4 Girls' night in party themes

Dec 7, 2009 at 2:16 p.m. ET

So you and your girlfriends want to bypass all of the New Year's Eve craziness? After all, why pay at the door, buy a ticket and stand in line for coat checks and cocktails? Instead, throw your own party. Once you have the right theme, all you need are your fun-loving girlfriends for a girls' night in. Not sure what to do? Here are four fabulous suggestions.

Eighties Dance Party

Makeover Night

This is like the slumber party upgrade. Remember how you and your little friends would throw sleepovers and do your makeup, talk about boys and play dress-up? The makeover night theme is the same idea, only with an adult revamp. Each guest just brings a couple of chic outfits, a makeup kit and a digital camera. After you glam up, you and your friends can take fabulous pictures (Facebook default photos, perhaps?).

'80s Dance Party

Don't be jealous of the girls out at clubs and bars on New Year's Eve for even a second. While they're out waiting in long lines in the cold, you and your gal pals can be going buck wild without the hassle at home. Just put on some Pat Benatar, Belinda Carlisle and Cyndi Lauper. Dress in your old '80s garb and dance as if nobody's watching. Even better, you won't have to worry about a dance-floor stalker attempting to grind up on you.  Make sure to have some signature girly cocktails -- think cosmopolitans and apple martinis -- on hand to add to the fun.

Wine Tasting

We are grownups, after all. For a wine tasting party, the rules are as follows: Each guest has to bring a bottle of wine and a dish to complement. This potluck paired with vino is the most sophisticated girls' night in you've ever had -- we guarantee it. Add some adult conversation (as in boy talk, job venting and laughs) and you'll have yourself a recipe for a fabulous night that beats a crowded bar on New Year's Eve.

The Swap Shop

Why not have a party with a purpose? After all, you have been contemplating how to change up your wardrobe for 2010. You also have a new year's resolution to shop less and save money. If you and your girlfriends hold a swap party, you might hit all of those birds with one stone. Here's the deal: Every guest just has to bring a bag of clothes and accessories she no longer wants (you do the same, of course). During the party, everyone has a free-for-all shopping spree. After all, one woman's trash may be another woman's treasure. (Just be sure to let everyone know not to bring actual trash.)