With so many holiday social events heading straight at you like a flying snowball, now is a good time to start thinking about holiday party etiquette. What do you wear? What do you bring the hostess? Whether you are the host or a guest this year, luxury resort and ready-to-wear designer Marie France Van Damme has essential holiday party etiquette tips that will make your holiday season go off without a hitch.
1. Prepare ahead of time: Make a checklist of anything you might need to buy the week before the party and plan your outfit ahead of time to avoid any last minute stress.
2. Make sure you’re comfortable: The last thing you want to be doing is adjusting your clothes every two minutes. Choose elegant and decorative but comfortable tunics that allow you to move and eat as much as you want! I always opt for a sleek and chic silhouette over something flashy: it’s respectful and stylish.
3. Stay away from denim: People tend to dress too casually – you should try to find a happy medium between casualwear and cocktail attire. Never wear denim. Jeans are not right for a cocktail party or most parties — black pants are much more appropriate. No one is going to the trouble of hosting a party for guests to look like they rolled out of bed.
4. Travel lightly: Rather than a big oversized bag, bring a clutch. Smaller bags blend better than a big overstuffed handbag, and you can slip things in or out without drawing attention.
5. Get rid of distractions: Never bring your cell phone into a party. Not only do cell phones cause unnecessary distractions, but they also tend to disrupt conversations. When I entertain I have guests put their cell phones in a box. The holidays should be enjoying the company of your family and friends. Plus the stresses from outside life will not be as present if you leave your cell phone at home or in the car!
6. Don’t show up empty handed:Always bring a gift for the hostess to show your appreciation for her hard work. The gift doesn’t have to be over the top – a small gesture such as a bottle of your favorite wine goes a long way.
7. Never over stay your welcome: Be respectful of the hosts and leave when the party is over. Be sure to thank the hosts for throwing the party and offer to help whenever you can!