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!)

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