instead of strappy heels – it is so glam and attention-getting already that unless you are going to a ball, I think it just looks cooler to make it more casual and give it an edge (aka, don’t style it like #6 – that looks cheesy to me).

#5 Pair a Belt Bag and Animal Print Shoes With a More Formal Dress

emily henderson new years eve outfit12

You’ve seen this dress because I’ve worn it like 5 times now, but this is a good example of a dress that can go in a few different directions, vibe-wise, based on styling. If I wore it with heels, it would go more ‘wedding’ or ‘opera’, but with the snakeskin western boots it feels younger and cooler (IMHO). I liked adding a color block belt (it’s my red fanny pack from Clare V. that is sadly no longer available).

Anyway, I’m not saying that is the perfect NYE outfit, but again, the animal print takes something that feels more feminine, ruffly and conservative into an edgier direction, which I love.

Here are some great belt bag options if you are in the market.

emily henderson new years eve outfit13

1. Emma Convertible Belt Bag | 2. Georgia Belt Bag | 3. Faux Leather Belt Bag | 4. STATE Crosby Fanny Pack | 5. Detachable Leather Belt Bag | 6. Detachable Leather Belt Bag

Now, if you are looking for some makeup inspo or recommendations, I’m not one to wear what looks to be A LOT of makeup so I did a post a couple months ago with a makeup artist who taught me how to do three different ‘party’ looks that I really liked.

emily henderson new years eve outfit14

The one on the left was more rose gold and shimmery, the middle had this awesome cobalt blue eyeliner and far-right had a glossy lid and a bold pop of red lip. All the products we used are linked in that post. I feel like there are a million different ‘highlighters’ and ‘glittery cream eyeshadows’ out there so to get her favorite recommendations and actually see them on my face was very helpful (Thank you Noel!)

By the way, IF you wear a t-shirt under your strapless gown or jumper or IF you try out socks with open-toe will you please tag or DM me? I want to see how others do it. I am so curious if these are an actual thing that only I think are cool, or maybe some of you are into them, too.

Also if you have ANY other hacks for party outfits our last-minute looks let us know – new ways to amp up what you already have seems to be a theme over here in general, so we’d love more ideas. xx

**photography by Veronica Crawford

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4 years ago

uhm… no.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jackie

Happy new year!

4 years ago
Reply to  Jackie

Agreed……..NO to all of it….

4 years ago
Reply to  Jackie

That’s rough. I think it’s pretty inspired. Out-of-the-box at least and I’m going to experiment with a tee under a camisole for Christmas Eve.

Loveley at
4 years ago

Love that first one! And the big earring one is good too.
Curious why you chose to remove your extensions?
Looks great without them, but just wondering

4 years ago

Love sequins day or night. My favorite skirt is a knee-length navy sequin pencil skirt that I wear with big fluffy sweaters.

As for the multiple ear piercings, go for it! I’m a few years older than you, and I just pierced my tragus. I have three piercings on that ear already, and might add another. I’m a sucker for little diamond studs and teensy gold hoops all stacked up.

4 years ago
Reply to  Cat

Cat, did it hurt when you pierced your tragus? I’ve been wanting to do that, but it seems painful. So instead of getting more holes, I’ve been really in to wearing ear cuffs.

4 years ago
Reply to  Beth

It hurt more than a normal piercing, but it was over in less than a minute. I didn’t want to look like a wimp so I pretended it didn’t hurt at all!

4 years ago
Reply to  Car

You’re braver than I am ?

4 years ago

Love these
For number 2 this could work with a midi or long length dress or skirt. This leaves less negative space with awkward leg exposure and less Oh those are SOCKS with a big capital S, or all caps.
Shimmery socks always do the trick

4 years ago

“I figured that most people have a black leather mini…” ??? Dead.

I love you, Em!!!!

4 years ago
Reply to  Anna

Hahahaha here to make the same comment ?

4 years ago
Reply to  Anna

I do! And an old dead shirt! Thanks for dressing me this year!:)

4 years ago
Reply to  Anna


4 years ago

Found a link to “white shirt under dress”
I like the look with a buttoned up dress shirt under the strapless … mix of school girl prep gone slutty?

And for earring statement looks, I go with tassels I buy at fabric stores and add earring backs. Super light weight and can go with many looks.

The open toe shoes look clunky to me, thought you were channeling roller derby skates. Probably not the vibe you were looking for.

Sequins or sparkle or velvet high low is very much my vibe and how I’ll roll on New Year’s eve.

Fun post. Stuff to inspire.

4 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

I thought roller derby too!

4 years ago

Ugh I love that blue jumpsuit and I’m not sure I would have been as obsessed with it if it didn’t have the white tee under it. I actually thought it was one piece… very good!!

4 years ago

Not really fashion related, but I love your hair shorter, it looks really cute, fun and healthy!

4 years ago

Thanks for all the inspiration. I’m wearing look four tonight, actually!

Will you be getting more extensions? I finally decided to go for it! First install Jan 3

4 years ago

Here’s a question I would like to pose: does your decorating style match your clothing style? Should it? Personally I think it should, otherwise it would be confusing. Not saying you can’t change your style, but I think people get a clear sense of who you are and it much more impactful when they do match.

4 years ago
Reply to  KyRebekah

When I was contemplating a major hair change one time, my friend asked me if my wardrobe would support the new hairstyle. It had never even occurred to me. I ended up cutting off about 15 inches of hair, and my broke ass could not afford a new wardrobe for the new do, but I did change my makeup a little…and maybe wear a few more scarves than normal. I like your question.

4 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

I like your reply! Very funny. And I’ve done the same thing throughout the years.

4 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

What about sine links for that leather skirt? Loved that outfit!!

4 years ago
Reply to  KyRebekah

Classic but modern, simple lines, lots of blue. That sums up my decor style and my personal style?

Annie K
4 years ago

I’m 35 and just starting to learn that I can take risks with clothes and it won’t kill me. Thank you for continuing to model this creative, adventurous, not-self-serious way of dressing. Recognizing that getting dressed can be FUN seems so basic but has been a learning process for me.

My partner and two little ones get to spend the night at friends’ house for NYE so we can stay up “all night” until 11pm playing board games, after the under three set are in bed. I’ll be in PJs…but maybe with some nice big earrings!

4 years ago

I’ve noticed this in a few posts and on insta stores… Emily, you always have the most random colored hair ties in and I think its hilarious.

4 years ago
Reply to  Hannah

There are a lot of fun ideas here, Emily! I really liked the T-shirt/jumpsuit look. You look so good in that color blue of course!!

4 years ago

What are the shoes you are wearing with the socks? Do you have a link for them? Thanks!

4 years ago

Just scrolling through, I thought you were wearing roller skates in #2!

4 years ago

Hated the first two. Like the Grateful Dead T look best.

4 years ago

Killed it with the blue jumpsuit and the tee underneath. Absolutely love it!

I feel like the socks with open toed shoes is almost working – maybe those knee highs paired with a simpler one piece mini dress, or the same outfit with shorter versions of those socks? Not sure. It could be great and it’s almost there.

4 years ago

For me the blue jumpsuit could use a whiter, tighter T, the romper & platform with the socks is a bit much… maybe if you tried it with flats. I like the skirt & boots but maybe a white Average White Band t shirt instead. Love the red dress.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pamela

Agree about the t-shirt needing to be tighter–and either whiter, or maybe in silvery gray? Loved the band t-shirt look though!

Paige Cassandra Flamm
4 years ago

I’m kind of obsessed with that blue jumpsuit!


4 years ago

no to all of it. no to wearing it. no to liking it on someone else. Just no. Sorry.

4 years ago
Reply to  Kim

I am just too old. Sigh.

4 years ago

People know that they don’t HAVE to comment, right? If you don’t like a person’s look at the mall, do you go up to them and say, UM NO? I happen to think these looks are cool, but even if I didn’t, I would do this little thing called minding my own business unless actually asked for an opinion. Happy holidays, all!

4 years ago
Reply to  Elisabeth

I don’t think giving an opinion on a post like this one is inappropriate. Emily is offering ideas with these looks and she isn’t sold on all of them herself. A negative comment here can hardly be compared to walking up to a random person at the mall and dissing their outfit. You criticized someone else for offering an unsolicited opinion and not minding their own business…your comment was no different!

4 years ago
Reply to  Carie

Yeah, Carie – I tend to feel that online etiquette is the same as IRL etiquette. Namely, if you aren’t asked for your opinion (and Emily actually didn’t ask — it would be entirely different if she had), then don’t give it. I also wasn’t giving an unsolicited opinion to an individual, as these commenters did. I commented on a behavior that a number of commenters exhibited, so my comment is indeed different.

4 years ago
Reply to  Elisabeth

Elisabeth – I agree. Some of these comments are just rude. If you don’t like em, don’t comment! Or at the very least, comment more gently.

My fave is the leather skirt/tee. Tho, lol, I don’t own a leather mini. 🙂

Zach Mitchell
4 years ago
Reply to  Elisabeth

I’m with you on this one, Elisabeth.

4 years ago

The socks and open toed shoes combo looks ADORABLE on you! I am all in.

4 years ago

The socks with open-toed shoes reminds me of Clueless, which I love. The look is almost there and I think it might be the shorts that aren’t working. Maybe a skirt instead of shorts or taller socks. I’d play around with it some more.

4 years ago

Very Nice Outfit & Happy New Year

4 years ago

The band tee look is my favourite. Socks and shoes? No. No, no. No, no, no.
You can dress down a sequin or shimmer dress by tying a shirt over it. Classic white, chambray or even plaid can look really good. It takes the edge off a too dressy look.

4 years ago

You nailed it, and are convincingly adorable in all. I love your sense of style, risks or no risks. Happy New Year, Emily. I eagerly await your posts each time.

4 years ago

I read all your posts and finally figured out that you use the term “jumper” to refer to a jumpsuit! I know it confused me in some previous posts – so dumb of me!
I’m familiar with a jumper as a sleeveless, collarless dress worn over a shirt or in the British sense as a sweater but now I’ve learned something new!
I like the sock/open toed shoe look with a dainty shoe and ankle socks, not so much with a clunky shoe and knee socks but you look like you’re having fun so that’s what matters!

4 years ago

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Mariya Zafirova
4 years ago

That red dress is gorgeous!

Mariya |

4 years ago

Keep the sequins and the rock T, but dang, burn the rest to a crisp. Tho the velvet dealio is a ‘maybe’… but it begs for skin.

4 years ago

I was thinking of piercing my ears in the New Year too!!!!
I LOVE the ideas. Taking something super fancy and dressing it down is always a brilliant way to re-wear pieces that would otherwise have a very short shelf life.

4 years ago

As a 64 year old who loves fashion, YES to ALL of these looks! So fun and creative! And in keeping with Bold Emily. I’ve loved you since the early days, and I say keep taking risks and know trolls are gonna troll (I think they’re just envious!)

4 years ago

Yes, to all of them.! Love your style. I’m going to copy!

Zach Mitchell
4 years ago

I love the sequined look! My only critique would be to wear a more fitted style jean. The blazer is kind of baggy, so I think it really needs to be slim on the bottom to keep things looking neat. I don’t hate the vintage tee with the leather mini either, but I agree that I would like a tiny bit more contrast with the color of the shirt.

Happy New Year!

4 years ago

For THIS nye specifically, i thrifted a 20’s/flapper inspired dress- it is going to be the 20’s again after all!

4 years ago

I am going to the Dead & Company concert in San Francisco on NYE so there are going to be thousands of people there wearing a variation of outfit #3 ?

4 years ago

Omg NO to everything! Also what would give you the bizarre idea we all have a black leather mini? Leave these outfits on the floor Emily!

4 years ago

No, no, no, no, and no.

3 years ago

Love the Grapic Tee with the leather skirt. Unless you want to get romantic. Then maybe go for
a slipdress dress with that red jacket.

Cris S.
3 years ago

I can’t look at the shiny nude boots without seeing dead piglets. Something is seriously wrong with those. The rest of it is up to you and the wearer’s attitude – I find people can wear things well that I might have thought silly as long as they do it with confidence! Go for it!

Or, to quote Dorothy Parker:
“In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.”

3 years ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Hell, yeah!!!!