The ultimate hostess, here's how Hannah Richtman shops for a stylish soirée.
Welcome to our How to Shop Like series, where we spotlight personalities within the fashion industry and take a deeper look at how they shop—think all the best insider tips and tricks. This week we're chatting with founder of The Break, your go-to destination for the coolest home finds, fashion, vintage, and more, Hannah Richtman about how she shops as a hostess ahead of her stylish soirées.
Hannah Richtman, founder of New York's The Break, is more akin to a curator than anything else. In her store, she's cultivated an enviable collection of homeware, fashion, vintage, decor, and more. So naturally, that same ethos extends to her party-planning ventures, as well. A fan of any soiree that brings together friends, food, and fun, Richtman is an expert on everything from selecting the best hostess ensemble (a time to go bold, if there ever was one) to laying a stunning table (she's a master of the splurge-vs.-save conundrum). A product of her discerning career, she knows all the best brands and places to shop, not to mention has the planning timeline down pat. Continue to discover her tips for shopping like a master hostess.
Shop Hannah's Current Picks:
Parties Are for Bold Attire
"I love any reason to dress up, and I tend to gravitate towards looks that are wild and memorable! Right now I'm loving a sheer dress paired with a statement lip and a slicked-back pony. I think nipples make amazing accessories. The ideal party outfit is the one you forget you're wearing. Clothes should be LIVED in! Don't choose something so precious that it distracts from the experience. You won't care if you spill red wine on your top if you had the best night of your life (and if you do—use salt)!
"Shop early and often. There's nothing worse than shopping under pressure. A party is a great excuse to take a risk, but don't be afraid to outfit-repeat—if you love a look, it deserves to have many moments! Curate a closet with pieces that excite you, and you'll always have a look on deck."
For Fashion: "Tyrell makes super-sexy, shockingly comfortable ensembles that beg to be seen. Isa Boulder, KkCo, Priscavera, RUi, Charlotte Knowles, Molly Goddard, and Christopher Esber design showstopping pieces. I also love to cut the slips out of vintage dresses, and anything with shoulder pads!"
For Footwear: "Heeled knee-high boots! They're always chic and secure to your feet, so you don't have to worry about losing one on the dance floor. My party trick is taking one off to reveal that I'm actually quite short. Fashion magic!"
For Accessories: "I love a chunky statement accessory, and Mondo Mondo makes some of my favorite pieces. I tend to talk with my hands, so I up the drama by wearing several massive sterling-silver rings. I also support a swinging earring or a giant necklace—just make sure that if you're wearing anything heavy or loose, you can tolerate it for the entirety of the event! Lobe wonder is my best friend. If you're not wearing boots, try an anklet! It's unexpected and ridiculously sexy. The little details can make an entire look come together."
For Beauty: "I'm all for experimenting if you are organized and give yourself ample time! There is nothing worse than rushing to get ready for an event, especially if you're the host. I stick to my go-to face, cheek, and brow routine and adjust my lip or eyeshadow. My favorite party look is dewy skin and a bold lip, but I never use a lipstick that I don't trust. She needs to stay in place through hours of chats, sips, and kisses! (YSL Rouge Pur Couture is the GOAT.)"
"As soon as I decide I'm going to host an event, I start to prioritize. For parties big or small, make sure you have enough of everything for everyone and then some just in case—glasses and whatever beverage is going in them, ice, cutlery, seating, space... Make a list of everything you could ever possibly need to make the party unforgettable, and then figure out what you already have and what you absolutely need to buy. Be conscious of what you consume, and recognize if it's only good for one night or something you'll reuse. If you're ordering online, leave extra time for possible delivery delays. Day-of, pick up flowers and any fresh food you'll be serving. As much as I've been imagining the event and what it will look and feel like, deciding what I'm wearing almost always ends up last!"
Know Where to Save $
"Invest in things that show off your personality and can double as display post-event—unique glassware, vases, candlesticks, and serveware are fun to collect and use again and again. I bought Hue Bulbs for all of my lamps and I have never regretted it. Lighting is everything, and these give you complete control of the vibe. Buy simple linen napkins that can be washed and reused. Save on anything that will get thrown out eventually. Flowers and food are very easy to overspend on without a plan in place (although I always end up splurging on cheese, no matter what)."
Cultivate Your Personal Essentials
When I'm hosting at my home, I always have The Break's 7PM candle burning in my entryway and bedroom, and 9AM in my bathroom. Lighting and scent are incredibly important in setting the tone for the evening, and candlelight is the best light. I like fresh flowers, cheese, jams, bread, and beautiful, high-quality olive oil like Brightland on the table. A mix of vintage and Ichendorf Milano glasses and plenty of wine in the fridge (it's always better to have too much than too little). We Are Not Really Strangers is close by in case the party wants to get honest."
Engage Your Senses
"Think about your senses—what do you want the space to smell like? What's the exact lighting to set the mood? Is the seating comfortable? Is the space temperature controlled? Have you tried the food you're serving? The drinks? Don't spend too much time or money on anything that isn't going to make a lasting impression or hold a lasting space in your home or closet. Nothing will ever look perfect or go exactly as planned, but a great host is flexible and gracious! At the end of the day, it's not about what you put on the table, but who you bring to the table. Good energy, kindness, and generosity of spirit are everything."