Miss Party’s Party Ensemble Planner

3+ MONTHS OUT FROM YOUR PARTY DATE:

-Do you have intention of slimming down or toning up before the impending date? If yes, start now when you’re mentally relaxed and have time on your side to make an impact. (Either way, Miss Party loves you just the way you are and is not here to judge. Please consult your doctor if you intend to significantly change your diet or exercise routine.)

TIP: If it’s motivation you need, Miss Party has found that a party deadline is highly motivating, indeed! Tape your party invitation to your refrigerator door. Just think about everyone seeing you in a few months lookin’so good!

2+ MONTHS OUT:

-Ask yourself, “Ideally, what sort of outfit do I want to wear for my party?” What would be appropriate to the level of formality you want the party to have? The location? The party’s theme/era? The season? A party activity? Read through “Hostessing 101: Part 2, The PRACTICALLY Perfect Party Ensemble!” to give you additional things to consider.

BEGIN contemplating the total outfit now. Shop your closet –do you own what you have in mind? Do you need one new piece or a new dress? Peruse fashion magazines to see new trends and colors. Start window shopping and searching online. Make a mental or physical list or print images of what you have in mind.

Decide on a ballpark budget or maximum for the total outfit. You may want to concede to wearing your wedges from two seasons ago to get the adorable dress that will cost much of your budget, or justify purchasing a more expensive item because you intend to wear it to several upcoming functions.

Keep working on your trimming and slimming program, if applicable. Your clothes may begin to fit you differently after one month, so be sure you keep on top of purchasing clothing in your newly correct size.

Make haircut, color, nail and waxing appointments, etc., as needed and desired. The appointments should be timed with your party date in mind, so everything will be looking their best when it’s showtime.

4-6 WEEKS OUT:

Get serious about nailing down your outfit. Get shopping and be open-minded. TRY ON possibilities –lots of them! Don’t procrastinate! If you’re really dropping weight at this point, you may want to go down a size or hold on the purchase for a couple more weeks.

Purchase possibilities that can be returned. Lay everything out to see what you like best. Shop your closet for shoes and accessories that are just right, close enough or determine that you need to purchase something new.

Re-evaluate as you go along.

Recheck to be sure you have all personal care appointments needed. DO NOT get caught off-guard in this area!

TIP: For parties Miss Party hosts, she often goes with a dress. An adorable dress ALWAYS makes a hostess look and feel special. It’s easier to focus on finding just one clothing item rather than several separates and dresses can be found in every level of dressiness, style, color and price point.

SHOPPING TIPS: 1) Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to get on/off; 2) Wear comfortable walking shoes; 3) Just like your kids, keep yourself fed and hydrated, (cranky shoppers don’t find fabulous outfits!); 4) Know thyself (Going shopping multiple times for short bursts may be better than one long, marathon shopping expedition.); 5) treat yourself along the way and try to keep it fun.

3-4 WEEKS OUT:

-(By now, you should have your outfit purchased and decided on, and moving towards shoes and accessories. If not, you’re also moving towards a time crunch as party planning issues will gradually become more time consuming.)

Keep working on your trimming and slimming program, if applicable. Your clothes will fit you differently after two months, so be sure you keep on top of that if you want to wear something you previously owned or have already purchased.

If you plan to wear an outfit you already own, does it still fit you properly? Weight can change over a year or a season, by accident or intentionally. Is the outfit still current? Try it on to be sure!

Try to be objective about the outfit(s) you’re considering, new or old. Run through Miss Party’s mental checklist for picking ‘The PRACTICALLY Perfect Party Ensemble’. Decide on “the one” this week.

Look the outfit over carefully. Does it need to be dry cleaned, washed or pressed? Any repairs needed? Drop it off at the dry cleaners or get it washed and ironed with plenty of time to rebound if, Heaven forbid, there is an accident along the way.

Does the outfit need alterations or hemming to make it fit correctly and be in line with current trends? Especially if you have lost weight, check the fit of your outfit. Alterations can be the difference between good and great in the final look of an outfit and make an inexpensive outfit look expensive (AND the other way around if it doesn’t fit YOU properly).

Do you have appropriate footwear for the occasion that is also comfortable when you’ll be on your feet for many hours? Will you be standing on grass? Go with a wedge or flat shoe. Be careful of backless sandals or mule-style heels that might fly off your foot while carrying items or going down stairs and send YOU flying.

Begin shopping for accessories or shop your jewelry chest. Accessories are a great way to update an outfit you already own. There’s a lot of ‘looks’ out there and it may take you awhile to hit the nail on the head.

Do you need any other accessory specific to the location or time of day of the party? Fashion sunglasses? A cute straw hat? A light wrap to take the chill off? A second pair of flats or sandals for later? Keep an eye out for them at the same time you’re looking for any other accessories.

Note: If a new item is purchased that needs alterations, always dry clean or wash item(s) made from natural fibers before having it/them altered. Shrinkage will almost always occur (even if the percentage is slight and you’re told it won’t) and can be significant. Don’t find out the hard way you hemmed those wool dress slacks too short!

2-3 WEEKS OUT:

(By now you should definitely have all the pieces for your outfit or have chosen to wear something already in your wardrobe. You still have a chance for a new outfit to be ready IF it only needs minor tailoring or no work at all. Time is no longer your ‘shopping buddy’ with all your additional party responsibilities.)

Find and purchase shoes and accessories if you haven’t already. Break in new shoes before party day.

-If desired, purchase self-tanner supplies to warm up your skin tone for those party legs and/or a teeth-whitening/brightener kit to whiten up coffee or tea-stained teeth and make them pearly white. Begin anytime.

1-2 WEEKS OUT:

(Every component of your outfit should now be known and in process or ‘in waiting’ in your closet. Again, if not, you should be in panic mode to find it. Clothing pieces should be coming back from the tailors or dry cleaners shortly or already have so you can put this whole ensemble aside and focus on party responsibilities.)

-Don’t forget to return any of your unwanted purchases.

Keep working on your slimming and trimming, but do keep tabs on being sure your outfit fits properly. A tailor could still do a rush minor adjustment at this point.

Be sure you have makeup supplies needed or purchase a pretty new shade of lipstick to coordinate with your ensemble.

Continue with your self-tanner and/or teeth whitening process until party day.

Identify a “Plan B” party outfit, or next best choice. You may not want to buy a “Plan B” outfit, but just have something in mind if there is an accident right before or during the party and you are forced to change. It can happen!

1 WEEK OUT, UP UNTIL PARTY DAY:

Do one last check of the total ensemble. Try it on from head to toe. Be sure you didn’t forget to go back to purchase something and thought you did. You might, even yet, be able to get a rush job done on a minor alteration if you said, “Pretty, please? With sugar on top!”. Be sure all items are clean and pressed.

Remove all tags and stickers from all items.

Wear brand new shoes out onto the sidewalk or driveway to scuff the bottoms of the soles. A brand new shoe sole can be dangerous on some indoor flooring. The last thing you need is to land on your pretty little backside! Be sure you have removed all stickers from soles.

——————

The Party Outfit Planner is a checklist that has been written with the Hostess of a party in mind, but it would be just as appropriate to use if you are the invited guest of an important party/event where you want to look and feel your best. It’s purpose is to REMIND a very busy and distracted hostess or guest of all the components necessary to have a complete, party-appropriate outfit ready, prior to her party date. The reason for beginning the shopping process so early is so that, ideally, you would complete the ensemble 1-2 weeks prior to the party date and be able to put it aside and focus on all other party responsibilities.

Tape this planner to the inside of your clothes closet to refer to during a busy party season. If you have multiple events to attend where you’ll see overlapping friends, you’ll want to think about multiple outfits. Look at your impending party season holistically. Get those little party ducks in a row now and it’ll be smooth sailing ahead.

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