How To: Accessorize for a Dinner Party

Entertaining, Home

cocktail party attire

These days, a dinner party be anything from a swanky social affair (the kind that warrants breaking out the sparkles) to a low-key group of friends gathered around a cheese plate (yes, you can wear the yoga pant and no one will judge you). Usually, you’ll know what the party’s dress code is, either because the dress code dictates it or because you know that the person throwing the party expects no more than Lululemon.

Sometimes, it’s when you’re hosting a party, that the dress code is most ambiguous. Everyone likes an excuse to dress up, but do you really want to be the person who makes their friends don the work clothes again on a Saturday night? If you’re going the dress up route because you’re the hostess, make the party dressy-casual, where you can’t go wrong whether you’re in tailored pants and heels or a glittery knee-length number. There are also plenty of ways to accessorize, especially if you’re the belle of the ball, to ensure that your style is spot on.

Dress Up with Jewels

No matter what you’re wearing, a statement necklace or a pair of bold earrings can complete your look. Pick and choose which parts of your body you want to play up. If you’re wearing cropped sleeves, opt for a lightweight, statement cuff bangle with a delicate pattern or a pair of dangling gold earrings. NO matter what you’re wearing, a Shane Co. sterling silver cocktail ring adds a floral feminine touch, with a bit of edginess from a textured finish.

Dress Yourself First

If you’re hosting a party at your own home, don’t fall victim to the most common mistake I make when entertaining: making everything in sight perfect but saving yourself for last. Get ready for your own party as if you were going out to a party, building in enough time to get your cocktails, appetizers or dinner ready afterwards. If you start preparations before you get ready, you’ll probably still be frazzled (and dare we say, un-showered?) when your first guests begin to arrive.

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with your LBD. Splurge on a black dress with silver and gold embroidery to make a statement or pick a sleeveless faux-wrap dress to make a statement without looking overdone. Accessorize with a classy clutch in case you venture out for a post-cocktail party after party and be sure that your jewelry doesn’t interfere with what you’re doing. If you’re cooking, a wrist full of bangles might not fly. I like to wear rings, as your hands will be in the spotlight when you’re passing around cocktails. Slip on a pair of pumps in a bright color to pull your entire outfit together.

Dress the Room

Whether you’re throwing the dinner party or toting a gift for your hostess with the mostess, the minor details and small touches can make the most difference. A clever set of coasters or a decorative cheese board on your table will make all the difference in creating an elegant and mature ambiance. For casual parties, there is no need to go crazy with decorations, unless you happen to be celebrating Halloween or a child’s birthday. Instead, pick elegant yet inexpensive glassware and whimsical plates to keep your table from looking utilitarian. If you’re attending a party, any of these elegant accents make a wonderful hostess gift, too..

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.

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