It’s the holiday season! Fun, family, festivities- and stress? No need to worry because I’ve got some great tips and tricks for you to be stylish and smiling through it all. I shared some of these ideas with Sistina Giordano today on Bridge Street on WSYR Channel 9, but there were many more ideas we didn’t have time for that I’ll post here. Whether you are the hostess or a guest, the key everything is to plan and prep ahead! From the minute my invitations go out I'm thinking, “What am I going to wear?” For great party fashion the key is to keep it simple but feel fabulous! As the hostess my attitude and style sets the tone for the party. I like to choose something that makes me feel great but is comfortable enough to get me through the night. Also, it’s a party so I'll try something new and outside my comfort zone! A holiday party is a great time to make a fashion statement and try on a holiday trend!
Feeling fancy? Faux fur is big right now so try a fuzzy vest over a simple blouse with black skinny jeans tucked in boots. Today on Bridge Street I featured a great pair of pants from Lord & Taylor that give you that leather look but are just stretchy twill coated with a black metallic material by 1.State - more forgiving than real leather but just as fashionable!
Try to pick something you can wear again with accessory changes. A simple black dress or a red top with dark denim can be dressed up or down with gold accessories, decorative hosiery or a plaid scarf.
When in doubt find a great dress. I can’t tell you how many times people say to me, "You are so dressed up!” and I swear all I did was put on a dress. Something about a well fitting simple dress says to others, “She’s pulled together!”
If possible be ready at least an hour before so you aren’t scrambling as guests arrive. Wear a cute apron over clothes so you don’t mess them up- guests will adore it!
Shoes can be tricky- here’s my tip on how to handle:
If you are the host and you want your party guests to take off their shoes, you must do the same. Be thoughtful by providing slippers for guests to put on as they come in and drop off their shoes. Socks can do double-duty as a party favor: purchase fun holiday themed socks for guests to put on for the party and then take home with them when they leave.
If you are attending a party you don’t always know if you have to take off your shoes, especially when you live in a snowy city like ours with messy winter weather. First I make sure my outfit works with or without my shoes. Then I make sure to pack slippers or socks in my purse to put on when I arrive.
Always offer to help out.
Keep a stash of hostess gifts on hand for the last minute invites such as cute notebook sets, your favorite wine (not just some random brand you picked up on sale but one you enjoy yourself), or when there is time get personalized notecards for an extra special thank you. I love these by Annie Taylor Designs because they are beautiful whether they are personalized or not, and I know I am supporting another local entrepreneur in my community.
Here are some tips for being an inspired host:
I can’t say it enough to PLAN AHEAD!
Layout out platters ahead of time with post it notes indicating what goes in them. That way don’t have to think when taking prepped food out of the fridge.
Have a signature cocktail that’s easy- this season mine is a grapefruit Bellini with fruit! It looks beautiful, tastes great, adds a bit of elegance to your party but it’s easy as can be to make!
Don’t go crazy with decorations- change out throw pillows or add one design element at the entry way such as a pumpkin display or large wreath. Guests will appreciate the special touches and you don’t have to spend an entire day (and tons of money) setting up.
For more tips, I enjoyed this article for Dinner Party Tips from 15 Genius Hosts.
Most important is to have fun and enjoy the festivities!! If you aren’t having fun then your guests won’t either!
Thank you to our friends at Lord and Taylor for all these great examples and to Annie Taylor Designs for her beautiful notecards featured on today’s show. Did you miss it? Click here to watch the segment.
What are your tips and tricks for a fabulous holiday party? Also, what’s your opinion on the shoes conundrum- let guests keep them on or take them off? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on my Facebook page.