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New Year’s Eve is all about glitter, from shoes to skirts to eye shadow. But while the sparkles might be maxed out, hemlines are usually not. Couple that with winter’s chill, and all those short skirts and slinky tops can mean you’re seriously miserable as you go from one party -- or nightclub -- to the next. And who wants that kind of downer vibe on the biggest party night of the year? So be smart and be prepared. Choose outfits that will keep you warm -- as well as hot and sexy -- as the ball gets ready to drop.
[For edgier looks, try a] leather or faux leather jacket -- whether it be a black leather jacket with a red dress or a red leather jacket with a black dress.
- Erin Flynn, Cincinnati-based fashion blogger
The Statement Skirt
Another bum-baring mini and high heels? New York-based personal shopper and fashion stylist Sarah Shirley is so over it and argues that fashion might be done with the “pop tarty, kind of slutty, kind of Britney Spears, ‘Hannah Montana’-esque” fashions, with the pendulum swinging back to “a little originality.” She’d rather see skirts that, like the statement bag and statement shoes of seasons before, say a little something about the women wearing them.
“I think they can be short and flowy or long and lean or be kind of prairie-esque,” Shirley said. “Not necessarily with a flounce hem, but they can go all the way to the floor and you can wear a clog and a tight underneath. Or you can wear it with a backless, slinky halter top and a leather jacket.”
Shirley says petites who are worried about hemming on short notice should pair this with high heels or take a risk by buying a cheap skirt at a store like Forever 21 and cutting the bottoms off themselves. You can always have it professionally fixed later, but it’s also not the end of the world if you ruin it.
Cincinnati-based fashion blogger Erin Flynn, who writes RealityChicBlog.com, suggests showing off one statement item as much as possible. She recently dressed for a happy hour in a sequined skirt, accessorizing with black shoes, tights and a long-sleeved top -- a warm, trendy look perfect for getting past the bouncer.
“It’s kind of monochromatic, but you have this one thing that pops, which would be the sequined mini,” Flynn said. She also isn’t opposed to black patterned tights or mauve tights and shoes -- adding that consistent colors below the waist make your legs look longer.
Dresses That Impress
Long-sleeved winter dresses don’t have the best reputation, conjuring up images of weighed-down and shapeless fabric or buttoned-up and overly conservative cuts. This isn’t so much the case anymore, says Flynn. She suggests dresses with lace along the sleeves “rather than the entire dress, so [the look isn’t] overwhelming” and -- yes, you’re reading this correctly -- velvet dresses: “This is the one time of year where you can get away with wearing velvet.”
For an edgier look more in line with a night out at the bars, Flynn suggests going with a “leather or faux leather jacket -- whether it be a black leather jacket with a red dress or a red leather jacket with a black dress.” But she cautions to avoid venturing into Michael Jackson territory by making sure that the jacket is “a little off red or toned down by a more subtle black dress."
If you just can't imagine New Year's Eve in anything but a short dress and minimal layers, Shirley suggests keeping in mind that there’s no rule saying you can’t wear hosiery while on the street waiting for a cab and then slipping out of it to go barelegged at the party or club. She also says that this is not the night to worry about nice outerwear; a grungy jacket is fine, especially if you can’t be certain it will find its way home with you at the end of the night.
Jeans definitely have their place in our closets, but this is New Year’s Eve, and this is the occasion for a bit more "wow."
Both Flynn and Shirley say they like skinny, shiny-coated or pleather pants, which are both comfortable and sexy. Shirley adds that those who find pleather pants uncomfortable can always go with pants that have pleather paneling down the side.
Flynn says these pants can be dressed up for dancing with black studded heels and a sequined top, while Shirley suggests tucking the pants into boots and pairing with “a simple black sweater or halter top” for a sleek, more reserved and sophisticated look.
Of course, not everyone is comfortable with showing herself off in body-hugging clothing; Shirley says it’s all about accenting your favorite part of your body.
“I think there’s a pant for everybody,” Shirley said. “You see people from 300 pounds to 130 pounds wearing leggings. If you’re slim and shapely, wear something tucked in. If you feel like you have some extra around the middle, wear a tunic. If you feel like you have a nice back, wear a halter top.”