What to wear on New Year's Eve (2019)

The age-old question of "But what shall I wear?" takes on special significance on New Year's Eve. Stylist Alex Sweterlitsch has a few simple rules, not least of which is "try to be unique."

The age-old question of "But what shall I wear?" takes on special significance on New Year's Eve.

After all, it's the biggest party night of the year! And unless you're breaking open the midnight bubbly in your PJs from the comfort of your family room couch, you're probably looking to stand out.

As always, venue plays a role. Do you plan to boogie at a swanky club soiree, or nibble on hors d'oeuvres at a casual house gathering with old friends and a background playlist?

Stylist Alex Sweterlitsch has a few simple rules, not least of which is "try to be unique."

For the ladies, a richly colored pantsuit or jumpsuit presents a nice change from the more typical sequined dress. She also advises that simple fabrics, such as velvet, should fit the body in a tailored manner, while keeping flashy ones such as gold lame loose. Fringe or feathers add a noticeable splash while dancing.

Not much of a glamour gal? Try pairing some snazzy earrings with a tuxedo blazer and skinny jeans. Chrome nail polish or a glittery highlighter applied to eyelids and lips serves as a great accent to any type of outfit, but beware of "wearing everything at once" -- you don't want your fellow partygoers to suspect you of competing with the Times Square ball!

And what about your feet? Those rhinestone-studded sandals may look like the perfect accessory in a shoe store display, but will they leave you in grin-and-bear-it mode before the second dance? Gals in the know recommend popping a Midol shortly before slipping on your stilettos. With pumps or other closed-toe footwear, try taping your third and fourth toes together, or even inserting a maxi pad in the bottom of your shoe.

And you boys! We haven't forgotten you. You don't need to splurge on a tux to make a statement, but a crisp white shirt pairs nicely with anything from a velvet blazer (don't forget the fancy tie and stylish cuff links) to cashmere sweater.

Just to be clear, a "black tie" invitation means bow tie, while a good pair of dark jeans accompanied by a cardigan in a seasonal shade, or rock-star leather jacket over a message T-shirt, make a great choice for less formal affairs.

When it comes to your footwear, consider some dapper leather boots, or polish those comfortable Oxfords till they shine like a new penny.

One thing you probably won't be giving too much thought to this special night is, ahem, your underwear ... but according to an old New Year's legend, you really should!

The color, that is.

Are you hoping for wealth in the new year? Go for yellow. Romance? Red. How about peace, harmony and happiness? White! Life and wellness? Don green or blue.

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