New Years

New Year’s Looks for Less: Ring in 2010 in Style

By  | 

Tick, tick, tick, 2010 is just a few days away. It’s time to ring out the old, ring in the new. Several of you have written in to ask for some recommendations on affordable looks for New Years. Last year, I only covered dresses. This year, I’m looking at dresses, tops and accessories at reasonable prices to kick off 2010 in a cheap & cheerful way. So here are a few picks for your consideration. The Recessionista mantra is quality for price, not the latest celeb look or the latest big box “designer” collaboration.

BCBG has many stylish tops for approximately $50.00 in their “final cut” portion of their website and one sale racks in-store. The styles they are showing can take you to a New Years party and beyond. Fabrics are silks not polyester. Check out the ruched empire waist-top for $59.40 reduced from $198.00. Today you can take an additional 15% off. The sales at BCBG stores have been really wonderful this year, offering classic styles, great fabrics and well made garments at the same prices as some discount stores.

H&M has a great assortment of reasonable party looks. I’m particularly impressed by their line of bolero jackets and toppers in sequins, jacquard and faux fur. If you missed their Jimmy Choo collection, then check out their beaded jacket for $29.99 as a worthy substitute. For me, I was lucky enough to snatch up some H&M Jimmy Choo, so I will be wearing the black beaded tunic with the cityscape on it. If you’re reading from the UK, look for the jacket and sequin dresses from Giles Gold at New Look in-store. They are almost all gone online now, but you may still find them at a store.

If you’re looking for a great little black dress, check out the choices at Kohl’s in their Elle line. Pictured at left is the Elle Rosette dress for $29.99. There is also a great black asymmetrical dress for $29.99.
These are classic styles that you will get a lot of wear out of for a small price. In the Kohl’s Simply Vera line there are some great sequined party tops that you can pair with winter white or black pants for an elegant look.

The Macy’s Inc. dress from Project Runway winner Irina just went on sale for $99.00 US. This midnight blue rayon jersey dress with its sequined butterfly is extremely well made for the price. This is a dress that you can wear all four seasons for a variety of different looks. In the winter, pair it with black tights and high heels. In the summer, you can wear it with sheer hose or bare legs and strappy sandals. The dress is a bit more expensive than more other picks, but it contains beading which is always a more expensive choice. Reader the reader reviews on to hear what other viewers think of the dress. Most were amazed by it once they saw it and tried it on.

My final pick is the Norma Kamali for Walmart convertible jersey dress. Check the picture on the left to see how you can style the dress with one strap for a New Year’s Eve look. This dress is only $20.00 and after your big New Year’s bash, you can wear it as a two sleeved jersey dress, or in a variety of ways. Click over to for the various looks. Also, check the reviews from ladies who already own and wear the dress. It’s a 5 star look for less. The dress comes in red or black. For $24.00, have a look at the “All in One” dress from NK for Walmart. One reviewer notes, “Much more versatile than I imagined. You really can come up with all those styles and more…and the dress stays in place.” Note, the dress may run small so just order a larger size for a looser fit. Whether you size up or down for best fit, the price remains the same. If you’re in New York City for the New Year, look for up to 50% off classic Norma Kamali styles at her store on 11 West 56th St. between 5th and 6th Ave. Her classic all in one piece is $75.00 at her store.

Look for stylish jewelry and accessories at stores like Loehmann’s, Zara, BCBG, New Look, H&M, Forever21 and Kohls to complete the look. Check my earlier post on all the great costume jewelry from BCBG.

I recently spoke with TODAY’s style editor Bobbie Thomas and she reminded me that simple elegant hairstyles for your special events can be achieved by wearing a stylish head band and pulling your hair back (remember the high ponytail look that stylist David Jensen told us about earlier this year.) Bobbie also reminded me that you can “use your nails like jewelry” by painting them in stylish colors. This is a brillant idea, since nail polish is a particularly low cost item.

Enjoy your New Year’s celebrations readers. What you save on style, you can reinvest in Champagne! 🙂


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Jenny

    December 30, 2009 at 3:26 am

    What great tips! Thank you and thank you for mailing my Amex giftcard so promptly!

    xo Jenny

  2. spb

    December 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    That little black dress is quite amazing. The tights worked really well too. Time to get out of the jeans and into something this gorgeous!