The Best Dresses to Wear to Your New Year's Eve Party

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Need a Dress for New Year's Eve?

Lily Aldridge, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Elsa Hosk and Alanna Arrington pose in the Diane Von Furstenberg Fall 2016 show during New York Fashion Week on February 14, 2016 in New York City.
Getty Images: Jamie McCarthy / Staff

It's the very last fashion question of the year, and often one of the toughest to answer: What should I wear on New Year's Eve? Dressing for holiday parties is fun — but not without its challenges.

When it comes to New Year's Eve, we tend to go with dresses — especially cocktail dresses — as the most appropriate, fun and festive thing to wear for the last night (and the biggest party) of the year. There are a variety of options that are both timeless and trendy — some leaning farther one way than the other. You can't go wrong with a little black dress; try one that feels current, perhaps in velvet or lace!

With the big night just a few weeks away, we've rounded up our favorite dress styles that are both seasonally appropriate (add tights if its cold!) and festive. From sequins to velvet, embroidery and even formal gowns (New Year's ball, anyone?), scroll through for all of our best New Year's Eve dresses. 

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The Sequin Dress

Sequin dresses
All images via

There is perhaps no look more central to the New Year's Eve wardrobe than the sequin dress. No matter what your age or the occasion (we love sequins over 40, by the way), these dressy little accents add the most glitz and sparkle to your look without the need for any accessories at all! If you decide to wear sequins this year, keep your shoes, hair, and jewelry very minimal. (Black is an easy option that always works for your shoes and handbag.)

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A Little Black Dress

Little black dress
images via Topshop

Obviously, the little black dress is one of the easiest options for a New Year's party. The odds are that you probably have one or two (or five) in your closet already, so if you want to spruce it up for NYE, look for bold statement jewelry like cocktail rings and necklaces doused in crystals and faux gems.

If you want something fresh, look for a little black dress with an interesting twist — cutouts, a cold shoulder or a high slit are fun.

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A Velvet Dress

Velvet dresses
H&M, Nordstrom & Mango

Velvet was one of the biggest trends of the year, and we have no doubt that this luxe-looking, lush fabric will continue to dominate next year, too. Whatever your favorite body part might be, whatever you may want to hide or show off, there's a velvet dress out there to flatter your figure and fit the mood of whatever you might be doing on NYE.

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A Festive Cocktail Dress

Festive cocktail dresses
Zara, Net-a-Porter

Cocktail attire is often the dress code of choice for a New Year's Eve party. But what if the invite says, "Festive Cocktail?" If you ask us, that means the more seasonal glamour — jewels, faux fur, sparkle, and shimmer — the better. Look for dresses in rich jewel tones and ones with embellishments that fit the mood.

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A Sweater Dress

Sweater dresses
Nordstrom, Everlane

Not everyone wants to be out all night on New Year's Eve. Whether you'll host a small gathering at home or just enjoy a cozy night on the couch — a sweater dress is a perfect balance between style and comfort. There are plenty of options out there including on-trend turtlenecks and long simple styles, as well as mini dresses that fit close to the body — perfect for layering with a faux fur vest and over-the-knee boots, for example.

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A Formal Dress

Formal dresses
Topshop, Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter

If you're going to a New Year's party with a formal dress code, you'll need a look that's extra-special. A formal dress is a good idea, but you could also wear a long jumpsuit or ultra-dressy separates (like a ball skirt and a cashmere sweater, for example). 

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An Embellished or Lace Dress

Embellished and lace dresses
Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Net-a-Porter

Beyond a fully-sequined dress — there are plenty of dresses out there that are embellished with details but not too flashy. We love lace and beading as well as pretty embroidery. Stores like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Topshop will have options to suit any budget and that will flatter any body type, too. (You may just have to try on a few different looks.)