When it comes to finding the perfect outfit for New Year's Eve, we went to Twin Cities boutiques for advice on looking great for the big party.

They all agreed: Buy something you can wear again.

 For instance, while sleeves on formal dresses are an of-the-moment fashion trend, they're also practical.

"I love that this dress has long sleeves, because you can bet it will be freezing," said Kathryn Paulsrud, owner of Bumbershute, about a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress (pictured) that she sells. "The gold knit adds a bit of sparkle and makes it feel holiday, while still looking very current."

She recommends adding earrings and a faux fur jacket. After New Year's Eve, you can wear it with skinny jeans and brown booties.

To find the perfect outfit for New Year's Eve, Twin Cities style experts agree: Buy something you can wear again. Here are their picks for festive outfits  that will take you past the first few hours of 2012.

Elevate the everyday

 Use New Year's as an excuse to invest in something new but also items you can mix and match into your wardrobe. "If you're on a budget, buy something you can wear again," said Elizabeth Varghese, buyer at Details Style Lab. She'd wear the velvet skirt to a wedding and the white shirt with "everything." When you plan your outfit, think about your shoes and feet. "It's a long night, so you need to be comfortable," she said.

Varghese wears Ravel blouse, $98; Chemline skirt, $198, and Lisa Marie Vander Loop belt, all from Details Style Lab along with her own Stuart Weitzman shoes. Hair by Alex Thao of Details Salon. 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-251-8700.

Add a dash of sparkle

 Beware: It's easy to overdo the bling. "Too much sparkle can look more like a costume than a party outfit," said Bridget O'Brien, head stylist at Covered. She favors classic black, but in a fresh way. "You want to look like the hottest chick at the party and not one of the decorations," she said. She'd dress down the sequined skirt with a rocker tee for an everyday look.

O'Brien wears O & O blouse, $78; Naven skirt, $154; DeVintage belt, $18; Streets Ahead bracelet, $38; Idea leggings, $26; Kelsi Dagger booties, $149; J.J. Winters, $306, all from Covered, 1201 Lagoon Av., Mpls., 612-825-1610.

Think about the beach

 While temperatures might be less than tropical in Minnesota, your outfit can anticipate warmer days ahead. Kathryn Paulsrud, owner of Bumbershute, paired a resort collection strapless maxi-dress with a leather jacket. "I'm going on vacation in two weeks, and I can use this dress for New Year's Eve and also bring it with me to the beach," she said. "By adding some sparkle and a little leather, it can easily be turned from a summery maxi-dress into a very cool evening look, appropriate for a night out in chilly weather."

Brynn Idelkope wears Young, Fabulous and Broke dress, $165; Bespoke faux leather jacket, $287; Alexis Bittar necklace, $455; and SBG Designs bracelet, $165. Shoes from Ladyslipper.

Beauty's big night out

You don't want your Cinderella look to turn into a pumpkin by midnight on New Year's Eve. If you plan to ring in the new year with a marathon night out, here's expert advice on how to get your hair and makeup to stay put.

Prolong your perfume. If your eau de toilette wears off too quickly, you might need to moisturize. "What holds your fragrance is hydration," said Diane Wissink, owner of La Petite Parfumerie. She recommends adding a few sprays of perfume to an unscented or lightly scented body cream such as Caudelie's Nourishing Body Lotion ($35, 287 Water St., Excelsior, 952-475-2212). Then rub it all over your body. Spritz your hair, too.

Set your makeup. To stay smudge-free, Amy Presson, owner of Jett Makeup, suggests Model in a Bottle ($18, 3940 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-856-4888). After you apply your makeup, spray the product over your entire face. "It keeps your makeup intact regardless of oil, smudging, tears, humidity and water," she said.

Lock and load your lashes. Many people aren't fans of waterproof mascara, but the regular formulas won't last all night. Lianna Colestock, a guest artist and aesthetician at the St. Paul Beauty Lounge, has a solution. "Put your regular mascara on and seal it in with a final coat of waterproof mascara over the top," she said. "Your lashes will still be soft, but smudge-proof and clump-free."

Make your lipstick last. If you'd rather play up your lips, Janell Gleason, Aveda's global makeup artist, suggests using a colorless lip definer to prevent bleeding and picking a deep rich or bright shade such as Aveda's Vanadinite ($15, www.aveda.com). "To help lipstick last longer, apply a little powder after one coat of lipstick and then apply another coat of color," she said.

Get bright eyes. Makeup artist Rhonda Jackson recommends Makeup Forever's Aqua Liner. "I think this is what Amy Winehouse used, and her liner never moved," she said. To avoid creases, Aveda's Gleason picks powder eye shadows over cream shadows.

Keep curls bouncy. According to Shannon Hammer, a stylist at Extrados, the key to lasting curls is to start with a great blowout. Then part your hair horizontally from ear to ear and spray each section of hair with hair spray before curling "to give hair style memory that will last," she said. Gently run your fingers through your hair to break up curls and finish with more hair spray. To add volume, use L'Oreal's Expansion mousse at the root area. For a $30 heat set service, you can have the curls done at the salon (612-920-0227, www.extrados.com).

Don't be afraid to tease. For an up-do that won't drop before the ball, Root Salon's style class director Heather Lucking teases hair with a back comb such as the Marilyn Teasing Brush ($16) and finishes off any look with a weightless aerosol spray such as Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Micro-Fine Finishing Spray. For hands-on instruction, you can sign up for a how-to class about New Year's Eve glam (6:30 to 9 p.m. Thu., 499 Selby Av., St. Paul, www.rootsalons.com, reserve at 651-222-0200; $35 fee includes swag bag of tools and samples).

Start with clean hair. Dirty hair styles are over. Renee Herskovitz, the manager at Regis Salon in Mall of America, said you should wash your hair before styling. "Any product buildup will only weigh your hair down," she said. Try the Designline Powder Boost ($13) to add volume at your roots, which is also available in purse-stashable travel size, just in case.