Yes, dressing up can be a pain; your skin-tight Top Gun trousers haven’t arrived from Amazon and Primark’s clothes are looking too depressingly normal to be pulled off as a costume, but there’s something about London's New Year's Eve fancy dress parties that get us hot under the collar. There’s something about them that screams ‘this going to be a fun night’, the kind of night where the bouncer in McDonald’s asks you to leave (Yes, McDonald’s DO have bouncers) and your bank account is £100 down after a few too many tequila shots. If there’s one thing New Year should be, it’s fun, and we mean dressing up and looking silly kind of fun. Here is our list of the 5 very best New Year’s Eve fancy-dress parties in London.
Dress up '70s and '80s style at Carwash
The '80s might have been the pinnacle of ugly fashion but this is fancy-dress, people. You can sex-up those shoulder pads with thigh-skimmingly short skirts and crop tops, or make sure that your '70s outfit is muscle-flexingly tight. It’s not meant to be authentic, it’s meant to be sexy (no Mean Girls moments); taking place at Loop in Mayfair, Carwash DJs will go head to head with BOOM DJs to spin the hottest retro hits. If you’re really in the pimping mood, hire out one of their private booths complete with bottles on ice - time to get fresh.
The war-time one with The Blitz New Year's Eve Special
Put aside any misgivings about the theme and get your '40s-clad booty down to Victoria House Basement in central London for a Blitz-themed party, minus all that depressing bombing and rationing. The fun starts from 8pm with a swing class led by professional dancers who will then be leading the way for the rest of the night as a swing band plays reworked classics. Jeans ain't going to cut it; dust off your best tea dress or soldier's uniform, step into the air raid shelter and party like it's 1945.
The fancy white-themed one with The Mansion London
Fancy your party a bit more ‘costumed soiree’ than ‘twee dress-up’, well then this is the spot for you. The Mansion London are putting on a themed New Year’s Eve party which screams grown-up gathering. There’s a white dress code - no drunkenly spilling ominous red punch on yourself as you chat to Auntie Barb; it’s in a secret location and there will be all sorts of performers and entertainers (fire breathers, people). Before you get worried that this all sounds a little too mature, DJs Joffrey Bogart and Fabrizia will be spinning house across two dancefloors, there will be face-painting, street food and, best of all, a mime artist.
The cowboy one at The Cow
Can a New Year’s Eve costume party in London really be called a good party if Cotton Eye Joe isn't played at least a dozen times? No, it cannot, and here for all the ‘swinging your partner round and round’ good times is The Cow in Stratford as they ask you to pull on your chaps, dust off your plaid shirt and hoedown until midnight. Before you get too West Country and start downing Scrumpy Jack just remember that this is London, a fine a civilised capital city; there will be canapes, a welcome cocktail and glass of bubbles as the clock strikes 12.
The Great Gatsby One at The Stoke Newington Tea House
I mean maybe F Scott Fitzgerald was making a point about the rise of American consumerism and classism in the 1920s, but, far more likely, he was writing a novel on how to have a damn good party. Yes, it’s a well-tried New Year’s Eve fancy dress in London, but, by Jove, The Great Gatsby is a goodie. Dress up 1920s style and head to The Stoke Newington Tea House’s party as they lay it on lavishly with professional croupiers leading games of Blackjack, Texas Hold’em and Roulette before bubbles as 2017 arrives.
Pull out the tux and flapper dress a la Leo for a Great Gatsby themed bash.