Hostess with Bells & Whistles

Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post about my five essentials for throwing a holiday party.   Now, it’s time to talk holiday dressing!  I’ve been looking forward to this post all week.  I believe the best way to share outfit inspiration is through some great photos.  Below are some of my favorite bloggers donning their holiday best.  These styles are all easy to put together and I love how you can balance a look and play up the ‘ole LBD with little details, be it a belt, a fur vest, or a sparkly necklace.  There are endless possibilities to create a whole new outfit with a few accessories. Enjoy!

ataylor perpetually chic

Perpetually Chic

Top / Pants / Heels / Belt

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Camille Styles

Dress / Vest / Shoes / Earrings

coco+kelley hostess

Coco + Kelley

Dress / Necklace / Bracelet

Essentials of Throwing a Holiday Party

Having thrown several holiday parties this season, I thought I would share my essentials for holiday entertaining.  Depending on how much (or little) you want to do, you can certainly jazz up (or tone down) any of the five elements.  Have you hosted any parties this month?  Let me know your party essentials in the comments section!

1. Decor: Decorating your apartment or house in a festive way sets the tone for the party.  There’s no need to go all out and turn your house into a winter wonderland.  A little DIY with items you already have in the house will sure to add some sparkle.

  • Place some ornaments (can pick a particular theme/color or just throw in different sizes and shapes) in a bowl and place on your dining table or coffee table:

  • Wrap a garland along your stairs:

  • Use gold accents (the perfect holiday color) in your table setting:

  • Place some wrapped gifts and lights some candles on your shelves or mantle:

2. Food & Drinks: If you’re throwing a cocktail party, have small party bites on hand that span from salty to sweet.  Think crudites, spiced nut mix, sliced meat and cheese selection, chicken skewers in a dipping sauce, dips, crostini, and bar bites.  For dessert, let your guests have some fun with a chocolate fondue.  Use pound cake, strawberries, pretzels, and marshmallows for dipping.  Make one signature cocktail for the night and let plenty of wine and champagne flow.  You can also kick up spiced apple cider to make a hot toddy for your guests.  I love perusing Food & Wine for their delicious and easy holiday and drink recipes.

Images / Cream Puff Image

3. Friends: Invite the whole bunch!  Include the fashionista, the diva, the funny one, the home-baker, the karaoke singer…you get the idea!

4. Music: Have music playing in the background throughout the night and change as the party moves on.  Mix in jazz, Christmas classics, and some modern holiday jingles.

Christmas-music

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5. Fun: End the night with some at-home karaoke or story-telling around the fire.  It’s all about having fun at your party with your dearest friends and family.

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Playful Patterns

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Image from the Glitter Guide

Between decorating my new house and finding new inspiration to spruce up my place for upcoming holiday fetes, I am sensing that my creativity meter is at an all-time high. Whether it’s a chevron pattern, stripes (the old standby), a flower motif, leopard, or what have you, I love playing with patterns for home decor.  Whether you are buying a new rug, table linens, or mirror, here’s some inspiration…do share what you like/dislike!

Decorative Pillows from Shop Ten 25

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Leopard Coasters from Zara Home

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Throw Blanket (also comes in green) from Shop Ten 25

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Chevron Mirror from Wisteria

C Wonder Ginger Vases

Ginger Vases from C. Wonder

Playing Hostess (Part 2)

ImageSo what should the hostess wear to her own party?  My recommendation is to prep and cook early in your ‘at-home’ wear (jeans, t’s, sweats) and an hour before your party, change into your party attire.  Tidying and freshening up before your party will ensure you won’t smell like dinner!  When you are putting the finishing touches on dinner, go ahead and wear an apron so you minimize splashes – and you’ll also look cute.

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Polka dot apron from Etsy

For the holiday season, I like incorporating a little red in what I wear.  Another option is to wear black and accessorize with lots of gold jewelry, gemstones, and a sparkly shoe.  I like to keep it simple with dresses (no thinking there) and you also give yourself room to eat away!  (It is Thanksgiving, after all.)

Here are some party outfit options:

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3/4 sleeve red dress from Ann Taylor (sale happening right now!)

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Black dress from Anthropologie

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Dress up with a scarf and bow tie at J Crew

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Etta sequin pumps, J Crew

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Loeffler Randall

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BaubleBar Ice Pinwheel Bib

Happy hosting!

Playing Hostess (Part 1)

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Since I will be throwing a couple of holiday parties this year, I have been on the hunt for decorative pieces for my house and in search of yummy, but easy recipes.  In today’s Part 1 of the holiday guide, I’d like to share some shopping finds to either 1) accent your home for your party or 2) bring as a gift to the next party you attend.  Part 2 tomorrow will be decorating yourself (finding that perfect outfit!) and planning the cocktail and dinner menu.
Here we go!

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West Elm Jali Lattice Dinnerware, for a festive dinner but not over the top

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Decorative Pashmina Pillow from Zara Home

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Foo Dogs Set from C Wonder

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Fresh mini soaps to spice up the bathroom

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Happiness vases from Wisteria, perfect with some pink peonies

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Fun and festive wine bottle toppers from Pottery Barn

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Coffee table books (from Amazon)

Enjoy the party planning (or attending)!  Check back tomorrow for party outfits.