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What To Wear When You Host

December 10, 2019

Hi dear gals! We’re in full holiday mode and celebrations abound. Will you be hosting any holiday gatherings in your home this Christmas season? Today I thought we’d talk about what to wear when you host a party or get-together in your home. Of course, you can really wear anything you desire, but I do have a few tips to help you feel and look confident, comfortable and beautiful as you entertain.

What to Wear When You Host

When I have people into my home, my top priority is helping my guests to feel welcomed, comfortable and at ease. I’ve more than likely been cooking, cleaning and planning for the event for some time. So as guests arrive for the event, I want them quickly to begin enjoying themselves. I’m sure that’s your goal, too.

What to Wear When You Host
cashmere turtleneck (similar in other shades) // skinny corduroys // suede pumps // similar leopard print clutch (shown below) // necklace // earrings // bangle // similar leopard flats (shown below)

I also want to enjoy myself when I have friends and/or family in my home. This is a time to laugh and have rich conversations and make sweet memories and enjoy the delicacies I’ve prepared or others have brought.

I don’t want to feel frazzled or exhausted or uncomfortable during these precious hours either. The work is done. During the actual gathering I want to relax into the setting and engage with the special people I have invited into my home.

Monochromatic Outfit
cashmere turtleneck (similar in other shades) // skinny corduroys // suede pumps // similar leopard print clutch (shown below) // necklace // earrings // bangle // similar leopard flats (shown below)

My mother is my greatest role model as a hostess. She plans fastidiously for her gatherings so that she can engage and enjoy them when it’s time. And, while she works ahead to have the house spotless and the conversation areas comfortable and the food delicious, her focus is always on the people she has welcomed into her home.

Hostess Outfit

And so it’s with that background and many years of hostessing myself that I’ve come up with a few pointers for putting together a comfortable, beautiful and functional look for when you host people in your home. I offer these simply as suggestions that work for me.

  • Hostess Look Tip #1 Wear something that blends in beautifully with your setting. You have the advantage of having decorated your home in colors and a style that you love. So create an outfit that makes you look “at home” in your home. That’s why I’ve created a monochromatic look of camel colored pieces. My home is full of color. I have a red sofa with splashes of blue, yellow and green throughout my living areas. So I love this soft camel tone-on-tone look for hosting in my colorful home.
Hostess Outfit
  • Hostess Look Tip #2 Dress like you are actually at home…because you are. Absolutely dress nicely and look festive. But leave the blazer and your highest heels in the closet. While gone are the days of “hostess outfits,” I think it’s important that the host looks like she’s not going to be leaving any minute now. Know what I mean??? That’s why I think a lovely cashmere sweater and simple slacks or jeans (depending on the occasion) are a nice choice for a casual gathering.
What Shoes to Wear When You Host in Your Home
  • Hostess Look Tip #3 – Wear shoes that are festive but comfortable. Obviously you may be on your feet a little more than your guests, so you’ll want comfortable shoes. But I still like to wear something a little festive, too. I chose my suede heels because they fit my monochromatic look beautifully, they’re only slightly dressy and they’re quite comfy. But my leopard prints flats (shown below) provide a beautiful and equally comfortable alternative. I generally wouldn’t wear boots or booties when entertaining in my home. But that’s just a personal preference.
leopard print flats with camel look

Hostess Look Tip #4 – Wear something that looks approachable and friendly. Whatever your personal style essence is, choose a look within that category that makes you feel and appear especially relaxed and friendly. You want to exude warmth more than anything. My personal style essence is classic, so I chose timeless pieces – sweater and cords – but in yummy textures and a buttery, caramel color that create an especially easy-going vibe.


Hostess Look Tip #5 – Add beautiful accessories that are also functional for hostessing. Especially during the holiday season, it’s perfectly appropriate to wear all the glittery, beautiful jewelry you’d like to wear for your personal style to shine through. But I always suggest focusing on the earrings if you’ll be sitting at a table, since that’s the jewelry people will see while looking in your eyes. And I’d probably leave the scarf off. See Tip #2.

If you're going out
cashmere turtleneck (similar in other shades) // skinny corduroys // suede pumps // similar leopard print clutch // necklace // earrings // bangle // similar leopard flats (shown above)

Above I added my leopard print clutch so you could see how I’d accessorize this monochromatic outfit if I were stepping out in it.

Here are a few outfit formulas that I think are perfect options for what to wear when you host in your home:

Shop the Look …and more!

I’ve filled the shopping widget below with the pieces from my look, but also with elements from the style formulas listed above. Remember, if you shop through the links in this post I potentially earn a commission from your purchases, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for shopping through Dressed for My Day!

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Blessed for My Day

I don’t know whether it’s an American thing, a baby boomer thing or a 21st century thing, but we women are determined to be all, do all and excel at all. I can work myself up, work myself over and wear myself out…all in one day! You, too?

Let’s remember, especially during this busy holiday season, that we can do nothing apart from Christ. “Sure I can,” you might say. But truthfully, we can do nothing of any eternal value without Him flowing in us and through us. He must be both our motivator and our generator of all good and eternal works. Let’s pause before we “hop to it” and focus on dwelling in Him. Then He will be honored and glorified, others will be blessed and we will not be exhausted.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. ~ John 15:5,8

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xoxo, Kay
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12 thoughts on “What To Wear When You Host

  1. You look beautiful AND like the perfect hostess! Love your haircut too. Very becoming and frames your face beautifully. Those are all wonderful tips, Kay! Makes me wish I was hosting a party! Ha!

    1. Thank you, Sondra. I just got it trimmed. I think I was just having a good hair day that day. Ha! But the wind was a force to be reckoned with!

  2. Your haircut and style – perfect for you. You look great!Good tips for hosting (we will be hosting a Yankee Swap and a small family Christmas dinner.)

  3. Kay, I’m so glad to see someone address hosting outfits on a style blog. Hosting often for many different groups, I always have to remember how HOT I get with serving and moving and last bits of cooking. So, no heavy 3rd piece (unless it’s an apron) and I’m in total agreement on the shoes. When I go to someone else’s house, it’s a completely different story.

    Great job! Happy holidays!

    1. Thanks so much, Betsy. I wasn’t really sure if this would resonate with people or not. I really do dress a little differently when I’m hostessing than I do when I’m going out. It sounds like you do, too! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love today’s outfit! Previous commenters are right, you did have a good hair day. Thank you for the reminder to slow down, enjoy the season, and maybe treat myself! I needed to read that today.

    1. Thanks so much. And I’m glad those words resonated with you. I figure most of us are not as kind to ourselves as we are to others. So I’ll try to be that kind voice that encourages my readers to do the very things they’d tell other women to do. 😉

  5. Kay, you look absolutely lovely in these pieces, but also festive and comfortable as well. I only entertain my extended family, but still like to look nice. Thank you for your Beauty for the Heart each day. They’ve really helped me keep my heart focused on what and Who is most important.