After summer 2020, one thing’s for sure: We’re beyond desperate to socialize. And the revenge dinner party (as in, a dinner party so epic that it makes up for lost time spent in solitude during quarantine) trend is proof. According to a recent study by ButcherBox, nearly half of us are eager to entertain our friends and family once it’s safe enough to do so. With vaccinations on the rise and summer weather on the horizon, hosting a next-level meal at our place feels more fun (and lower-risk) than heading to a restaurant. Here’s how to prepare for an unforgettable revenge dinner party, from your outfit to the menu.
Introducing the Revenge Dinner Party: Here’s How to Dress, Decorate and Cook for the Occasion
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Dress to Impress
Last year, we lived in sweatpants and tie-dye tees. So, it’s no surprise that we’re wearing the most exciting clothing we own every chance we get this summer—and we’re not the only ones. PureWow editor Abby Hepworth can attest to the trend: “Generally, people are dressing up more and more, so wear cocktail dresses, fun statement jewelry, bold colors or even sequins—even if it’s just to a friend’s house for dinner.”
That’s right: Pieces you’d have considered only for special occasions pre-COVID are now totally acceptable to rock at a low-key barbecue or dinner party. Here are a few outfit ideas we love:
1. Free People Park Slope Maxi Dress In Bluebell Combo
Funky, Palm Springs-inspired prints, retro sunnies and ’60s to ’70s-style florals are everywhere this summer. Treat yourself to a comfy-yet-sophisticated dress that you can gussy up or keep casual, depending on the setting. Your wardrobe could always use more bright colors, mini silhouettes and vintage glam, right?
2. Vince Camuto Hammered Satin Blouse In Pink Shock
OK, let’s say you don’t want to dress up too much to spend an evening in your own backyard. Fair enough. How about a basic blouse in a vibrant shade that’s bold without being over the top? Take this satin pick, which echoes the hot-pink-everything trend that’s sweeping our closet.
3. Anaya With Love High-neck Maxi Dress With Tiered Lace And Tulle Skirt In Lilac
Bring on the balletcore. Instead of going the usual route (aka a tulle skirt with pointy flats or strappy sandals), dare to pair this dress with sporty sneakers or edgy boots for a unique look that’s bound to turn heads.
5. Cowl Slip Midi Dress
You have a ton of rescheduled weddings to attend over the next two years. Thankfully, the slip dress isn’t disappearing anytime soon, so consider this purchase an investment. Show it off to your friends while you host, then repurpose it for every formal event on your itinerary.
1. Gerson Long Electric Light String Set, 20 Count
Nothing takes an outdoor space from basic to enchanting as quickly as string lights. (And since there are a ton of elegant, affordable ones on the market, you don’t need to settle for last year’s Christmas lights.)
Buy it ($29)
2. Threshold Citronella Ceramic Clay 1-wick Candle
Forget the massive torches. These will keep the bugs away and blend right into the ambiance, thanks to their mod, sleek design and natural colors.
Buy it ($12)
3. Wildflower Table Runner By April Cornell
We’re big fans of pairing a bold, seasonal table runner with low-key, neutral dinnerware. That way, the table looks decorated without being too busy, and there will be nothing to distract from all the gorgeous food. Light a few candles or tealights, put some flowers in the center and you’re good to go.
6. Brightland Summer Grilling Capsule
1. Grilled Flank Steak With Lemon-herb Sauce
2. Weeknight Skillet Paella
3. Skillet Chicken With Apricots And Fresh Herbs
Behold, the summer equivalent to Thanksgiving turkey. White wine, cream and a whole shallot unite to create a decadent gravy for the savory thighs, which get crispy on the outside without drying on the inside. But the in-season apricots are bound to steal the show.
4. Mac And Cheese With Crispy Parmesan-phyllo Crust
Baked macaroni and cheese is a must at every barbecue, but your usual recipe might not feel fancy enough for a revenge dinner party. Enter our decadent take, which features three types of cheese, a ton of butter and a crispy crown of phyllo dough rosettes.