New Year's Eve scenes are almost always the most climactic in movies: Will the guy show up to profess his love before midnight? Will the New Year's kiss be the start of something more? Will Carrie Bradshaw make it in time to Miranda's—and did she just take the subway?! Unfortunately, the countdown to the new year isn't as cinematic IRL—but at least your outfit can be.
In the name of research, we watched a marathon of iconic films with the most memorable New Year's Eve scenes that made us laugh, weep, sartorially envious, or a combination of all three. For some serious style inspiration, keep scrolling to see the most stylish on-screen New Year's Eve moments—though we can't promise the drama to go with it.
1. An Affair to Remember, 1957
The moment: Nickie Ferrante (played by Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (played by Deborah Kerr) are both engaged to other people, but they meet on a ship and fall in love—with their first kiss on New Year's Eve.
Her outfit: An incredibly elegant pleated cream dress woven with coral accents.
2. Bridget Jones's Diary, 2001
3. When Harry Met Sally, 1989
4. About a Boy, 2002
The moment: When Will Freeman (played by Hugh Grant), a shallow, immature man, meets Rachel (played by Rachel Weisz) at a New Year's Eve dinner party, he finally starts to grow up.
Her outfit: A graphic embellished one-shoulder number that complements her beauty.
5. Sleepless in Seattle, 1993
The moment: When Annie Reed (played by Meg Ryan) makes travel plans with her beau Walter during a New Year's Eve party, but can't stop wistfully thinking about Sam Baldwin (played by Tom Hanks).
Her outfit: A white off-the-shoulder top (aka one of the most in-demand silhouettes of the season) with a delicate necklace.
6. Sunset Boulevard, 1950
The moment: When silent-screen star Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson) lures a small-time writer Joe Gillis (played by William Holden) to her mansion for a New Year's Eve party of two.
Her outfit: A sweeping one-shoulder number that swishes with her every move.
7. New Year's Eve, 2011
The moment: After a stalled elevator incident, Elise (played by Lea Michele) makes it in time for the ball drop in Times Square, in which she shares the stage with Daniel Jensen (played by Jon Bon Jovi) during a New Year's Eve performance.
Her outfit: A performance-ready red bandage dress with a leather moto jacket.
8. Sex and the City, 2008
The moment(s): Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) makes a mad dash to BFF (and newly separated) Miranda Hobbes (played by Cynthia Nixon) so that she won't ring in the new year alone. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Samantha Jones (played by Kim Cattrall) and her beau celebrate from home (pictured above).
Her outfit(s): Carrie braves the N.Y.C. cold (and one subway ride) in a pink cami layered over a gray tee with pajama bottoms, complete with a fur coat, a sequined beanie, pearl strands, and booties. Samantha and her beau toast the new year in matching navy sequined robes.
9. 200 Cigarettes, 1999
The moment: Monica (played by Martha Plimpton) throws a New Year's Party in her Lower East Side apartment in 1981, but no one shows up (until she's drunk and passed out).
Her outfit: A flirty lime green number styled with fingerless black lace gloves and a selection of statement jewelry pieces. The finishing touch? A 'Happy New Year' tiara.
10. Someone Like You, 2001
The moment: Jane Goodale (played by Ashley Judd) waits all night for her ex-boyfriend to call after they had made plans to get together on New Year's Eve.
Her outfit: A slinky lavender dress with a subtle satiny sheen and a flouncy pink hem.