One of the best parts of Christmas is the after-Christmas sales. The price-slashing that stores do once they realize their inventory isn't going to be consumed by the gift-shopping masses is especially handy when your food coma is rudely awakened by reality: New Year's Eve is but a few days away. You have amazing plans, but you do not have an amazing outfit... but there's one out there, and it's on sale. We hit the racks at a major department store and an indie boutique to see what we could scrounge up—here's what you can score on the cheap to wear for midnight champagne toasts.
Lord & Taylor
Department stores can be dizzying at sale time, especially after Christmas. But, if you have an idea of what you're after and put blinders on until you see those red sale or clearance markers, the finds will make it all worth it. Whether you want a full-on, razzle-dazzle party dress or a more sophisticated separate with a hint of sparkle that you can mix and match after NYE has come and gone, it's probably on sale at Lord & Taylor.
Free People dress: An LBD updated for the downtown girl, you can dress this up with towering heels for NYE parties, and then add tights and chunky boots for winter days or bare legs and sandals in the summer. And this year-round style is just $53, 65% off its $149.50 price.
DKNY sweater: The age-old dilemma of NYE dressing will be as present as ever this year. No matter how glamorous you want to look, it's still teeth-chatteringly cold. Why be miserable? Cozy up in this sequined DKNY sweater and be festive, fashion-forward and warm. Comfort on NYE: such a novel concept. This knit is 60% off $99.50, coming in at $40.
Adrianna Papell dress: From the dress designer's Hailey Logan collection, this shimmering style has your showstopping needs covered while keeping things flattering and elegant. It started out at $109 and was reduced to $70, and is now an extra 30% off to ring in at $49.
R.J. Graziano necklace: A statement necklace is the easiest way to instantly dress up any outfit you've got going, and so is a key investment for times like this. These fun, baubly pearls are coincidentally perfect for numbers like that gold Adrianna Papell dress, too. They're slashed from $38 to $15 thanks to two rounds of discounts.
Calvin Klein men's shirt: This Calvin Klein shirt is crisp (yet soft and light enough to be comfortable), it's classic and it's got just a hint of sheen that makes it NYE-approved. And then it can be worn on its own or under sweaters and jackets all year long. At 50% off $80, it's just $40.
Steve Madden men's shoes: New Year's is the perfect time to up your style game—it's one of your resolutions, isn't it? A party or dinner might be your excuse, but then you'll have these dapper wingtips from Steve Madden for work and Saturday nights for the rest of the year. These classically cool lace-ups are just $40, 60% off their original $100 price.
Lord & Taylor is located at 424 Fifth Avenue between 38th and 39th Streets (212-391-3344, LordAndTaylor.com)
If a cozier, more well-edited boutique is more your speed, try Brooklyn's Article&. Whether you're searching for something you can wear to the office or to a NYE party, the vibe here is urban-creative-professsional: Sophisticated with cool, unique twists. The current post-holiday sale makes the shop's already accessible prices even more irresistible, so you can get that day-to-night outfit transformer or just go for a whole outfit.
Constance origami shorts: The perfect dressy short. These are lightweight enough to fall in a flattering silhouette but their tactile feel and rich hue make them an easy pairing with opaque tights and ankle boots. The asymmetrical front adds more flattering points and is a cool twist—and the finishing touch is a slashed $40 price tag from $63.
Dolce Vita Lillie silver sandals: Shoes like these are like having an instant party wardrobe in one step. Slip these on with any LBD, printed shift or sweater and skirt and boom, glamour. A chunky block heel keeps this high-shine pair from being too dressy or precious, so they're versatile—and even harder to pass up, at $42 from $62.
Pleated floral-print dress: Look no further for a way to do graphics on NYE—this sleeveless style has the kind of floral pattern that works in both winter and summer. Asymmetrical pleats at the waist give this flared design a pretty flawless shape, too. Right now, you can score it for $52 from its original $78.
Trumpet pleated-skirt dress: You could consider your party-dress needs for the rest of 2015 (and beyond) met with this chiffon style. Its trapeze top, split at back, gives the silhouette an extra flowy shape, like a classic LBD with just the right amount of a twist. It's $68 from $76, and is pretty safe investment for your social calendar.
Article& is located at 198 Smith Street between Baltic and Warren Streets (718-852-3620, ArticleAnd.com)
Courtney Iseman is a writer who is willing to make the tough sacrifice of constantly shopping so she can report on the best ways to do it in New York. You can read her thoughts on things like fashion and folk bands at courtneyiseman.com.