It’s time to ring in the new year, which is a perfect excuse to get dressed up. Whether you’re waving goodbye to 2011 or running to greet 2012, your party deserves a little pretty. But don’t rush out and buy something you’ll never wear again; with just a few sparkly upgrades, you can turn your existing duds into a party-worthy look.

[find affordable New Year’s Eve style tips after the jump]

Jewelry is an easy way to dress up even your
most basic jean-and-tee look — and for New Year’s you really can
bring the bling. Stella & Dot is a great resource; their pieces are fun and affordable and they work with
everything. Right now I’m in love with the super versatile Heiress
— one side is set with glittery faux pave diamonds while the
other is plain gold. Wear them day or night, for dress up or casual —
but for New Year’s Eve, be sure to show the sparkle. That’s the whole
point! (Pro tip: If you have long hair, pull it back into a low ponytail
or chignon so everyone can see your earrings.)

Bling doesn’t have to be jewelry; stash your
lipstick and smartphone in a pretty sequined bag and suddenly even your
standby LBD seems new and fresh. The Exhilaration
Sequined Clutch
from Target is an affordable way to add a little
shine to your outfit. I’m smitten by the blush color, which is a pretty
rose gold, but the clutch is available in black, gold and pewter as
well. I would take the strap off and carry it in my hand, though, for a
less utilitarian look.

This holiday, glitter up your toes! We
always assume that a night out means heels, but there’s no reason you
can’t opt for flats, particularly if your New Year’s plans include a
kid-friendly family party. J.
Crew’s Glitterati Flats
are the perfect pop of shine; pair them
with skinny jeans or a short festive skirt. But these aren’t just party shoes — you can wear them
long past New Year’s, to snazz up your regular mom uniform. Think how pretty
you’ll feel wearing glitter to the grocery.

If you’re going all out this New Year’s,
trade your basic tights for something more fun. Wolford
— maker of the world’s absolute best hosiery — has some fabulous
patterned options that are the perfect foil to your LBD. Not a pattern
kind of girl? Wolford’s stockings come in beautiful solids in classic
black and sheer tones as well as bright colors. They’re
pricy, but they’re also on sale right now, and they last a good long time, making them a reasonable investment. You’ll wear them all year–and if you take care of them, plenty of years after that. –Susan


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