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The How-To Lounge: Dressing for your Pool Party

Dear Sugar--

My husband and I are hosting our first pool party/BBQ and I don't know what to wear. I want to be comfortable, glamorous, and classy. Any suggestions?

To see my advice in this special edition of The How-to Lounge, click here to

  • As the host of the party, you will no doubt be running around, making sure your guests are happy, so comfort should be your most important requirement
  • Being comfortable doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style! Start out with a secure bathing suit. You will most likely be serving your guests, or at least moving around and socializing, so be sure your bikini or one piece fits properly -- no Tara Reid moments at your own party please!
  • Summer pool parties make me think of color. If you want to stay a little more covered up in front of your guests, throw on a bright sarong or a colorful printed free flowing sun dress. If you are worried about getting burned, use an Indian inspired caftan as a cover-up
  • If you are serving drinks and food in glass (I recommend plastic or paper wear), don't go barefoot. Havaianas make comfortable, bright flip flops in a large array of colors, or other shoes are a cute platform or espadrille sandal -- whatever is more comfortable for you
  • Since you no doubt want to be the hostess with the mostess, I don't blame you for wanting to be glamorous! BBQ's and pool parties are generally a casual affair, but adding some sparkle to your outfit won't hurt anyone, will it?! Wear a pair of gold hoop earrings, or a long, layering necklace, even some gold or colorful bangles to dress up your swimsuit or cover up
  • Hats are a great way to look classy while hanging out poolside. Choose a straw hat with a big floppy brim in order to protect you against a sunburn while still looking chic and stylish

I look as summer as an excuse to break out all my feminine dresses and skirts, but if you prefer shorts or flowy pants, those will work for any pool party or BBQ just the same. For some fashion tips from my friend FabSugar, check out her Fab Finding Follow Up: Pool Par-tay, and for your complete pool party planning guide, check out what YumSugar has up her sleeve. Have fun!


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