I have to admit that though I do not have my photo archive with me today I did spend a not inconsiderable amount of time looking for a contemporary photograph of a celebrity wearing well-fitted black tie for this post, and failed. But Astaire came through as he generally does, though he is hardly contemporary. And I guess that leads into my point, which is to urge men with aspirations towards dressing well to take their partners to a place where both of you can dress up a bit for New Year's Eve and improve the quality of life for those around you.
Dressing up in this context means something more than that tee shirt and denim jacket you wore to the Train concert last year. The most common excuse I hear from men who do not wear their evening clothes often is that they rarely go places where they can wear them. Well, unless you live far from civilization New Year's Eve is one night when you can be confident that others will be dressed to the proverbial nines in a variety of venues. Stay home and you have no-one to blame but yourself. And do not simply settle for what is already in your closet. Spice things up with a new pair of patent leather evening shoes or a white silk scarf.
Going out on New Year's Eve does not absolutely require black tie, though it may be the best thing to wear to the symphony. The first fallback for men who are headed for a venue like a restaurant where black tie might be overkill should be the combination of dark blue suit, black shoes, white shirt and pocket square and either a blue satin four in hand necktie or a perhaps a new evening bow tie. And if that also seems a little too formal, as it might when you have tickets to see Margaret Cho or Sarah Silverman, substitute a navy blazer and mid-gray trousers for the suit (stick with the bow tie).
But do go somewhere that gives you permission to dress it up for New Year's Eve.