Cost-Effective Ways to Dress for NYE

nye dressing

Let’s face it, the holidays are chaotic. Purchasing last minute gifts, dealing with daylight savings and recovering from the flu can add stress to an already stressful season. However, these occurrences rank low on the worry scale in comparison to New Year’s Eve.

Ah, good ole, NYE. The main event of the year conjures two very important questions: “What am I doing for New Years?” and the more crucial, “What shall I wear?”

After draining (most of, if not all of) your bank account from gift giving, deciding on a New Year’s event can be financially troublesome. Venues can charge an arm and a leg for entry fees. Then, once you and your social circle have finally settled on a place to celebrate, there’s little wiggle room in your budget to purchase the ensemble of your dreams.

Unfortunately, I cannot help with the former. My advice is to celebrate with your closest friends and, if possible, organize an intimate gathering at their place. If you’re a self-professed shopaholic, then you’re probably guilty of buying an outfit for a specific event and never wearing it again. The once coveted dress now hangs in the back of your closet collecting dust and wrinkles. There is no need to drain your hard-earned monies. Before heading to the mall, remember the 3Rs: Recycle. Reduce. Reuse.

With that in mind, here’s my NYE dressing advice:


Swap outfits with friends. If you’re fed up with your wardrobe, then raid your best pal’s. When in doubt, always opt for black. A simple black dress with oversized earrings always reads chic. Filter through your mom’s vintage clothing (maybe grandma’s too). Sequin tops are an easy match with denim. Top with a bright red lip and you’re dance floor ready!


I recommend rummaging through your closet and setting aside pieces that are outdated in style and silhouette. For example, the long floral-patterned red dress that you wore two years ago reads “90’s.” Get creative and flirt with altering the length. Knee-length garments (or 2 inches before) are more youthful than ankle-length dresses. Visit your neighborhood tailor* and for less than $20 you’ll be NYE ready. An oversized wool cardigan or faux fur jacket are also excellent statement pieces to wear over top.

*Remember that sweaters can be sleeveless and pants can be sewn into skirts!


When all else fails, be thrift savvy. Thrift stores offer bargain deals and although you may have to “hunt” for a while, you will stumble upon a few gems. Leather skirts are available in almost every second hand shop. A white leather skirt matched with anything is guaranteed cool. An old burgundy hoodie worn with the skirt, matched with black sheer hosiery and a Chelsea boot is perfection.

Vintage stores carry an abundant amount of leather, silk and velvet. These fabrics are luxurious in nature and because of this can heighten any outfit’s level of sophistication – making you party perfect.

How do you like to spend NYE?

Images via Katie Kopan

Natalie is a wardrobe stylist and also the Fashion Editor of Darling. She enjoys wearing her white ripped jeans all year round and hopes to break every "rule" out there.