What to dress to a Dinner Party

Continuing from my previous post, ‘Hosting a Beautiful & Cheap Dinner Party’ and as promised, here’s some suggestions on what to wear as a host/ hostess or a guest to a dinner party. (Or really, any special occasion)

Note: All the dresses are from ASOS and all the men’s shirts and pants are from J Crew.

Hostess

dinner party dress 1

A black & gold glitter wrap dress

dinner party dress 2

Bold but not too overstated red/ black dress

dinner party dress 3

50’s inspired ivory dress

Guest

dinner party dress 4

A cream lace dress

dinner party dress 5

A fitted flare dress

dinner party dress 6

A spotty print dress

Guys

It works both ways, for the host or the guest, you’d want it to be casual and relaxing, so  a nice collared shirt and casual pants will do, such as the ones below

Secret Wash lightweight shirt in Fell ginghamStanton pant in classic fit

A lightweight gingham shirt teamed with a dark pair of pants

Secret Wash lightweight shirt in Fallon check484 slim-fit garment-dyed jean in dusty camel

A warm lightweight checkered jade shirt paired with slim fit camel jeans

Secret Wash lightweight shirt in Lucas plaid Bowery microstripe in classic fit

Royal navy plaid shirt matching with the classic fit in navy microstripe

I hope this post will give you an idea as to what to dress on the night of a dinner party or really any special event.

Hosting a Beautiful & Cheap Dinner Party

When the thought of dinner parties come to mind, I think of lavish expensive silverware, catered good quality fresh food, elegant decor, the sound of clinking wine glasses and proper English accents (Hollywood must have something to do with that). Apart from the accent, all this sounds quite expensive, and since the GFC never really ended anyway, my question is, is it possible to host a classy dinner party within a reasonable budget? My answer to this is yes! (Take the tip from Curtis Stone feed your family for under $10)

Now according to Stone’s under $10 recipe, it serves a  family of 4, so if you were to have 12 people at your dinner party, it only equates to $2.50 for a meal!  You might like to try to recreate his barbecued chicken, zucchini and rocket salad as an entrĂ©e dish, complete with video tutorial guide.

So with one meal already well under budget, there’s only 2 more courses to plate up. Aside from the 3 course meal, some alternative easy ideas for simple preparation no fuss nibbles that’ll keep guests entertained include garlic bread, bruschetta, carrot and cucumber sticks dipped into hummus, water crackers with cream cheese and salmon served on top, pretzels, cheese & meat platter, assorted nuts and chips.

Keeping food to one side, let’s talk about the decor. For me, what says elegance and class is how the dining table and its surrounding is set. This is the first visual impression your guests will see and will have a fair idea on what to expect as far as food and service goes. Stick to a theme, be it a colour theme (max 3 colours that blend in with each other) or the classic James Bond style, (think silver/white) but don’t overdo it, keep it simple otherwise it comes off as a bit tacky and overwhelming.

For example, the picture below, is really quite simple and elegant, have a look around IKEA, your local discount retailers like TargetKmart and Big W for some affordable dinnerware, glassware, cutlery, napkins and table place mats.

table setting

To those that are a perfectionist but are unfamiliar with table arrangements, it might come across as confusing, I mean where exactly do you place the wine glass? 45 degrees from the plate or is it 60 degrees? Thankfully, there’s a handy cheat sheet to use as a guide.

table place setting

Another cute idea is creating your own place cards for guests, here’s something to get you going

diy place cards

See how easy it is? Glue two bits of paper, cut a rectangle and write your guest’s name neatly and there you have it!

Hosting a dinner party is a great idea for gathering close friends and family. Whether it be for a house-warming, being a  first home owner, birthdays, engagements or just about any occasion to celebrate a special event.

Have you hosted a dinner party? Share your experiences and your favourite dishes to cook!

Stay tuned, because my next post will be what to wear as the hostess/ host or the invited guest to a dinner party.