How to fashionably ring in the New Year
As New Year's revelers bid adieu to 2017 and ring in 2018, the bright promises of the new year are reflected in the sparkle and shine of the most stylish partygoers.
"It's just one of the evenings where it's a tradition to go out and celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of something new," Laura Polanski, co-owner of Leela & Lavender boutique in Fargo. "I think that inspires people to get with their family and friends and have some fun."
Whether you're looking forward to a new year full of opportunities or celebrating past accomplishments from 2017, New Year's Eve is an excuse to dress up.
"With the ball drop, you want to dress like that fun sparkle, celebrating the occasion of shine and confetti," says Madeline Schatz, a stylist at Your Day by Nicole.
For those looking to add extra pizazz to their outfit for New Year's Eve, consider these five styles and trends.
"(Velvet) really is the fabric for the season," Polanski says. "We have little velvet T-shirts, tanks, shoes, kimonos and a great little cold shoulder (top). We even had a velvet moto jacket."
Velvet can be dressed up or down depending on the formality of the event. For example, Your Day by Nicole carries navy, pleated velvet pants that can appear casual when paired with a graphic tee and booties or formalized with a shimmery blouse.
Patterned velvet (including floral prints) and burnout velvet are also available, adding extra interest to the fabric.
Despite common belief, Polanski says velvet isn't limited to winter wardrobes only.
"People can wear it into spring," she says. "All those rules are gone. You can wear white jeans in December. You can wear a velvet tank in spring. It's all what you put with it. A cute, blush T-shirt in velvet is really cute with a white pair of jeans in February or March."
Sparkles and shine
For a formal New Year's gathering, one might jump to the traditional, full-sequin gown. Schatz says these are still in style ... but with a twist.
"We have some (gowns) with patterned sequins," she says. "Some are a little bit more floral and some are '20s-inspired. You could style them down if you put a certain jacket with it."
While it might not be a practical investment for one night, these gowns can be worn to other formal events, such as holiday parties, black tie affairs, weddings and more.
Shiny, satin fabrics and blouses made with metallic threading bring sparkle to any outfit. Shoppers can also find blouses, sweaters and other garments dazzled with pearl and gem clusters that "sparkle and shine" for a more understated look in comparison to sequins, says Jill Shea, co-owner of Leela & Lavender.
As far as colors go, neutrals (gray, nude and taupe) and metallics (rose, champagne, silver, gold, pewter) are on trend.
"The jewel tones, too — evergreen and burgundy — are kind of the 'it' colors right now," Shea says.
Feminine ruffles and fringe
Look in any boutique and you'll find feminine ruffles making an appearance. Present on T-shirts, sweaters, sleeves and hemlines, ruffles help to add flair to any outfit. Sleeve interest — including balloon-shaped sleeves — and added textures (think: fringe, feathers and "eyelash" fabrications) have also been a hot trend in 2017 and are great for a celebratory night out.
Jewelry that 'wows'
Dangly earrings and elaborate necklaces are making a comeback, adding glam to an otherwise-simple New Year's Eve outfit.
"Statement earrings just go with a lot of different necklines and styles," Schatz says. "We've seen a lot of really cool statement earrings and it's kind of a fun way to bring another color into your look."
In terms of necklaces, "the jersey stone is also an important jewel," Polanski says.
With jewelry, take note that "all of the metal colors — like the rose gold, copper, silver, gold — look great together," Shea says. "There's not one standout. You can blend them all together."
For just a dash of glitz, look to a handbag with velvet trim, fur or metal accents.
"We have some fun ones with all-over sequins which I think would be fun to pair with velvet," Schatz says. "If you don't have sequins on your dress, you can still get the traditional sequinned New Year's look."
While it may not be instinct, Polanski challenges fashionistas to think about shoes first to create an outfit.
"I think a lot of times you pull your outfit and then you're like, 'What shoes?' Sometimes it's fun to start out with (shoes)," she says. "A great pair of shoes can really make your whole outfit."
Embroidered booties are a hot trend that works for New Year's Eve, adding color, studs, sequins or general interest to an outfit.
Over-the-knee boots add a layer of warmth with a combined "wow" factor.
"They're versatile because you can wear them with a dress or a pair of jeans," Polanski says.
"I think a lot of people are afraid sometimes because it's such a statement. The thing about those boots is that it can be your 'piece.' You can wear a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, put on those boots and grab a little blazer and you're good to go."
For more subtle look, Polanski says to try over-the-knee boots with black or gray jeans so they don't stand out as much.
Here's to hoping you ring in the New Year, decked in glitz and glam. When all else fails, focus on one item.
"That's one of the biggest things about building your wardrobe: picking your statement piece first and then building around that," Polanski says.
5 ways to shine
Take note of these five tips when creating the perfect New Year's Eve wardrobe.
• Start with a statement piece. "Pick one big statement piece, go with that and then everything else can be understated," Polanski says. (Think: a great statement necklace or earrings with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.) "That is a really easy way to update your wardrobe," she says.
• Choose comfort and confidence. "I don't want to say don't try something new — I think it's important to try new things — but you have to feel confident and comfortable in whatever you're wearing," Polanski says.
• Keep it simple. "It doesn't have to be all glitz and glam. It depends on your event," says Kelsey Daul, a stylist at Your Day by Nicole. "It could just be a basic, little black dress with some fun earrings. You really don't need to go all out."
• Have fun with it. "It's a night of the year where you get to wear a little bit more sparkle than what is appropriate on a typical day," Schatz says. "You get to have a little fun."
• Be reasonable. The bottom line is, you don't have to break the bank. "A lot of people think they have to go buy a whole new outfit," Daul says. "Instead, just revamp."