Ahhh…New Year’s Eve. So joyous. What is typically any normal day becomes a huge celebration as soon as the sun goes down. Women take NYE as an opportunity to strut their stuff, and us men follow said women around. With that, there are typically three types of parties to which we all flock – at the Country Club, at a house, or at a hotel. Each of these parties have distinct characteristics. Let’s discuss.
First – the New Year’s Eve party at the Country Club. This is usually an all night affair, starting with a multiple course dinner and followed by dancing to a >5 piece band. Half of the attendees are staring at their watches praying that midnight would hurry up. The other half are taking full advantage of the open bar – treating their exclusive membership like a rite of passage; like the night you initiated into the Fraternity. Now, don’t get me wrong, Country Club parties can turn boring in a hurry, so the old adage ‘it is what you make of it’ rings true (hence the bottle rockets). Here’s how to look right inside the gates:
From top left:
1. Brooks Brothers One Button Fitzgerald Tuxedo: No rentals, period. Get something nice and alterable in case you hammer down on too many Thanksgiving leftovers next year.
2. Brioni Tuxedo Shirt: The tuxedo shirt is often overlooked, and really shouldn’t be. A well fitting shirt is important to any penguin suit – especially if you plan on losing the jacket.
3. Brooks Brothers Butterfly Self Tie Bow Tie: Every gentleman knows how to tie their own bow tie, so there is no excuse to wear a clip on. Ever.
4. Ben Silver Oval Mother of Pearl Formal Set: Probably a gift, so break them out.
5. Smathers & Branson Jolly Roger Cumberbund: Here’s where you can add a little flare. The red will stand out, and the Jolly Roger skull and crossbones will scare the weaker ones away.
6. Pantherella Cashmere Blend Socks: Again – some flare, but you have to have the moxie to pull these off. If you have it, they’ll be a hit. If not, they’ll be a disaster.
7. BOSS Black Tuxedo Dress Shoes: An updated version of the ‘opera pumps’ will look good on the dance floor.
8. Vintage Rolex Explorer I: This is the opportunity to wear the dress watch, and wear it proudly.
9. Bottle Rockets: Since none of us ever really grow up, sneak these in, grab your date, and fire a couple off the back deck. Instant entertainment.
Next up, the House Party. House parties range from a friend’s house in town, to a neighborhood culdesac, to a rented house in the mountains or on the lake. What is usually a well attended and multiple day affair is a relatively safe choice since no one will be driving. The food is good – either catered or straight from the grill – and the libations are plentiful. Good planning for house parties is key – someone has to play DJ, or all the guys will end up in front of the TV watching the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and all the women will end up in the kitchen. A bonfire is always a good play here as well. Regardless, you will be outside at some point during the evening, so dress accordingly:
From top left:
1. Ledbury Blue Roosevelt Flannel Shirt: The temperature will be low, especially after dark, so your base layer needs to be something thicker.
2. Barbour X To Ki Mountain Parka: The new Barbour made famous in Skyfall by James Bond…you can’t go wrong here.
3. J. Press Shaggy Dog Shetland Sweater: An on-and-offer – wear it when you need it, lose it when you don’t. This is like wearing insulation.
4. Jack Donnelly Slim Fit Khakis in British Khaki: It is a party, so wear some pants that look good, and show that you mean business. Take a steam iron to them before wearing. You won’t be sorry.
5. Lucchese Mad Dog Goat Cowboy Boots: Hopefully you asked for these for Christmas, so here is the right opportunity to take them on their maiden voyage.
6. Burberry Icon Check Cashmere Scarf: If the wind is blowing outside, you’ll be glad you remembered your scarf. Lambswool is good; cashmere is better.
7. Filson Medium Travel Bag: Just big enough for a change of clothes and toiletries. The key is to call dibs on the couch.
8. Martin Dingman Compton Aged Bark Houndstooth Belt: The perfect belt to buy with that Christmas money.
9. Knob Creek Bourbon: Because if the only thing you are kissing at the end of the night is the top of this bottle, make sure it’s a good one.
Finally, the Hotel Party. These are magnets for single women, so in true form, the men will follow. A $100+ ticket that includes food and ‘drinks’ is a small price to pay for the amount of entertainment. I’m not talking about the DJ or the washed up 90′s rock band, I’m talking about all the ‘people watching’. Desperate measures are taken to try and secure that midnight kiss, and watching the madness unfold is worth the price of admission. The negatives are the lines at the bar(s), the lines at the bathroom(s), and trying to find a way home. Think ahead on these…go ahead and rent a room in the hotel for easy bathroom access, as well as a secure place to stay for the night. As for the bar lines, see number 7 below:
From top left:
1. Richard James Wool & Mohair Suit: Wear a good suit. You’ll want to be one of the better dressed guys there. This will play to your advantage.
2. Brooks Brothers Black Dress Belt: Don’t think to much on this one. Just make sure it’s good leather.
3. Southern Proper X Wm. Lamb & Son Red Quail Feather Tie: It is NYE, so wear a nice tie. This SP X WML&S has a great Southern theme in a bit of a ‘Hermes’ style. Sharp.
4. Billy Reid Sunday Overcoat: It’s going to be cold, so have a jacket…but not just any jacket, wear one that you are supposed to wear over a suit.
5. Sid Mashburn Spread Collar Dress Shirt: A good shirt is key here, especially when you are jacket-less on the dance floor. It should fit, allowing you to break it down.
6. Zenith El Primero Chronograph Watch: If for any other reason than to tell the most precise time…and to look good on your wrist.
7. Coleman 8 oz. Tailgater Flask: Since the bar lines are awful, pack some heat. This 8 oz’er should hold you over.
8. Pantherella Dark Gray Dress Socks: Always match your pants to your socks.
9. Sid Mashburn Two-Eyelet Gibsons: These shoes will complete the look. Stylish – basically a step up from your normal cap toe.
Cheers, folks. Don’t forget to have a great time…