Wow. I have to tell you I feel this is a really hard one. I would probably fall back on my early television years and dress like Samantha in *Bewitched,* lol: brocade sheath dress, pearls and low court shoes. She remains my model of Domestic Hostess Goddess-ness. Lol. All those dinners she cooked and served Darren’s clients while trying to reverse the Pink Polka Dot Elephant spell or something. Ha!

Cropped velvet pants? A sparkly blazer?? Not necessarily together... Or a wrap front sweater with a lace cami under?

I am not much help. I am cooking and inlaws are staying with us, but they will not be dressed up. I considered wearing my green velvet mock neck (it used to be a dress, but I chopped it to make it into a top), but I want sleeves.... Footwear is my biggest hurdle when hosting, since we don't wear street shoes inside.

What about this dress from JCrew?

I love a dress because when you're reaching up or over your shirt isn't going to come untucked. All you need are some dangly earrings, tights and some fun flats.

nemosmom - I really like those JCrew pants- thank you! Heading over to check them out right now.

Rachy - seriously, if I could find said Bewitched outfit, I'd be in it in a hot minute. That's my idea of holiday dressing .

This one would be a little warmer, maybe too warm. Cuddly velvet!

I really can't recommend a pair of metallic or velvet mules highly enough as house shoes for festive hosting or (as I wear them) everyday!

Look forward to seeing what you come up with and I appreciate this thread. Ive got footwear sorted for this sort of event but nothing else!

I'm going casual this year, and with a lighter color scheme. I don't know why, but the non-traditional pink is really speaking to me. Just decided on this Boden sweater as my holiday treat!

I found a velvet blazer in a consignment store. It is burnt orange/rust. I may wear that with my black jeans and a black camisole (to be purchased. Footwear is a question at the moment. I like the idea of the rust slippers.
I have also thought of velvet jeans. It depends on what I find.

So many interesting suggestions! I’m not sure I have much to add, other than I love the idea of velvet for you in a piece that is not too dressy or precious. Just an elegant piece in a great color that is more unexpected than the traditional holiday choices. I bet since rust is so big this year, there might be a good contender in that color.

I could also see you rocking a really nice satiny silk top in a simple drapey style. I’m not seeing a lot of good silk these days though. I have a really beautiful teal silk blouse from Ann Taylor circa 2000 or so that I had in the giveaway bin and rescued. It is just a smidge snug at the moment but if I lose a little weight I will be sad that I let it go. The quality is just that much harder to find now.

Did you ever try ordering that sequin duster? It was restocked. Or is that too much bling?

We frequently host holiday meals and the occasional larger party and for me the most important thing is to remember not to wear too short dresses or uncomfortable shoes. Or anything uncomfortable. Ok, sounds like my usual dressing rules, but I often wear my crazier stuff for these events. BTW I was in a big fan of Samantha from Bewitched when I was young but it never occurred to me to dress like her!

Janet - the duster has disappeared form the website - and when it was there it was still showing as a December 21 ship date . Forget that . And I agree that silk blouses are not what they used to be . I don’t know what’s happened to that market but the stuff out there now is horrible for the most part .

Re : J Crew’s been years since I tried anything on , and all I remember is that nothing ever fit . What is sizing like these days ? Are they still designing and cutting for a slim , straight body type ?

I host a lot, and like you Lisa P, do all the cooking, decorating, serving and cleaning! I run around and need to be VERY comfy. Nothing tight. No fussy sleeves, no layers, no high heels, and nothing skimpy. Must feel warm too. 

So for AT HOME 2019 holiday hosting this year - no jeans and no black. I'll wear velvet bottoms - pants and skirt  - with an assortment of matched dressier pullover and footwear complements. (I have a soft pink, red and cream complement of top + shoes). Pile on the pearls, add nude hosiery, and that's it. Fits are tailored and gently fluid, which makes things look more polished. No slouch. 

Here are the exact items, which I can mix and match as my mood desires. Velvet pants are not skinny on me. More straight cigarette. The items don't look great like this, but once they are in an outfit and finished, they look pulled together, and are just how I want to look for at home hosting. Relaxed, playful, festive, shiny, polished, grown-up, dressy, and free to move!

Going OUT and not hosting at home during the holidays is different attire. 

Well, I certainly will be wearing black and be proud of it.

not dressing up at all this year, but i've been thinking about leather pants and a charmeuse blouse or a simple cashmere sweater with a deep v and same colored lace cami.....
as an aside anthro seems to have alot of velvet on line not sure about in store, also real and faux leather pants (not just leggings)

I was going to wear a velvet skirt and silk top in tonal pinks, that I ordered from Vince. The fabrics were gorgeous, but the whole thing looked so schlumpy on that it had to go back.

I think I'm going to go with velvet blazer and leather pants this year.

Attached is an idea of what I like for you. Notice that the samantha brocade jacket has a shorter sleeve length. And the top --- if it fit under said jacket -- is ventilated in the sleeves. Fancy mules would show nicely under front slit pants.

And look, I found another vest. Probably made of gold leaf, at this price!

Please show us the final outfit, whatever you end up wearing.

Great topic, I'll host, too-!!! and didn't have time yet to think about.... But I did host last year in some black velvet leggings, a black 3/4 sleeved(essential feature!) Zara rubberised golden and white chain print (on front only) long to the knee tunic dress (it is a knit with strtucture given on the front by the rubberized print and a straight cut-so forgiving on waist:-)) worn with a black buckled front suede flat balerina and felt good in it. Will have to think about again, thanx reminding me and for the other's ideas.

I could see these pants from Anthropologie looking fab on you, Lisa. They look comfy too! I can't do finds, but here is the link:

Yes, J Crew is GENERALLY geared toward a straighter body type, in my experience, Lisa.

Hi Lisa, I think I'm just echoing others' thoughts here, but I'd do a more festive pant (I think those ones Nemosmom posted would be amazing) so that I could stick to a simple and more fitted top (probably black or leastways dark, in case of spills or splashes), which is more practical for all the running around hostess duties you'll be busy with! Statement earrings too, as these don't get in the way and add interest to a simple top and show up in photos!

MIWC - those are very cool pants - interesting !

Ooh - Lisa ! I'll ignore the $2000 vest, but thanks But - I love the outfit you so thoughtfully put together - that jacket is gorgeous ! And yes, a blouse like this would be perfect. This will be a look to keep in mind to replicate .

Here's a list of ideas, not necessarily hostess friendly though.

When I'm hostessing I tend to choose something like a maxi skirt or flared pants, worn with dressy flats. The kind of thing I could NEVER wear out in winter because of boots and slush.

I still think you should try a jumpsuit though.

For what it's worth, on the J Crew pants, I sized up. I find some of their jeans TTS but not their lined pants like these.

Sorry - trying to reply and read and go back to the first page .....I'm all over the place here Angie - this is a great formula, and I'm astounded that something so simple can be just the right thing. I wonder if I dare order those Boden pants - although timing might not work. I have a few hours today and on Friday to do some looking around and will see what I can find in-store.

And now I want to know what you'll be wearing to events outside your home !

L'Abeille - I agree with wearing something that's not practical for going out - because when else do we get the chance? I cannot even conceive of wearing a jumpsuit - I have PTSD from my last try-on a few years ago. I just don't have the body for one . I envy those that do

I had a few things from JCrew in my cart last night - I admit I get all nostalgic for them around this time of year - but the prices are just that much too high for what the clothes really are. Our dollar is so weak right now, that everything is $200+ for what you can get at BR for $80. Still - I had the plaid pants, a pair of mules , a ring, and a top in the cart.......well see.

Such a great thread! And now, I'm thinking we need to host an event, so that I have an excuse to buy some velvet trousers.

As for J Crew, I've been finding them much more accommodating of a curvy bottom half than I remember, though still a straighter/narrower fit. And, I have not gotten less curvy as I've gotten older.

You said no layers but......I was just looking at the Aritzia holiday collection (most is too young for us) but these jackets caught my eye. These are Babaton Power Blazers (formerly the MacCauley). I think the caramel Satin Blazer would look amazing on you over a column of black or even navy. It's rayon so probably has a nice drape. The other is a black/silver metallic. So, a bit of glitz without going full on sequins.

I have one in the shorter length and I like how the sleeves are tacked up to 3/4 length so they stay put and out of the way.

If you search the site for "velvet", Babaton and Wilfred did some nice velvet jackets and trousers in a gorgeous amber colour, green, purple and chartreuse.

@lisap - do you really want something you can wear for years, or something cheap and cheerful for a one-off? If it is for repeat wear (which you say you want) in the future, you should be prepared to pay more for it, and likely adhere to more classic styling that won’t date or get edited out of your closet in a fit of pique! (It seems to me that you haven’t got yourself sorted yet regarding your style and ‘who you want to be’ - yet. Will you be red haired and into colour in 3-5 years, or back to blonde hair and black clothes? or something completely different?)

If it is cheap and cheerful, and different from your usual or what you’ve already got in your closet - get thee to Winners and pick up one of the fuller holiday skirts with solid stripes on sheer tule, a fitted bracelet sleeve top, and if you don’t have a pair of sexy mules or kitten heels in your closet - spend your money on those. Why not do the feminine ‘hostess with the mostest’ look? Be tongue in chic and have fun. Sure, it might not be the ‘real’ Lisa, but aren’t the holidays a time to be over the top?Then put your money, time, and effort into hair and make-up.

But, before you have a melt down - or spend a ton of money, why not make at least one outfit from your closet as an emergency back-up (or for alternate home celebration.). Start with your fluid OTF bottoms and comfiest footwear - then audition your favourite dressier tops.