The countdown begins! Whether it’s watching the acorn descend in downtown Raleigh or viewing the ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of your couch, the pressure is on to find a way to send 2011 off with a bang and ring in 2012. Add to that pressure, finding the perfect outfit! Last year was easy for me. I was already in Nashville to see the Tar Heels in bowl game action, so it was natural to stay and celebrate on the streets of Music City. My fanciest bejeweled premium denim, a fun polka dot top and Carolina electric blue boots had me dressed in Nashville city slicker style. The year before that a girlfriend and I escaped to Wrightsville Beach. I could have sported flip flops! Instead, it was dark wash skinny jeans and a fancy fuchsia ruffled top for dining out and toasting with friends. Nothing like waking up to the roar of the ocean and kicking off the New Year with sand between your toes! And what’s in store for this year? Well, I’ve got about 36 hours to figure it out, and I have a hunch that I’m not alone.

My motto for New Year’s Eve? Bring on the bling! This is the one night of the year where you can let yourself glow. Pull out the baubles and the sparkles and let it shine! You’ll feel better justifying the existence of all those buried treasures in your jewelry box. Feel the need for something new? Stores are filled with sequins and jewels and all things bling this holiday season. Check out the windows of boutiques around town for inspiration. Below is a trio of shimmer (all under $100) at East 54’s boutique Fabrik.

Does a last minute party invitation have you scouting for outfit options? First, it’s time to look through the closet of New Year’s past. Check the fancy section of your wardrobe and see what sparks your interest. If this is a different crowd than last year’s party then you can easily do a repeat outfit. (Can’t remember what you wore? Check your camera phone or Facebook for pictures.) A halter top that sparkles and fancy heels paired with dark dressy denim is a look that will work most anywhere. Going to a gala? A colorful cocktail dress (think jewel tones) or your staple LBD (Little Black Dress) is in order. And don’t forget to add the bling! As I’ve shared in articles past, if you’ve had no luck in your own closet and are tight on funds, don’t despair! Consignment stores, sale racks or your best friend’s closet could land you the perfect look at the perfect price.

Outerwear options are important on a cold winter’s night. A statement coat, one of this year’s top trends, is a must. If you have access to the matriarchal vintage fur, this is the perfect night to put it on for the party parade. The faux fur trimmed coat Santa brought or the gorgeous wool cape that was under the tree will keep you warm and stylish if you are on the streets at the stroke of midnight.

Cheers to a safe and stylish New Year no matter where you are or what you wear!

How will you bling in the New Year? Share your ideas for celebrating in style.