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I am big on glitter. It feels taboo to say (teachers and parents alike cringing) but I’m absolutely obsessed with anything metallic, sparkly, or in other ways shiny. While I’m an introvert, I love loud clothes: maximalist details, luxe textures, statement earrings...so New Years Eve is my holiday.
Whether you’re the belle of the ball at a house party, boldly foraying into a night out at a bar, or lounging on the couch with an early bedtime and a glass of champagne, there’s a style here for everyone (that still pays homage to the year behind us and the excitement up ahead).
If you’re staying on the couch
Opt for the Lauren Set ($415) from Kilte Collection, made of the softest washable cashmere. I quite literally wear this set all the time, and the turtleneck and joggers are versatile enough to quickly adjust to any situation. I’ve worn it to holiday events and swanky dinners. Need to run out? Throw on some boots. Need to dress it up? Put on a nice jacket or coat and bam -- polished. (My personal favorite pairing is with this Ichi Joplin Faux Fur Coat from Nuuly.) Even just curled up on my couch with a cocktail, it looks and feels divine, and I love that I can throw it in the washer and dryer without a worry.
If you’re headed to a small, chic cocktail party
The TQE Editors have talked repeatedly about the Sunday in Brooklyn Sequined Mini Shirtdress in Silver ($160), which I was able to snag. Its shimmering champagne color is flattering but not at all gauche, and it -- oddly enough -- goes with almost any accessory. The collar gives it a nice shape too. The dress itself is sold out from the store (although the shirt version is available for $130), but it’s available to rent on Nuuly.
Better yet? A flattering jumpsuit. As a tall girl, I was not expecting the styles from Ripley Rader to fit so well, but I was able to wear one of the brand’s black velvet long sleeve jumpsuits to an array of events in early December. I also love this Black Ponte Knit Strapless Wide Leg Catsuit ($248) which is zero-effort and super striking. Style with a headband for extra oomph (more on that below).
If you’re headed to a bar or club
For venturing into chaos, my formula hasn’t changed much since college: a sexy dress, a fashionable jacket, and shoes that can withstand…well, anything.
My first pick is the Drop Bow Dress ($180) from Into the Night, along with anything else from the shimmers collection. The color is even more gorgeous in person, and the design is a body-con, clingy fabric that accentuates every curve. It’s a bombshell dress available in two elegant colors: Midnight Sky or Copper Shimmer.
I’ve always had luck with For Love & Lemons tops to get my glitter fix, too. All summer, I wore the Madeleine Sequin Top (available on Nuuly) and called it my Mamma Mia shirt because of its vibrant, carefree vibe. Because the color is bright and the glitter is loud, I usually dress it down with jeans.
Finally, a secret for you: a few years ago, I stumbled upon this art-to-wear collection in Toronto’s Chinatown. (I’m still hesitant to share this one because I love it so much.) I bought this stunning, one-of-a-kind painted denim jacket. Its boxy fit, bold colors, and hidden 1/1 signature ensured that it became my default jacket for absolutely everywhere, and it is my most prized possession. It’s probably the coolest item of clothing I own: the Beausejour.Co jacket by Patrick Nunziata ($695.) Patrick Nunziata also does handbags, clutches, purses, and more -- each of which would be the ultimate addition to any outfit. I love his work so much I want to keep it to myself, but I resisted for you, dear readers.
If you’re going black tie
Many people have weddings or galas on NYE. The date adds a little extra pizzazz, and everyone’s in the mood to celebrate. My favorite look for such occasions is the Manhattan One Shoulder Gown ($125) available in black, red, or white from Marcella New York, a brand who operates under the philosophy of affordable designer minimalism. New York designed and European crafted with locally sourced fabric, each piece directly sends a girl in sub-Saharan Africa to school for five days. If you see me on NYE, I’ll be the one in red.
I also love the Tara Ruffle Maxi Dress from LoveShackFancy. While it retails for $695, you can get the dress as part of your Nuuly subscription -- a rental service operated by the parent company of Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters in which you pick six pieces for $88/month. Nuuly is quick with shipping, which is ideal during this season. This dress is big -- a full-on gown -- and different, although its classic color and flattering structure ensure it melds well into the occasion.
ADD A LITTLE RAZZLE-DAZZLE.
Adding a fun accessory or embellishment can be exactly what you need to feel festive without effort.
Start with nails -- the foundation of a holiday look. Color Camp offers personalized at-home gel press-on nails, and its NYE line is to die for. The brand sends you a try-on kit, in which you size each of your nails and input your length preferences. Then you get a set of perfectly sized made-for-you nails in a range of gorgeous colors and patterns. I’m so obnoxious about showing off my Winter Line ($58) and Disco Ball ($52) nails to anyone I encounter, and it’s exactly the right amount of sparkle I need to get in the New Year's mood. New customers can get a 20% discount by entering code QUALITYEDIT at checkout.
Next, try these large gold star statement earrings from We Dream in Colour. The POC-founded studio has these gorgeous, elaborate chandeliers, and some of these fun stud styles. The Gold Noor Earrings ($84) are so pretty they make me want to cry, and they’re the perfect mix of holiday-esque enough to hint at winter celebrations, but universal enough to wear with anything.
Feeling a little more glitzy? These striking rainbow-style earrings from Hair Candy by Han are compliment magnets; I have gotten so many DMs about these gorgeous pearl and crystal danglers and they make you feel luxurious in anything. Shop the PEARL OG Rainbows ($63).
If earrings still feel too safe to you, try a bejeweled headband from the brand that started it all -- Lele Sadoughi. They’re unabashedly feminine (read: embellished with pearls, jewels, and wildly girly details) and their larger-than-life silhouettes add edge. I’m in love with the January Garnet Beaded Headband ($98), which is attention-grabbing without being intimidating, and I’ve been eyeing the brand’s elegant handbags too.
For makeup, I tried the about-face line by Halsey, particularly for the Fractal Glitter Eye Paint ($15.75), a shimmering mousse eyeshadow in gold, silver, and other shades. I found it to be a little patchy actually, but it’s solid in a pinch and in an easy to transport pouch, perfect for party touch-ups.
If you’re headed somewhere loud, the Loop Earplugs are meant to look like jewelry, but reduce noise levels. They’re great for events like concerts or loud parties where you’d love to participate fully but just need a little less stimulation. I opted for the Experience Pro Ear Plugs in Glorious Gold, available for $34.95.
Finally, I hate that I have to recommend this, but the Flare bracelet is a discrete safety bracelet that effortlessly blends with any outfit. The celestial styles are spot on for NYE, and their function is too. At the press of a button, your bracelet can send a text to friends or loved ones alerting them to your safety level, location, and any other relevant details you’d like to program in. Better yet, another control allows you to send an automated call to your cell phone that can give you a great excuse to duck away from that creepy guy at the bar. Flare wants society to put them out of business -- and it’s founded by assault survivors -- but it’s such a useful tool that I’m recommending to every gal I know. I opted for the Safety Bracelet in Nova Cuff ($98) and feel much safer going out.
HIT THE DANCE FLOOR.
After graduating, I’ve really only recently started wearing decent shoes out because I was so used to having to sacrifice a pair of sneakers to the mud and grime of a fraternity basement party. Gross. With adulthood apparently comes good footwear.
I styled each of these outfits with the Oncept VIENNA Boots in Black ($450), which have proven themselves to be weatherproof and therefore spill proof. Launched and created by two former Dolce Vita executives, Oncept has enduring styles that encourage you to “embrace the elements.” The brand’s philosophy focuses on creating fewer, better items so your closet is constantly elevated and versatile. These sustainable boots exude the aura of an absolute staple that will live in my closet for 10+ years.
I don’t own these yet, but I covet them: the Larroudé Miso Platform Sandal in Black Suede ($285). I love 70s style in general, and the functionality of platform sandals -- danceability! -- makes me feel powerful yet not like I’m going to fall on my face. This Larroudé pair in particular is subtle yet funky, so they’d go with just about any outfit on this list.
FINALLY, DRINK UP.
So you’re dressed, accessorized, and ready to rumble. Next up: what should you drink? There are so many killer alcoholic and non-alcoholic bevs that have exploded onto the scene in 2021, and maybe it’s the night to try something new (and avoid that liquor that makes you think of one particularly horrible hangover). Here are our suggestions for branching out.
Nomadica is a stunning canned wine brand. It’s simply aiming to reduce its carbon footprint (cans are better than bottles), preserve its quality in shipping, and look damn good. Some who drink it prefer straight out of the can, and others pour into a glass, although the taste is sommelier-quality in either, as it’s founded by a sommelier. The breathtaking art on the cans makes each one feel special, and they’re also remarkably convenient. A detail I love? The QR code links to a playlist for each varietal -- a multisensory thought that adds to the experience of each sip. Shop the Adventure Pack in Sparkling White and Rosé at $56 for 8 cans.
I’m a chilled wine person regardless of varietal -- yes, even reds -- so the Vinglace White Wine Chiller ($89.95) is an absolute must. The day I got it, I left a bottle of orange on the countertop all day, and it was still frigid when I picked it up again in the evening — so I can vouch for the Vinglace quality wholeheartedly. It’s become the MVP of my wine nights.
If you opt for hard liquor, I recently discovered Kasama Rum. I’m from Tampa, Florida, which has a pirate-themed version of Mardi Gras called Gasparilla, so I’m pretty picky. This Philippines-based small batch rum is only about seven years old, but it’s sunny and delicious. It’s very…sippable which is dangerous. I, for one, would absolutely down this in a Painkiller. You can shop a handle of Kasama Rum for $29.99.
If you’re on the non-alc train for whatever reason – DD-ing, taking a night off, or starting Sober January early – my family has loved Blake Lively’s new line of tonic waters: Betty Buzz. I’ll be honest in that I initially bought it for the cheery vintage-inspired packaging, but the taste -- available in Ginger Beer, Sparkling Lemon Lime, Tonic Water, Meyer Lemon Club Soda, and Sparkling Grapefruit -- is so much better than I expected. It’s tasty, and good on its own or as a mixer. Try a 3-pack bundle (four of each flavor) for $29.99.
End with a dose of Cheers Restore ($30) right after your last drink or before bed, a supplement designed to avoid a next-day hangover and reduce alcohol’s effects. As a bonus, it also helps with drinking-induced rosacea, which is something that I really struggle with. Cheers promises at least a 50% better morning -- or your money back. Because you don’t want to start off 2022 by suffering.