Bright ideas on how to be a party popper this season

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 December, 2010, 12:00am

It's not easy to find a New Year's Eve party to match your expectations. Finding an outfit for said party can be just as stressful.

Christmas lets us regress in terms of fashion - comfort outfits, reindeer jumpers and the like - it is only the family after all, but New Year's Eve brings out our inner exhibitionist. Perhaps it's the pressure of being the last party of the year, or the first big event of the new year, but looking good has a special importance here.

For singles, the party can be the start of something with someone special, or a drunk, embarrassing fumble with someone painfully ordinary. For couples and friends, it is often a celebration of fabulous lifestyles. Either way, the dressing up is done with optimism. So before you get decked out, here are a few things to consider.

Let's get practical. Five-inch stacked strappy Louboutin sandals might seem like a good idea, they lengthen legs and look sexy, but make sure you can walk in them first. What is the point of pulling on a gorgeous asymmetric Herve Leger bandage dress if you have to hobble down Wyndham Street with bleeding feet? Try heels and boots that wrap comfortably around and hold your foot. Go for vivid colours and metallics such as those by Mary Ching, Philip Lim or Rupert Sanderson. If your toes are likely to get cold there are many faux fur or shearling lined boots on offer.

Add sparkle with sequins, beads and shine but do it with class; you don't want to look like a school art project. See how Sass & Bide do contemporary and wearable beading and embellishments.

Big statement jewellery is in, and selected pieces from On Pedder and Lane Crawford, from brands such as Erickson Beamon and Shourouk (who also do clutches), should liven up even the simplest little black dress for the evening's festivities.

Some might go too far with, say, a see-through mini-dress and PVC thigh highs - Halloween is really the only time you can dress like a hooker and still be accepted in polite society. Go for sexy rather than slutty with a dress that clings in all the right places, not all the places.

A fabulous trend this year has been the 50s silhouette with pinched high waists and hip skimming big skirts such as those seen at Prada and Louis Vuitton for autumn/winter. Even though there is a good chance of being stuck in the midst of a drunken sweaty crowd, a knee-length tulle skirt or dress (?la Lanvin for H&M) is one way of making a playful entrance in this silhouette.

Red is the colour of the season, on and off catwalks, from Juicy Couture to Giorgio Armani and Bottega Veneta. It's perfect for the festive atmosphere and exudes confidence and grace.