1. EMBRACE A BRIGHTER OUTLOOK!
Yes, New Yorkers wear a lot of black, but we also like to be fashionable. To stay on trend in 2012, you'll need to add a shot of color to your wardrobe-clothing racks are going to explode like hothouses early next year with bright hues of tangerine and electric orchid. Yellow will be an especially popular color-daffodil dresses have sprouted at Helmut Lang, Zero + Maria Cornejo and Nanette Lepore. For spring, H&M is carrying a version of Ginnifer Goodwin's acid-yellow frock by Roksanda Ilincic.
2. PLAY WITH PAINTS
Nails are the new handbags-an accessory that will dress up any outfit.
Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have all adopted multicolored claws, but now the trend's reaching the masses-via Deborah Lippmann's glitter packed polishes and Sally Hansen's "Crackle Effect" top-coats, not to mention rhinestones and glued-on charms. But you don't have to bling it all out- Selena Gomez's Easter-egg manicure is pretty but creative, giving her red carpet look just enough edge. So cool, and so much cheaper than a Gucci hold-all!
3. CHOOSE A BOLD LIPSTICK
It's scary to wear a strong lipstick if you're not used to it. But the right bold lip color works with just about any skin tone and style of outfit - from girly gowns to crazy prints neutral day wear. Betsey Johnson sent her models down the spring runway sporting bright-pink puckers, while at
Nanette Lepore, the pouts were orchid-purple. With To m Ford's new ultra-luxe makeup line, you can taste the rainbow: from left, "Cherry Lush,""Crimson Noir," "Scarlet Rouge,""Violet Fatale" and "Black Orchid,"$48 each at Bergdorf Goodman,754 Fifth Ave.
4. PUT A SPARKLE IN YOUR STEP
Expressing yourself through leg wear is going to be even more popular in 2012. And, hey, if you have to slog through three months of snow and rain, why not do it with happy feet?
These silver rain boots from Rockport are shiny and bright ("Lorraine" rain boot, $120 at Rockport, Queens Center Mall), while Sarah Jessica Parker jazzes up a neutral ensemble with an unexpected pop of turquoise tights.Who says winter blues have to be so ... blah?
5. CLEAN UP YOUR ACT
The new year isn't just about cleaning out your closet - it's about streamlining your wardrobe, too. Toss the trendy stuff you'll never wear again, and invest in sleek, minimal and classic pieces. Calvin Klein Collection, Celine and Jil Sander are showcasing their trademark elegant looks this spring. (Zara, meanwhile, is a good spot to grab low-cost reinterpretations of Celine.) But avoid looking like a plain Jane by playing up your makeup and hair, just like Rooney Mara with her severe bangs and dark lipstick. It's simple but striking.
6. CHANNEL YOUR INNER GIRLIE-GIRL
There's never been a better time to be ber-feminine! Expect to see a flurry of peplums, ruffles, pastels and feathers in stores, showcased by designers like Preen, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Nina Ricci and the confectionary creations of Louis Vuitton.
Warning: Don't go all-out with this trend, or you could end up looking like a "Toddlers & Tiaras" contestant. Just try one look.A peplum jacket, top or dress is the trending look for spring (just ask Vera Wang).
7. JUST RELAX
Did you hate the loungewear-as-outerwear trend in 2011? Too bad, because PJs refuse to go quietly into the night. Next year, designers like Rachel Comey, Rag &Bone and 3.1 Phillip Lim are stocking slouchy pajama pants and comfy cardigans, proving that dressing like a female version of Hugh Hefner is finally socially acceptable.The pipe's optional, of course.
8. TRY OUT FOR SPORTS
If you've never been athletic but always wanted to get in the game, this is your year. Sporty details like Spandex, mesh and racing stripes are zipping across shirts, dresses and pants so snazzy that Danica Patrick wouldn't look out of place wearing them behind the wheel. Alexander Wang has sprinkled his high heels with reflective touches- perfect for the most stylish of bike riders.
And while super feminine designers like Victoria Beckham and Monique Lhuillier are suddenly joining the team, you can pick up more affordable mesh togs from American Apparel, or sport a mesh clutch from Top shop. Catch!
9. PULL OUT THE PRINTS
Solid colors are simple but oh-so-boring. Make a statement with a print, and you won't need a single accessory. Designers are going mad for exuberant patterns next year, embracing starbursts (Zero + Maria Cornejo), giant pastel checks (Preen) and diamond tribal prints (Edun). Topshop (abstracts) and Ann Taylor (black-and-white box checks) are also getting on the bandwagon, and if you really want to show your flower power-go to Zara.
10. HAVE A ROUGH SHAG
It's shagadelic, baby! The shag - a layered cut with messy ends - is totally in, says top New York hairdresser Sally Hershberger.
"Think '80s-really edgy, messy. Like Deborah Harry but more extreme," she tells The Post. Style icon Alexa Chung also does it right. Even better? This look requires almost no maintenance. Frankie, a stylist at Bumble & Bumble, says that at "the [runway] shows I [worked at], we didn't even have to do much hair."