Make the Most of Hosting

It’s 2021, and the idea of hosting friends and family is once again emerging as a good one. But it’s also easy to forget the rituals that used to put the “happy” in hosting for us. So we asked Alston Calabrese and Leigh Hansen, AKA @habitualhostess, to refresh us on ways to keep it simple—fashion included—so we can focus on the fun (and filling glasses). Here are their well-honed hostessing tips.

  • Make everything in advance so you can be relaxed when guests arrive. (A relaxed hostess means relaxed revelers—and that means more fun will ensue!)
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to get yourself ready! It’s okay if you are still putting things out when guests arrive, but if you still have to get yourself ready, your guests will feel like they arrived too early. Dudley pieces keep it simple and stylish, to get you ready in a flash!

  • Music makes all the difference. You can’t go wrong with a great playlist if you have time to put one together; otherwise, French cafe music and Frank Sinatra are always good bets.
  • Cook to the same music you plan to entertain with, to set the mood. Have a signature cocktail or champagne ready to serve when guests arrive. That way, you won’t have thirsty friends waiting 20 minutes sans cocktail in-hand while you play bartender with eight different drink orders!