Where to go and what to wear this New Year’s Eve.
The biggest bash of the year is almost here. Whether you prefer to ring in 2014 with a lavish soirée, early dinner or a simple Champagne toast, we’ve rounded up our five favorite picks for where to celebrate. And because the evening calls for attire that’s equally festive, we consulted three fashion experts to weigh in on what to wear. “It’s your chance to go all out with fashion and have fun,” says Derek Guillemette, head buyer at Renttherunway.com, the designer dress and accessories rental site. “You want your outfit to match the celebratory nature of the night.”
Where to go: The Drake Hotel is home to one of the biggest soirées in town, with more than 2,000 people ringing in the New Year at the storied spot. The fête almost always sells out, and tickets range from $155 for general admission to $27,500 for the “ultra VIP” package (which includes 100 guests, 10 bottles of Dom Perignon, a private bar and more). 140 E. Walton, (312) 587-3474; Thedrakehotel.com
Dress code: Sequins. Guillemette says the shimmery fabric’s ability to catch the light is perfect for The Drake’s dance floor. He recommends a shorter hemline to make even more of a statement.
Where to go: Pop into the Tortoise Club for a gourmet dinner, and still be home in time to tuck the kids into bed — and avoid the madness of midnight. The swanky restaurant is putting on the ritz with a bubble machine, complimentary Polaroid shots, caricature sketches and live jazz. Indulge in New Year’s Eve specials such as lobster Thermidor and turbot and Miyazaki strip loin. Reservations are recommended, and the average check per person is $35 (not including Champagne). 350 N. State, (312) 755-1700; Tortoiseclub.com
Dress code: Elegant but low-key. “A lace jumpsuit or dress is perfect,” says Katie Schuppler, wardrobe stylist for “The Whitney Reynolds Show.”
Where to go: Foodies should flock to Belly Q, chef Bill Kim’s award-winning Asian barbecue restaurant. On New Year’s Eve, the West Loop eatery is serving its menu a la carte — and handing out free bottles of Champagne to groups of six or more. Did we mention there’s a live DJ all night? 1400 W. Randolph, (312) 563-1010; Bellyqchicago.com
Dress code: On trend, just like the restaurant. Alia Ahmed-Yahia, Loft’s chief fashion director, recommends pairing a longer tuxedo blazer with a short, full skirt. “This combination is not only right for holiday dressing, but also works on the majority of body types,” she says. If you want to really play up the festivity, try a tuxedo jacket in sequins or jacquard.
Above left: Black tuxedo jacket, $118, foil print tee, $34.50, full skirt, $69.50; Right: Jacquard blazer, $148, bow blouse, $44.50, skinny jeans $69.50, all available at Loft.com
Where to go: Party like a rock star at Roof, which boasts sweeping 360-degree views of the Chicago skyline. The masquerade-themed bash begins at 9:30 p.m., replete with a live DJ and a variety of tickets and table packages from $163. Snag the “ultra VIP” package for a cool $25,000, which gets you a private table, dinner, premium drinks and hors d’oeuvres, an overnight stay at theWit and more. 201 N. State, (312) 239-9502; Thewithotel.com
Dress code: Runway fabulous. “You want a statement piece that says you’re going to bring it in the New Year,” says Schuppler, who suggests body-skimming silhouettes with extravagant accents. Try this velvet-bow sequin dress by L’Wren Scott, or for a budget-friendly Scott piece, check out her Banana Republic collection.
Above: L’Wren Scott metallic jacquard and velvet dress, $1,060 at Net-a-Porter.com
Where to go: Ring in 2014 celebrity-style at the legendary Pump Room, the stomping grounds of Chicago’s most glamorous. Kick off the evening with a four-course, prix-fixe dinner starting at 9, then continue the celebration with a four-hour premium open bar, midnight Champagne toast and a playlist specially curated for the evening ($215 per person). Want to make it an early evening? Dinner reservations are available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. for $65 per person. 1301 N. State, (312) 229-6740; Pumproom.com
Dress code: Cocktail. A little black dress, such as this Milly stunner, creates a modern-day movie-star look, perfect for the Hollywood haven. “The bow detail in the back and the A-line silhouette make it feminine and flirty, while the dynamic skirt makes it glamorous and effortlessly chic,” Guillemette says.
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