5 Last-Minute Looks For A New Year's Eve Party

Get Ready in a Flash with These Easy Ideas

Getty Images / Merilyn Smith

Have last-minute New Year’s Eve plan left you with nothing to wear?

I’ve been in that spot before and know it can be panic-inducing, especially if you want to look your best.

If you have a great little black dress, that’s a wonderful option for most any type of party that’s a little dressier. Dress it up with accessories that you don’t normally wear: a belt, multiple necklaces or even a jacket can change up a basic black dress.

And dark denim with a pair of heels and a pretty blouse can work just fine for more casual get-togethers.

But don’t stop there: there are some easy, last-minute ideas you can use to get more dressed up (without going head-to-toe sparkle.)

The idea is to take your everyday look and turn up the volume. Wear more makeup, spend more time on your hair, use more and/or bigger accessories. What you don’t want to do is look dated in things like beaded cocktail dresses or lurex sweater sets.

Here are 5 last-minute New Year’s ideas that can save you from fashion failure and help you present your best look for the New Year:

  1. DIY glam makeup. Focus on the eyes, by curling your lashes, lining them (try a pencil then soften with powder for softness – and charcoal, dark brown or even mossy green are all softer than black  if you’re a mature woman.) Use loads of mascara and really get in there and cover every single lash. Complete the look with natural-looking, high gloss lips (don't do high-impact eyes with red lips – too harsh.) I also like to wear great coverage foundation (I love Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation and put it on with a short bristled brush (looks like a really small brush used to put on shaving cream.)
  1. Pile on the black. Nothing to wear? Shop your closet for a last-minute New Year's event by pulling out your black basics. A black pencil skirt works for parties when you pair it with a special-looking top (a satin blouse, a lace cami under a jacket, velvet, metallic-flecked sweater, etc.) Even basic black pants look partyish when paired with a dressier top. Take something basic like a black cardigan or black leather jacket and add a belt for a sexier, more fitted look for a party. And don't forget that your little black dress will always look good.
  1. Load up on accessories. If you need a last-minute party look, accessories are the easiest way to make anything look special. Opt for accessories around the face with sparkle: diamond studs or hoops, crystal necklaces, etc. If you wear gold instead of sparkle, wear lots of it: multiple bracelets or layered necklaces. Even classic looks take on a new shine with things like multiple chunky chains or pearl necklaces all worn together. Cuff bracelets or an oversized cocktail ring are two other not-your-everyday looks that I rely on to dress up an outfit.
  2. Switch out your shoes. Party-time means heels, and nothing elevates your look faster (literally) than popping on high heels. I like high-heel boots or booties with leggings or black skinny pants for a casual get-together; pumps or dressier shoes with dresses look great, too. And if you really want to add zing to a little black dress, try patterned black hose: they add an extra dimension of interest.
  3. Put your hair up. Pull your hair into a slick ponytail or opt for a messy, romantic bun. Even short hair looks special when you take the extra time to make it more polished (like using a flat iron for a perfectly straight look.) A black headband, a sparkly barrette or other special hair ornaments give any hairstyle an extra special feel.