01/08/2013 05:16 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2013

New Year, New You

NYE came and went. Basically, it was an evening of excess -- you spent too much, drank too much, took too many blurry photos with your iPhone and texted gibberish to far too many people at 12:01 a.m. As I am all too familiar with these celebratory antics, here is my advice for next time around... no judgement.

Each December the NYE panic kicks in: where will you go, who will be there, what will you wear? It is easy to fall victim to the hype surrounding NYE -- touted as the party of the year, you spare no expense when it comes to this night full of promise (and expectations). After securing an overpriced ticket and plenty of top-shelf booze, you decide a new look is imperative and seek a flashy, head-turning outfit that costs a small fortune. Keep in mind, there will be momentous occasions to be celebrated throughout the next year: milestone birthdays, engagements, marriages, career advancements and a few additional holidays dedicated to drinking. You will want to look smashing at those events as well, but you will not be able to wear that over-the-top NYE dress, unless they all take place in Vegas. At this rate you have set yourself up for an anticlimactic evening. Disappointment ensues.

Now what? Here's my recommended post-NYE course of action: 1) Consign that tight, tacky dress. There's always someone out there with a theme party or bad taste who has a need for the clothes you're discarding. 2) If the second-hand shop/eBay route is not an option, dry clean and store the dress... do not touch it again until December 31, 2013. No one will remember you wore it a year ago, even if there is photographic evidence on Facebook. 3) Break the spending cycle. Next December remember that you do not need that overpriced, sparkly new dress! Yes, it is pretty, but it will not in any way change the fate of your evening or the year that follows. If you saved the money you would have spent on specific attire for Halloween, a birthday bash or NYE you would be able to afford one expensive, stunning black dress. A timeless, flattering, well-made dress you would have for years and be able to wear to a variety of occasions. After a few years, you will amass a closet full of tasteful NYE options that can be dressed up or down to fit your changing taste and life.

While you might not be able to avoid the cover charge or hangover associated with the first of the year, you can prevent buyer's remorse and save on your attire. Keep costs low by ringing in the New Year in an old dress. Finally, for the shopaholics desperate for a fashion fix and unable to heed my advice: head straight to Forever 21 -- where there is no shortage of small sequined dresses at even smaller prices.

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