TheFashionMagpie: Ringing in the New Year in Style

Urban Chic in Georgetown

Personally, the question “What are you doing New Year’s?” spurs the infinitely more pressing question of “What am I wearing New Year’s?”  For the ladies, metallics are de rigueur for this festive holiday, and with this season’s embrace of “the daytime sequin,” sparkly options abound in all but the stodgiest of major retailers.  In short: a shimmery, glimmery look should be easy to come by, even if you’ve waited until the midnight hour to hit the stores.

Your best bet for a strategic shopping session?  Take Georgetown by storm in the next day or two (infinitely more manageable and less terrifying than Tysons at this time of year).  I’d begin in North Georgetown: pop into Urban Chic (1626 Wisconsin Ave) for trendy, “evening-out” looks from the likes of Milly, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Alice & Olivia.  The staff there is uber-friendly and helpful, and the boutique is offering 20% off all dresses from now until NYE to boot.  A recent visit on a lunch break had me drooling over a metallic-thread strapless mini by Shoshanna, a silvery slip dress by Parker, and a navy sequin shift by Alice & Olivia — all pitch-perfect picks for watching the ball drop.  Don’t be discouraged if they’ve sold out of your size already (a frequent problem there, in my opinion) — we have a number of other pit-stops on our agenda.  (Do, however, check out their eye-catching collection of be-jeweled Deepa Gurnani headbands before heading out the door.  They’ll add holiday cheer to any ol’ get-up.)

Before you leave the vicinity, check out Sassanova (1641 Wisconsin Ave), a top-tier accessories boutique filled with quick fix, insta-satisfaction costume jewelry, upscale shoes, and handbags.   They’re running their “insane shoe sale” at the moment — 40-70% off all winter shoes! — and have loads of glitz and glam clutches, including some affordable Deux Lux accent pieces, like this one. I ducked in there last week and had my eyes on an oversized statement necklace in plated gold and crystal — would have been the perfect accoutrement to an otherwise straightforward LBD.  Glitzy add-ons like that (i.e. a pair of killer gold stilettos, like these heavily-discounted Calvin Kleins, or some sparkling enorma-studs, like this glam pair from Bing Bang by Anna Sheffield) can be game-changers, transforming “that old black dress” into an unforgettable ensemble.  (They also tend to be a far more modest investment than a full-on, one-time-wear be-sequined cocktail number.  The necklace I was eying at Sassanova rang in at a wallet-friendly$48.)  For the dapper gent, a stop at Sherman Pickey (1647 Wisconsin Ave) might be in order: invest in a statement blazer to be worn with dark-wash jeans and a button down (for less formal NYE festivities) or snap up a festive bowtie to spruce up your tux.

Still on the hunt?  Mosey on down to recently-opened consignment shop Tari (1525 Wisconsin Ave) to see if any of their wares are evening-appropriate.  Last time I popped in, I was impressed with their selection of men’s sport coats, which featured shockingly affordable prices — something to keep in mind if Sherman Pickey’s price tags leave something to be desired.  (Word to the wise: pricing is a bit wonky at Tari; choose carefully.)  If still unsuccessful, head all the way down to the corner of Wisconsin and Prospect and march straight into Zara (1238 Wisconsin Ave), which promises to have just what you’re looking for.  I love the haute couture styling of this brocade dress ($78) in particular, and with its burnished gold effect, it’s a cut above the more generic metallic options out there.  Still nothing?  Madewell across the street (1237 Wisconsin Ave) has a couple of darling blush/ivory satin dresses, like its Piccadilly Pleats dress ($158) or its Chiffon Cascade dress ($148).  Divest either of the slouchy knits the store is currently pushing, couple with some glitzy accents (like Kate Spade’s swoon-worthy Emanuelle glitter clutch or these vintage-style Elizabeth Cole studs) and you’re ready to party.  Ralph Lauren a few doors down (1245 Wisconsin Ave) promises to outfit a preppy-minded, dressed-to-impressed bloke.  We’re still in the Christmas afterglow — it’s not too late for Mr. Lauren’s splashy tartan sport coat!

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider stopping by Intermix (in Georgetown Park, 3222 M St) or Cusp (3030 M St).  Both carry of-the-moment Halston Heritage (if you’ve got the legs to pull it off, this little Halston Heritage number is to.die.for) among other trendy and/or fashion-forward lines, and both feature killer sale sections (an extra 30% off all sale items at Cusp, and an extra 40% off all sale items at Intermix!)  Hate to be a hater, but I strongly urge us all to steer clear of Herve Leger / bandage-style dresses this time around (I saw lots of them the last two NYEs).  Though Intermix continues to sell the style, it already feels “very 2009,” and you don’t want to be ringing in the New Year in old duds.  The silhouette this season has been much “drapier” thanks to the likes of Chloe and Celine, who have reincarnated and updated the luxe 70s jet set look.

If your mission has not been met with success, finish at H&M in Georgetown Park (3222 M St), where you’re sure to leave happy.  Sparkly, shimmery little dresses are in plentiful supply there — as are jackets in cool, left-of-center cuts, which could make for the perfect topper for a ready-to-party get-up.  Happy shopping — and happy New Year’s!



P.S. For more occasion-ready looks, check out the “Poppin Bottles” post on TheFashionMagpie blog.

Jen, aka TheFashionMagpie, is a D.C. native and has not strayed far from the District in her 26 years, save a brief stint in Charlottesville for her undergrad degree at UVA. By day, Jen works for a private foundation. In her spare time, she maintains a fashion blog (, writes for We Love DC, and shops…a lot. Follow her on Twitter @AFashionMagpie.

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