NYE: Formal, Sporty, or Lounge?

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, it’s fair to say that most of us have something on the calendar.  For those that haven’t made plans, no need to panic, there are some pretty good college football games on TV.  I’m thinking that a nice (and unhungover) hike up the mountain on new year’s day doesn’t sound too bad either.

For those that are planning to party, remember one thing: manage expectations.  NYE parties can be great, but they usually aren’t as mind blowingly epic as the marketing makes them sound.  New Year’s has it’s own feel: the ‘out with the old, in with the new’, but in my experience, it’s more enjoyable to treat the night like any other spent out on the town.

Generally speaking, there are three types of parties.  One that is formal, such as a wedding, party at a country club, or a gala.  Second is what I’m referring to as a sporty event with a date or as group, usually at a bar or restaurant, or at a promoted hotel event.  Lastly, the third option: hanging at a friend’s house.

Here is the breakdown on how to be the best dressed, wherever you opt to ring in 2017:

From top left:

1. Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Swiss Pleat Tuxedo Shirt:  I prefer a pleated shirt when you aren’t in danger of out-dressing a groom.
2. J. Crew Ludlow Dinner Jacket:  When attending a black tie event, be the guy that shows up in a white dinner jacket.  It’ll pay dividends.
3. Brooks Brothers Self-Tie Bow Tie: Always tie your own bow tie.  No questions asked.
4. Cartier Dumont Men’s Watch:  We’ve used the term ‘tuxedo watch’ here before.  Here you go.
5. Brooks Brothers 4-pleat Cummerbund:  Opt for a cummerbund rather than suspenders.  More than likely you’ll be on your feet most of the night, so show off your crumb catcher.
6. J. Crew Ludlow Black Tuxedo Pants:  Don’t think too deep here.
7. Res Ipsa X Brackish Black Suede Formal Loafers:  Formal shoes should be fun.  Add a little flare here, like the Brackish feather on Res Ipsa Prince Albert-style formal loafers.
8. Cartier Lapis Lazuli Cufflinks:  Remember those old cufflinks your Grandfather gave you a few years ago?  Shine ’em up and give them a go.

What to drink?  A Vesper Martini, but only a couple.  You need to make it to midnight.


From top left:

1. Ledbury White Dress Shirt:  Tonight you want to go a little fancy.  A white dress shirt is an ideal starter, as it’s more formal than any shade of blue.
2. Southern Proper Blackwatch Plaid Sport Coat:  This is the jacket you build your outfit around.  A classic, seasonal plaid that fits well and is pleasing to the touch.
3. Panerai PAM373 Radiomir Three-Day Platino Watch:  Bring out the big guns.  Speaking of big, with this 47mm face, you don’t need glowing hands to see when it’s midnight.
4. Sid Mashburn 1″ Chocolate Alligator Conroy Belt:  A fancy belt that keeps with the rest of the outfit.
5. A.P.C. New Standard Jeans:  Like the white shirt, don’t think too hard about the jeans.  Go dark, as it is the most dressed up look when going with jeans.
6. Barker Black Wolfe Suede Loafers:  Again, big guns for a big night.

What to drink?  A Manhattan.  Order it up if you are at a table, or on the rocks if you are on the dance floor.


From top left:

1. Thomas Wages Purple Gingham Shirt:  Comfortable and casual.  Gingham is the gift that keeps on giving.
2. Alan Paine Cashmere Cableknit Sweater:  There’s always room for cashmere.  She won’t keep her hands off of you.
3. Luminox 1827 Field Watch:  Something casual and a very specific date function.  Don’t be late…
4. Colonel Littleton #5 Cinch Belt:  Adding a really cool belt to a relatively basic outfit gives it a subtle pop.
5. Harrison Badge Khakis:  Buy good khakis.  Wear good khakis.  These are incredible.  Extra points for a 2″ cuff.
6. Alden Unlined Chukka Boots:  Casual, unlined boots that aren’t stuffy at all.  Snuff suede for the win.

What to drink?  Bring a six pack of your favorite beer.  Use your sweater as a pillow when you fall asleep at 10:30.  Have a glass of champagne at midnight (she will wake you up).

Happy New Year, folks.  Looking forward to big things in 2017…



  1. 12/28/2016 / 11:54 AM

    Good stuff! Love the sporty look! I’ll be rocking something very similar.

  2. Landy
    12/28/2016 / 12:23 PM

    You’re spot on with managing expectations if you do go out. I’ve retired from bars/galas to house parties. Can’t say I miss the crowds or wait for drinks

  3. Drew
    12/28/2016 / 6:37 PM

    Spot-on. I will be wearing khakis and flip-flops in Bequia this year, but I’ve been eyeing a Black Watch jacket from Ben Silver for months now. Glad to see I’m not crazy for wanting one and being under age 70. May have to bite the bullet for next NYE if it goes on sale.

  4. Steven Bremer
    12/28/2016 / 9:44 PM

    I will be making dinner for my wife while the kids sleep. With a newborn at home we likely won’t see midnight. I will be dressed for lounging.

  5. Erik
    12/28/2016 / 10:25 PM

    I won’t touch yingling after their political endorsement.

  6. Livingston Mimms
    12/29/2016 / 1:32 PM

    Go sea island or don’t go!

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