When you're four house-special cocktails down and the bass is thumping through your too-tight shoes, the only thought that can get through that haze is how pretty the confetti looks, glinting off the lights. When you wake up the next day, you can’t remember what anyone else was wearing, let alone what you had on. But New Year’s colors play an essential role in the celebration. Manifest what you want in the new year by picking out the perfect color scheme.
Red: Vitality & Luck
Whether you’re celebrating New Year’s on January 1st or the Chinese New Year on February 10th, you’re bound to see red decorations, outfits, and accessories galore. This bold color has many symbolic associations, but it’s a top pick for New Year’s Eve or Day because of its connection to vitality and luck.
If you’re hopping on a few New Year’s superstitions this year, why not clinch the win by decking yourself out in red? Or, for a more sedate pop of red, add a bow to your hair or a beautiful red stain to your lips. You’re just one kiss away from spreading that ruby-red luck around.
Yellow: Happiness & Optimism
Yellow is undeniably a joyous color. It comes in such bold and bright tones, and its hues look the way that a laugh sounds. Yet, it might not cross your mind to incorporate yellow into your ensemble because it’s typically a spring or fall color.
If you want to stick to a standard winter color palette but still include some symbolic happiness at the table, think about adding pops of yellow to your bouquet centerpieces. This way, you can embrace the joyous nature of the new year without stepping too far out of the conventional color scheme.
Crayola’s Dandelion Yellow would be a perfect reference to base your flowers on, if only the company hadn’t discontinued it in 2017.
Orange: Creativity & Excitement
Outside of spooky season, orange doesn’t have much of a place in the annual holiday festivities. Though less bright than yellow, this color sparks with energy. Its visual dynamism makes it the perfect representation of creativity and excitement.
If you want to be jazzed about all the things coming in 2024, then you need to have some orange representation in your New Year’s get-together. If you want to marry winter fashions with a fall color, go straight for a tangerine or livewire orange jacket.
Bonus points if you find one in velvet or velour. This fabric can give the bright colors extra depth. On New Year’s, it’s all about being over the top anyway, so why not take that to the very top?
Blue: Peace & Friendship
As one of the three primary colors, blue can have a calming and tranquil effect. There’s a lot of blue in the natural world, and there has to be something animalistic about our response to it. From sky blue hues to robin’s egg blues, there’s a wide variety of shades.
Most New Year’s parties stick with metallics and reds for their décor, but you can go against the grain this year with a midnight blue theme. It can be an elegant counter to the more raucous partying at the clubs down the street.
And a midnight blue suit or dress is an absolute staple you can wear throughout the year. You might as well pick out a New Year’s outfit that can do double duty.
Purple: Abundance & Power
For centuries, purple has been associated with power and royalty. But it’s a bit of a misnomer that purple itself represents royalty. Instead, purple was an incredibly expensive pigment to make, and so only people with vast sums of money could afford the dye. Thus, seeing purple in the wild was kind of like seeing a limited-edition Hermès bag hanging off of someone’s arm. It indicated status and wealth.
If you don’t just want luck this year but some money, too, then you can’t go wrong with adding some purple here and there. Don’t settle for a boring purple outfit. Be the queen you are, and look for sequins, glitter, etc. If it screams sumptuous, you’ll be looking scrumptious.
In Elizabethan England, there were Sumptuary Laws which forbade people of a certain class from wearing specific clothes, styles, and colors.
Pink: Love & Romance
From the baby pink tones of the 1950s to magenta being the 2023 Pantone Color of the Year, pink is quite the versatile color. It’s why you often see different variations of pink on New Year’s Eve. It’s a celebration where couples and loved ones spend time out on the town, and love is usually in the air.
If you want to celebrate all the love you can’t wait to give and receive this year, add some pink to your wardrobe and decorations. A sparkly headband, some fun pink tights with a neutral outfit, or a full-on Barbie-style ensemble will all send the love your way.
For the décor, go for the pearlescent or metallic pinks. You can take things in an uptown direction or go straight to scene era with pink neon glow paint and tape-in extensions.
Gold: Financial Wealth
Gold = wealth. We don’t think we have to explain that one. But gold is the easiest color on this list to mesh with your New Year’s creative planning because it’s a staple color at New Year’s Eve parties. From confetti to body glitter to little glasses with the year on them, gold is everywhere.
If you want to be a pro at planning, you can stick with a silver and gold theme for your holiday decorations and can keep many of them up after the Christmas season is over. Don’t you love killing two birds with one stone?
Black: Austerity & Strength
Now we know what you’re thinking. Black? A New Year’s color? We understand that the Victorians did a number on black’s reputation, but the color can't help that it's entrenched in the funeral business. It's an incredibly austere and strong color. There’s a reason that high society’s traditional menswear focused on impeccably tailored black tuxedos.
No color can help you navigate a room like Moses parting the Red Sea like a crisp, true black. So, play on tradition this year and pick out a beautiful black outfit or an LBD. And if you’re feeling cheeky, throw on a top hat in honor of Baby New Year.
White: Purification & Purging
Since the Victorian period and Queen Victoria’s now legendary white wedding dress, white has symbolized purity and purification in the Western world. Yet, in terms of New Year’s, it means something even more transformative.
Adding white to what’s usually busy and colorful décor calls for purging. The past year is behind you, and you’re signaling that you’re moving forward into the new one with both feet on the ground. You’re no Orpheus, and you won’t be looking back.
So, eliminate all the mess from the previous year by giving yourself a blank slate. And if you’re feeling daring, an all-white ensemble won’t be out of place.
Manifest the New Year You Want
If the past few years have taught us anything, you can’t predict what’s coming next. Break through the unpredictability by manifesting the year you want through the colors you choose. There’s a reason that artists pick the specific shades they do, and now there’s just as much of a reason for your picks, too.