Though I haven’t yet figured out what I’m doing on New Year’s Eve, and therefore have had no legitimate reason to be ogling sparkly, body-conscious party dresses online, I also haven’t yet figured out how to not be looking at said sparkly, body-conscious party dresses. I mean… they’re everywhere you look, no? And they’re all so very shiny.And, as if that wasn’t enough, many designers have found ways to update the classic backless gown–a look I’ve always appreciated.

The illustrations you see here showcase just a few variations of the style that I’ve noticed recently and that I, for one, hope are here to stay.

On the left is the traditional low back, which somehow always manages to look elegant. This illo was inspired by the Pins and Needles Metallic Lace Deep V-Back Dress, which is available at Urban Outfitters.

In the center is a gown with a medium-sized cutout, which, though you can’t see here, is mirrored by a slightly higher V-collar in the front. This was inspired by the Ecote Black Magic Dress at Urban Outfitters.

On the right is an example of the most subtle way to go backless, a small cutout. It’s also the easiest look to pull off since it’s bra-friendly. No boob tape required! This look was inspired by the Little Black Top available at Modcloth.

This is hardly a full guide to backless looks though. I’ve also seen some really cute key-hole type cutouts as well as large ones that get buttoned at the collar. But anyway, enough about my picks. If you’ve found any party looks you like, please do share in the comments, and feel free to include links.