One of the signs that you have reached adulthood is that it becomes de rigueur among your peer group to tell anyone who will listen that, actually, you hate New Year’s Eve. This is a rite of passage. First you have to give up on Father Christmas, then you have to forfeit any excitement for the New Year countdown.
It is undeniably true that New Year is not the most sophisticated of occasions. It is the alcopop of party season, not the martini. It is when the bridge-and-tunnel set who have just discovered the concept of out-out get to use it in all of their Instagram captions. Although the bridge-and-tunnellers are frankly charm itself in comparison to the appalling snobs NYE makes out of everyone else. Me included.
This is all very silly. It is ludicrous to decree that it is more chic to stay in than to go out, or vice versa, however old you are. It doesn’t matter if your idea of rinsing the last bit of fun from the festive season involves lining up the tequila shots or phoning for a pizza. Your crew, or your cat. I mean, one thing we can probably all agree on is that 2017 wasn’t an easy ride, geopolitically speaking. I say we each get to see it out in whatever way floats our boat.
This is where I give you licence to wear trackie bottoms and that eye-wateringly unflattering cardigan-coat thing that you just can’t give up because of its peerless draught‑excluding qualities. Right? Wrong. I would like to suggest, instead, an in-out compromise: dress to go out, even if you are staying in. I can’t recommend this highly enough. You get to wear your nice things, safe in the knowledge that you can change into your PJs at any point.
Say, for example, you received the fashion-forward Christmas gift of a pair of sparkly shoes. (Of course self-gifting counts. In fact, double points.) There is no better view of them than the one you get from the sofa, between you and Netflix. Just because you couldn’t afford the £6,000 Saint Laurent version, there’s no reason you can’t be in on the bling dancing shoe look this New Year’s Eve. A shoe that says out-out, and then a nice sit down? The recipe for a perfect NYE is up to you.
Photograph: David Newby. Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management.