What Will I Wear: A $12 Dress!

I debated about writing this post. It could really help some hostesses who struggle with image, or it could come across as a bit … arrogant … sharing about my clothes when I hosted this particular dinner party!

But I’m going with the first thought. Because I know where my heart is and I want to share with others that it’s okay – that you don’t have to “look the part” like movie stars or Martha Stewart, when you host a dinner party.

Years ago, one tip I did learn, when it came down to the last hour of getting ready for the arrival of my guests, was to KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO WEAR. There’s nothing worse than knowing you’ve taken the time to invite the guests, plan the meal, set the table, maybe even clean the house (although not mandatory in my mind – sometimes it happens, sometimes not!) – and then you go to your closet and can’t think of what to wear.

1. Always try to lay your clothes out, or know in your mind what to wear.
2. Don’t over-dress if you know the night is going to be casual.
3. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Buy a few dresses that work well for entertaining.
4. Don’t wear complicated jewelry or big scarves that will hang into the food. Keep it simple!
5. Make sure your shoes are comfortable for the evening.
6. Make sure that you feel beautiful, so your love drips over onto your guests.
7. If you are married, dress for your spouse. Wear something that he will love to look across the table and see you in.

In my case, I picked up this $12 dress at Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. No, they are not paying me to talk about their store right now, but I fell in love with this dress and for $12, I just knew I’d get a lot of dinner parties out of it. (Oops, the bean dip was spilling here!)

Don’t worry about having to “look the part” Hollywood style when your guests come into your home.

Keep it simple, find some hostess outfits that fit your budget, and most of all, make sure your heart is right – that you are ready to put yourself aside and love on your guests.

Hospitality is not about you. It’s about the people coming to your home!

Even in a $12 dress.

Do you worry about what you’ll wear when hostessing a dinner party?

(Thanks Cousin Anni, for having fun with me and the camera! And for your amazing blog. Just take a peek at this post! Yummy, look at all those beans in that dip above! Recipe coming out in my new book … The Reluctant Entertainer!)

63 comments on “What Will I Wear: A $12 Dress!”

  1. Great post, beautiful hostess (inside and out).

  2. So true! They care more about your heart, not your shoes. : )

  3. I bought the same dress in the turquoise color and NOBODY could believe I only paid $12 or that it was from Walmart!! LOL:) best thing was I was 7 months preggo and felt beautiful!! it still fits postpartum ( I like that it hides the mommy tummy) thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Pingback: Day 24. Getting Yourself Ready: Don’t Look Frumpy! — Reluctant Entertainer

  5. You always gorgeous and I want that dress! Off to Wal Mart. :)

  6. Sandy, you are so cute. I love the dress. Last weekend I went to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Kids Unlimited Auction in my $12 dress and felt fabulous. Mine came from Old Navy and is very similar in style to yours. I’ll have to send you a photo. :]
    .-= holly herick´s last blog ..Flowering Quince Art: Artist are painting from my photo. See them all here. =-.

  7. Cute dress! Darling sandals! I think it’s important to “dress” for the occasion — after all — we “dress” the table. But, I find that most always I serve my guests — barefoot!
    .-= LaTeaDah´s last blog ..It’s a Special Day! =-.

  8. I tried that dress on!!! I couldn’t decide if it worked on me…so I walked away from it. Now I want to go back and get it. It’s too cute with your sandals. =) lol

    You’re the best, Sandy! I love you!!!

  9. What a great post full of wonderful advice and tips. I tend to think about my outfit later than I should so this is a great reminder.

    I have to ask where did you get the wonderful bowl holding your bean dip?
    .-= Elizabeth S´s last blog ..Yellow flower 196/365 =-.

  10. #1 you DO look like a movie star – you’re our rock star!!!!

    #2 I am loving your posts lately. What a refreshing way to look at things: serve others and it will just so happen to work out for you at the same time. Poetic…

    #3 I firmly believe it doesn’t take $ to solve a problem, rather resourcefulness. You go with your bad $12 WM dress-self!!!! WM t-shirts are my summertime “uniform” haha…

    #4 You expect us to wait until August for this book?!? Hey, are you going to do a book tour?
    .-= Ginger´s last blog ..I met P-dub!!! =-.

  11. This was such a great tip. I too am usually running with 5 minutes to spare…staring at my closet…trying to figure out what to wear. If I made the decision earlier in the day….5 minutes would be fine. :) I too…love that dress. And the bean dip. :)
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..March Break Road Trip =-.

  12. I loved this post Sandy! Way to go for finding this dress at Wal Mart! I’ve been finding some cute things there lately too. You look adorable as always : ) Can’t wait to see you at my art show!

    Hugs!

  13. I just spent the afternoon shopping at the mall from a graduation dress…I should have just gone to Wal-Mart!!
    .-= amelia´s last blog ..So thats who took my ipod!! =-.

  14. Hey, what about those great legs!?! How come you got the great legs? I’m your cousin, born before you….not fair. (dress looks great too)

  15. Great post with lots of great tips and that dress!?! Wow…looks fabulous on you! And that price fits very nicely within my budget! ; ) Thanks for sharing! Something tells me Wal-mart is going to see a big increase in the sale of these dresses!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..My Mother’s Day Gifts… = ) =-.

  16. i am laughing as i write this, because i was about to say: your legs are amazing!!! … and i see that someone else already shared that!! =0)
    beautiful!!!
    i agree; having the outfit detail figured out just eases my stress when i am prepping for guests.
    and, i *absolutely* dress for my man =) a few times, i was probably “over-dressed” but he was thrilled and so, who cares? =)
    .-= emily´s last blog ..needful words … =-.

  17. Love this post, and I love, love, love the reminder to dress for your hubby. It’s such an important thing to think about what your man would like to see you wearing across the table, and maybe get him thinking about the after party…

    Cute dress too! I love a good deal, and even better when it’s super cute.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Dizzying Perspective =-.

  18. You are always gorgeous, no matter what you wear! It helps to have a beautiful face and a long lean body to put into an adorable little dress! I’ve never seen you look frumpy :-), you lucky girl!

    I usually leave myself to last, sadly. Lately (like for the past year or so) I have just been too swamped to focus on myself and I am feeling a little neglected! We entertain several times a week (or rather, we have people over…entertaining might not be the right word)…it seems people are always over for meetings, dinner, music rehearsals or women’s groups! Today I had a group of women over to sew and hang out!

    I guess I should spend a few days getting my wardrobe in order so I will be better prepared for my busy life. I know I’d enjoy having my closet organized to make it easier to get dressed and feel like I have my options ready.

    Great post, yes, I do take into account what my hubby likes me to wear, such a great tip to keep focused on what matters more than impressing our guests!

    Happy day Sandy!
    .-= melissa @ the inspired room´s last blog ..Paint Party Powder Room Progress =-.

  19. I just tried this same dress on last week, now I have to go get it. I love to dress for my hubby, because lets face it at the end of the day if he doesn’t think I look pretty what do I care what anyone else thinks. I love this post idea and do know what it feels like to not like what you are wearing and to not enjoy entertaining because of it.
    .-= Cha Cha´s last blog ..SUMMER IN A PUNCH BOWL =-.

  20. My husband and I have people over so frequently that I don’t think much about what I wear. Usually, it’s VERY casual, but if it’s a group of just close friends, I’ve been known to wear yoga pants and a tee. *blush* Maybe I should put more thought in it…

    PS You look awesome!
    .-= Sturgmom´s last blog ..AI Recap: Top 4 =-.

  21. Sandy, great post with great tips! Yes, comfort is the key!

    I’ve never been a Wal-Mart shopper but I think I need to start…your dress is darling and oh so comfy looking!
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Nurse Week =-.

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