Assembling the Perfect Hostess Ensemble

Oh, the joys of holiday (party) season. The invites are piling up, and it’s also time to show off your hostess skills. While planning a mouthwatering menu is a task in itself, I always find the biggest challenge to be assembling a stylish yet functional outfit for playing host. This year I’m perfecting my outfit early, so come party time, all I have to worry about is timing that turkey.

The dress: A retro-inspired, A-line dress is always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of hosting. Comfort and mobility are key, so avoid too-tight numbers. On the other hand, too much flow and draping can get in the way when trying to pull off some last-minute culinary miracles. An A-line shape is the best of both worlds – it flatters while providing maximum comfort (and a little room for overindulgence).

The shoes: I tend to avoid heels at all costs, and – embarrassingly enough – at my last holiday soiree, I wore my trusty (not-so-stylish) slippers. This year, I’m slumming it no more and upgrading to a pair of comfy-chic ballet flats. Metallic or bright flats will add extra flair, but are comfy enough for making multiple trips between the kitchen and guests.

The accessories: I love a dramatic drop earring or oversized necklace, but they don’t belong near the oven. For a sensible choice that still completes your ensemble, opt for accessories that will never get in the way - a wrap bracelet or watch (no sliding bangles here), and earrings with a small drop.

The apron: Once the look is assembled, preserve it with a fun, printed apron. Harkening back to the style of June Cleaver, an apron is a hostess-perfect addition and prevents any last-minute wardrobe swaps.

By Anna Kuchinsky, Staff Writer

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November 12, 2012