If there was ever a night of the year to pre-plan an outfit, it’s New Year’s Eve. As we say goodbye to the year behind us and welcome the possibilities of the future, why not celebrate in fashion. Whatever you have in store for the stroke of midnight as we enter 2012, stay on trend with our year-end look at what’s in and what’s out.

What’s in: Maxi lengths
Sweeping hemlines are a strong fashion trend with maxi skirts and dresses seen on many fashion designers runways, like Derek Lam, Erdem, Ralph Lauren, Celine and Chloe. Both elegant and effortless, a simple maxi skirt or dress is easily glammed up with accessories and hair and makeup one of the best (and most comfortable) choices for this year’s New Year’s Eve outfit. If you’re more into menswear, take it to the next level and sport a pair of tuxedo pants as you channel your inner Janelle Monae as the clock strikes twelve.

What’s out: Body con

Reinterpreted ’90s body con certainly had its moments on fashion designers runways, but for this year’s party choose an outfit that’s sexy in a subtler way. Instead of showing your entire figure, focus on one area you’d like to play up whether it be legs, your décolletage or a bare back.

What’s in: Stacked heels

If you have a simple dress to wear, go all out with your shoes with a bold, avant-garde wedge in velvet, bright colour or all-over sparkles as seen in this year’s much-lauded Miu Miu glitter collection. If you’re donning menswear or maxi lengths, a sparkly pair of brogues or oxfords is perfect for a long night out on the town.

What’s out: Stilettos
While stilettos will always come back around, keep them closeted for this year’s NYE celebration. For this year’s big night out, footwear is less “traditionally” sexy and flirtier in a funky (not forward) way.

Want to know what and what not to wear this NYE? Keep reading for more of our fashion hot list on the next page…

What’s in: Mid-sized clutches

Mid-sized clutches with interesting textures and hardware are party-perfect, jazzing up any LBD with just the right amount of flare. Look for textures like crocodile and metallic or patent leather and hardware designs like buckles and focal-point zippers for this year’s bash.

What’s out: Oversized bags

On dizzy nights like New Year’s Eve, keeping your bag small and relatively simple is best. Who wants to be out in the cold competing for cabs with a clutch that could double as luggage? Oversized leather clutches are not only out of fashion — they’re also impractical: carry a small to mid-sized purse to get you from party point A to point B with ease.

What’s in: Bold bracelets and choker necklaces

Bracelets are back and fashion followers are stacking unique, artisanal pieces way up their arms. Popularized by quirky blogger The Man Repeller and her signature “arm parties,” bold bracelets are great for jazzing up a sleeveless dress while keeping the focus on the lines of the outfit. If you’re wearing a sleeved, collared blouse, try a choker statement necklace to take the look from day-job to party-appropriate.

What’s out: Drop earrings and chunky rings

This New Year’s Eve, leave the
dangly earrings and chunky cocktail rings in the jewellery box — it’s all about accentuating wrists and necks as we wind up with 2011. If your outfit calls for earrings, pick up a pair of funky studs and if you’re into rings, try fine pieces stacked together for a dimensional look. Otherwise, accessorize with metal and leather bracelets or (costume)-jewelled choker necklaces.

What’s in: Subtle nail art

While nail art is here to stay, there’s no doubt that it’s going slightly more minimal as we head into 2012. Opt for subtle designs like a fashionable half-moon manicure in complementary colours or for something more playful, a simple chevron detail to create a bit of interest.

What’s out: Over the top designs

Avoid over the top swirls and anything else that can come across as contrived. Keep sparkle details on your shoes or outfit and let your beauty be refined and simple with one or two pops of colour — a dark nail or a bold lip as examples.

Read more:
Holiday hair and beauty tips
Our favourite holiday jewellery
Sequin dresses for New Year’s Eve