What to wear when you're hosting the party - une femme d'un certain âge

Holiday party outfit: a simple look for hosting

Casual holiday outfit: Susan B. wears a brown sweater, long pearl & chain necklace, brown corduroy pants, leopard loafers.

Tomorrow night we’ll be hosting a casual Hanukkah get-together for extended family. What to wear when you’re the holiday hostess? I have a few suggestions…

earrings | sweater | necklace | bracelet | pants (similar) | shoes (similar)

The sweater is one of the two I jettisoned at the last minute from my Italy travel wardrobe. It’s a light mohair/alpcaca/cotton blend. I’m wearing it with the buttons in the back. Pants shown previously HERE. I’ve had these loafers for a couple of years, here’s a similar style.

Festive, not fussy

Even though our family gatherings are a joint effort, there’s still a lot of coordinating, planning, cooking and setup involved. So I like to opt for a simple outfit that I can throw on right before everyone arrives.

“Festive” doesn’t have to mean lots of bright color, frou-frou, sequins or bling. (Though it certainly CAN…that’s up to you.) Texture, pattern, and accessories can add a festive note to a simple look.

What to wear to host a casual holiday party: Susan B. wears a brown fuzzy sweater, long pearl & chain necklace, brown corduroy pants, leopard print loafers.

Comfort & functionality

Even if I’m preparing dishes ahead of time, I still need to re-heat, set up the serving area, help with drinks, etc. once guests arrive. And then clean up. I need comfortable clothes that won’t restrict movement.

  • I avoid any fabrics that are stiff or bulky
  • No layers (except for the after-dinner walk to look at the holiday lights)
  • A wider neckline and sleeves I can push up help me stay cool
  • No wide sleeves or other “flappy” pieces that can get caught or drag through food
  • Nothing that has to constantly be adjusted
  • Everything washable
  • Makeup: add a little shimmer and/or a bright lip! 💄

And remember, an apron is your best friend! 😉

✨Don’t forget…✨

This Sunday at 12pm PT / 3pm ET I’ll be doing a live Zoom with Brian of Brian + MW. Brian will be demonstrating how to “dial up the glam” 💄 for those festive holiday events. It’s free, and you can click HERE to pre-register! Hope to see you there!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Lyn
    December 3, 2021 / 5:14 am

    Great outfit . Perfect for family gatherings. Have a great time celebrating with your family.

  2. Janice
    December 3, 2021 / 6:26 am

    Comfy, festive, looks great and best of all … Gigi approves : )

  3. Mary
    December 3, 2021 / 7:43 am

    You look great. Nice outfit! Happy Hanukkah.

  4. Lou Ann
    December 3, 2021 / 7:43 am

    Your tips for what to wear when you are the host are spot-on! Gigi looks expectant – adorable as always. Love the color of your pants! Happy Hanukkah.

  5. Linda S
    December 3, 2021 / 7:50 am

    Love the outfit and move the tips! With my silver hair, I’m still wearing a lot of black but add red, purple or turquoise for a pop it color. Our son and DIL took us to an Israeli restaurant for Chanukah dinner last night, and I dressed up a bit. My festive makeup? I wore some! Happy Chanukah!

  6. Linda S
    December 3, 2021 / 7:52 am

    Oy! Please forgive the typos! I really detest autocorrect.

    • Susan Blakey
      December 3, 2021 / 8:10 am

      LOL, no worries, we all do!

  7. Susan H
    December 3, 2021 / 8:25 am

    Excellent advice on how to dress for the holidays!

  8. Marianne
    December 3, 2021 / 8:29 am

    Thank you so much for the link to all those fabulous aprons! I can’t believe I’m using fabulous and apron in the same sentence, however I agree with you that an apron is definitely my best friend in the kitchen! I have a difficult time finding attractive ones and I very much appreciate your links. Seems aprons have been “out of style” lately. My mother always wore one when getting ready for a party. Thanks for the good memories and on to shopping for my new apron!!

  9. Mary Alice
    December 3, 2021 / 9:12 am

    I swear Sezanne must make very limited quantities of each style..every time I have ever gone on their website they are ALWAYS sold out of whatever I want. Cute outfit, though!

  10. Teri
    December 4, 2021 / 11:16 am

    I really like your relaxed festive-not-fussy approach to dressing for the holidays, especially when having a bunch of people over. Real life dressing! Thank you!

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