Your New Year’s Eve 2014 Playlists, Courtesy of Leather & Bourbon

As my mom putters around the house, enthusiastically planning every detail of tonight’s festivities, I’ve been thinking about all the effort that goes into planning a great party. Table decor, floral arrangements, food, champagne, champagne, champagne — there’s a lot to think about if you want to throw a memorable New Year’s Eve bash. But no matter how much effort goes into party planning, it’s a universal fact that a party will tank if the music isn’t on point.

It doesn’t matter if weeks went into the menu and Veuve Clicquot flows like a river, in the end it’s all about the tunes.

It took me a while to sort through all of the tracks I loved this year. Sometimes it takes revisiting your entire SoundCloud history to realize just how much amazing music was released over the past 12 months. The Spotify playlist is a mix of hip-hop, dance, pop, and house; The SoundCloud compilation is remix heavy, with an emphasis on genre-fusing songs as well as big anthem tracks that filled festival stages all summer long.

I already got emotional about New Year’s Eve in my last post, so I will leave this as is. I hope you enjoy these playlists as much as I do!




#FashionFriday: New Year’s Eve Dresses at Every Price Point

Photo Credit: Margaret Murphy

Photo Credit: Margaret Murphy

New Year’s Eve — An evening wrapped in a singular sense of magic and excitement conjured from the depths of our sentimental souls. I think even the most cynical of people can understand the impulse to romanticize this particular night. It offers the potential for a new beginning, a promise that things can and will be different if you make a cognizant decision for it to be so. It’s hardly a concrete turning point, yet it’s become an unofficial bench mark of accomplishments and failures within the various chapters of our lives.

My 2014 chapter was, not surprisingly, filled with a series of joyful highs and frustrating lows. I danced until 5 a.m. at U Street Music Hall with the greatest people I know, had my heart broken for the second time, took a life-changing trip to Iceland where I explored untouched nature, abruptly lost my job, found an exciting new job, and experienced so many small successes and setbacks in between.

Like most people, no matter how hard I’ve tried to avoid thinking back on the past year, I couldn’t help myself. I found myself watching every video I took at Ultra Music Festival, recalling the important conversations that pushed me to stand up for myself, and reliving every moment I spent laughing with Anita in our couch cloud. That was when I realized that no matter how many crappy things happened, these were still another amazing 12 months in my life. And now, with a little less than a week left in the year – and the joyful madness of Christmas behind me – I too have inevitably turned my attention to New Year’s Eve.

I may not have a 2015 resolution in mind yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t given extensive thought to what I’ll be wearing! After all, there’s nothing more fun than dressing for a festive occasion and New Year’s Eve is the perfect excuse to buy a feisty little party dress. In my case it will likely be another perfectly-cut pair of black skinny pants. But if I’m itching for a different look, there’s a white tuxedo dress on Nasty Gal (see under $200 section) beckoning me to hit purchase.

The best New Year’s Eve dresses aren’t necessarily the most ornate or risqué, though if that’s your shtick, this is the perfect occasion to own your style. Some people like to break the bank and purchase something totally unique, others prefer to remain frugal and buy an outfit that can be worn again with ease. Personally, I think there’s a balance of wow factor and usefulness that can be achieved without spending a small fortune. Yes, some of the dresses I’ve chosen are a little over the top, but none of them are so inaccessible that they would just sit in your closet for years to come.

So, whether you’ve had the best year of your life – or eagerly await the arrival of what will hopefully be a much happier one – embrace the opportunity to add a fabulous new piece to your closet. Though it’s frequently argued that New Year’s Eve is just another night, who cares? Take advantage of the night’s excitement to buy something that makes you smile. If you need a little inspiration, these looks will carry you from chic house parties to wild club outings in style.