Sunday, December 13, 2009

Style Secrets: New Year's Eve

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”
Bill Vaughan

Perhaps I’m the only one, but I truly think that many suffer from the same type of predicament regarding dressing for New Year’s Eve…what to wear. Many feel that anything that sparkles, twinkles, glitters, or shimmers will work wonders. I’m certainly not going against that thought, as I couldn’t agree more. But, there is a time and a place for everything. Each New Year’s Eve situation requires a differently planned and thought out ensemble. For instance, you would not wear a barely there frock displaying décolletage galore to an office party; nor would you wear a stuffy pants suit to a cheerful celebration involving a handful of your closest friends and a cute boy. The key to having the perfect New Year’s Eve is having the ideal New Year’s Eve style for what you will be doing.

In general one is expected to be bold as opposed to blasé while ringing in the New Year. It is assumed that one will take chances and be over the top – they’ll replace understated makeup with overstated, they’ll allow shorter hemlines, and embrace ostentatious baubles. All this is fine, as long as it is within reason of the gala you are gracing with your presence. So, select your New Year’s Eve destination du jour, and get to shopping!

Just Dance For the singleton, I can’t help but feel that New Year’s Eve is the optimal time to go out with a gaggle of your girlfriends and meet new friends – particularly of the cute boy variety. After all, you are transitioning from one year to the next, and what better way to accomplish such a feat than with a cute boy in tow? Thus, heed the advice of Lady Gaga, and head off to a trendy club to dance and chit chat over cocktails! Remember, your plans are loose; you are out for a good time; therefore, it is essential to keep your look simple and comfortable yet cosmopolitan and urbane.

Skinny jeans are a close, personal friend of mine year-round, but for a night out with the girls they become your BFF. You want to downplay your look and display classic sophistication…skinny jeans in a dark wash, like AG Adriano Goldschmied’s The Stilt Skinny Jeans in Durini will help you do this as they are sexy without being too overpowering. Tonight, the focal point is your upper half; thus, pull out the risqué tops! I favor Juicy Couture’s Sequin Sunburst Date Top for its subtle shimmer and Geren Ford’s Zip Tank for its playful yet posh aesthetic. No one is saying that you have to be too flamboyant, but a daring top and some killer shoes, like Cesare Paciotti’s 560410, will make you feel seductive, alluring, and absolutely adored. Just don’t forget the essentials! Tuck a tube of gloss, mascara, eyeliner, the shadow required to create a smoky eye, and, my personal favorite, mark’s Crystal Shimmer Luminous Loose Powder (to add a little sparkle to your décolletage) into an eye-catching clutch like Lauren Merkin’s Eve Metallic Snake Clutch and off you go!

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”

The Office Parties are supposed to be fun; a celebration to be enjoyed with close friends, cute boys, and some of your nearest and dearest. But all signs of joviality seem to go out the window when the thought of the office party comes up. Suddenly you are overwhelmed with stress as opposed to good spirits – riddled with worry that you will do something to offend your boss or a fellow co-worker; or, worse than doing something, wearing something that will put you on the outs.

Despite the fact that it harbors the title “party,” the office get-together is one of the few types of events in life that you will attend in which you are expected to maintain some semblance of conservatism in your dress. Your faux leather pants? Lock them up! The skintight dress that hugs your every curve and keeps all eyes in the room fixated on you and only you? Sorry darling, tuck it behind your blazers and dress pants. Tonight you are going to a gala as…the professional. No pouting! Professional and conservative does not mean snooze-worthy; it’s simply indicative of keeping things on a classy level.

First and foremost you must remember to stick to neutral tones – black and white are your comrades for the evening. They will ensure that you look posh, sophisticated, and chic…three things that all bosses adore. To avoid any worries about your hemline, forgo a skirt and instead opt for wide-leg trousers in an ebony hue like Theory’s Max C Pants. If you want to stay completely streamlined, a black sweater like Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Claire Sweater will do the trick; if, however, you want to break up shades a bit, a top in either an off-white or winter white shade will work wonders at helping you retain regality – especially when coupled with a playful patent peep-toe like Vera Wang Lavender Label’s Sherry Peep-Toe Platform Pumps. With a look like this you still have the ability to turn heads and come across as sexy; but with a feminine mystique aura hovering around you – which will only make you more enticing. Even better, it’s a slimming style that will boost your confidence by miles.

Given the fact that everything about your look sticks to the basics, it is your responsibility to be bold with your accessories. Think brilliant baubles and costume jewelry galore – statement necklaces with oversized gems, cocktail rings visible from twenty-feet away, dangling bracelets tinkling with whimsical charms, and earrings that swing to and fro from your lobes; in addition to a metallic clutch, of course. To finish things off, don’t be shy with your makeup. Steer clear of body glitter, but a few swipes of mascara and ravishing red lips will cast a seductive, come-hither smolder reminiscent of Old-Hollywood glamour that will keep you polished yet breathtaking.

A Family Affair You may think that, due to the fact that no cute boys are a part of the equation, it is fine for you to spend the evening in a pair of flannel pajamas that have been collecting dust in your dresser drawer for the past two years. You’re wrong! You may be ringing in the New Year with your family, people who have seen you at your absolute worst, but that is no reason for you to feel unfabulous. In fact, it is an even greater reason for you to turn on the glamour. So what if the sparkling champagne of grown-up gatherings has been replaced with sparkling cider – they’re both fizzing with the spirit of celebration; therefore your ensemble should too. Your mission tonight is to retain all sense of comfort, whilst holding fast to your cuteness!

Forgo the dress. As we all know, this is a family affair; and, as such, it is fairly casual. While denim would work wonders right now, it’s not as forgiving as flannel in terms of repose; nevertheless, you still want to look stunning for those snapshots that are destined to commence throughout the evening, therefore opt for denim’s cozier cousin…jeggings. A pair like Paige Denim’s Contrast Verdugo Denim Leggings is ideal. The aesthetic is virtually identical to jeans, with the added bonus of stretchiness which will make curling up on the couch in front of a warm fire an absolute cinch. Top it off with something sparkly like a sequin sweater or vest layered over a thermal tee; then slip on a pair of knit socks to keep your tootsies toasty. Complete the look with a pale pink pout, like the one achieved via mark’s Dew Drenched Moisturlicious Lip Color in Pink Posey. Remember, you may be watching the ball drop in Times Square from the comforts of your own homey living room, but that’s no reason to look like something the cat dragged in!

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”
Bill Vaughan

Kiss! Kiss! Oh, I see…you’re one of the lucky ones. The girl who managed to snag herself a cute boy to wine and dine her for an evening of cheerful toasts full of well wishes, colorful confetti, and loads of kissing once the clock strikes twelve! You’re already halfway to the New Year’s Eve of a lifetime darling; now you just have to choose the perfect look for your romantic tryst! Here’s where many lovebirds get it wrong; don’t make your ensemble du jour overly complicated this evening…simplicity is your new best friend!

Tonight a dress should be donned. Something flowy that drapes over your body to create a subtly sexy silhouette with a neckline that leaves everything to the imagination, and a hemline with the ability to make your legs go on for days. Sweetheart necklines, like the one found on ADAM’s Strapless Draped Dress are your best bet as they provide a corset-like design in a very classic and urbane fashion that is equal parts sophisticated and sassy. They also work wonders in balancing out the petite pleats created via the flow of the frock. Search for a fabric with a texture and hue that possesses a slight shimmer – this singular touch will assist you in beaming brighter than any star in the sky!

As I said, simplicity is key, therefore keep accessories, shoes, and makeup minimal. You’re looking to impress your date here, not an entire audience, and your goal is to do so by being yourself – while looking radiant, of course! Elongate your form by skipping the strappy sandals (it is December, after all!), and opting for black opaque tights paired with understated black pumps. Such a coupling gives the illusion that your legs are supermodel-long because it streamlines your style without breaking you in half.

While I am the biggest advocate of cocktail rings, when keeping things to a minimal it’s best to bag the bling; instead peruse the power of the pendant necklace. A pretty pendant, especially if trimmed in rhinestones or diamonds, adds a twinkle to your throat, and truly makes your eyes sparkle. Dust your shoulders with a bit of mark’s Twinklebelle to give your skin a dewy glimmer, slick on some Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint for a pretty pucker, and watch your cute boy’s jaw drop!

For Your Listening Pleasure Whether you’re planning on smooching a cute boy, a beloved kitty, a younger sibling, your BFF, or a practical stranger come the stroke of midnight, it’s evident that you need a soundtrack for the special moment; now you’ve got one! Here are a few of my favorite songs to pucker up to – use them wisely!

Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
Lover I Don’t Have to Love - Bright Eyes
Infatuation - Maroon 5
Collide - Howie Day
Sweet and Low - Augustana
Blush - Ben Lee
Fall For You - Secondhand Serenade
1 2 3 4 - Feist
Baby’s Romance - Chris Garneau
Yankee Bayonet - The Decemberists

“Cheers for a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Buy Costumes, Shopbop, TMI Weekly, ASOS, Guess, and …lofts of dallas… for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Sparkling Sophisticate Giveaway for your chance to win a pair of Keaton Sequin Leggings from BB Dakota.

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