By Erica Reitman

Published on September 14, 2015

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

by Erica Reitman

A bottle of wine is just so basic. And flowers? If you bring a bouquet, you force your host to do the extra work of tracking down the perfect vase and arranging them. If you want to ensure you’re the first to get a dinner party invite, your hostess gift game needs to be on point.

Our suggestion? Stop re-inventing the wheel every time you get an invitation. Keep multiples of any of these 5 hostess gifts, wrapped and ready to go. Then you can simply grab one on your way out the door and stop worrying about what you’ll bring to say thanks. This way you’ll have more time for other important priorities…like what you’re going to wear.

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Photography by DOMINO

A gorgeously packaged and beautiful smelling liquid hand soap is as close as you can get to a fool-proof gift. It also might not be something your host regularly splurges on for herself, which makes it the perfect all-around choice.  

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Photography by Helliemae’s

If you can avoid eating them yourself, a sweet treat is always a safe bet to keep in your hostess gift bag of tricks. These caramels are made with whiskey, bourbon and sea salt, and would be great as a cocktail party or game night thank you.

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Photography by DOMINO

A candle is another fab go-to gift. As everyone has different scent preferences, try to stick to a less fragrant, more neutral candle such as this one made with sandalwood and mint essential oils.   

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Photography by DOMINO

For a hostess who is constantly entertaining, chic linen napkins are a no-brainer choice. Basic colors such as white, cream, or blue will go with most people’s decor. 

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Photography by DOMINO

Whether you live in the city or in the ‘burbs, a pretty tote bag is a must. This Domino tote is perfect on its own, or for bonus points, use it instead of gift wrap for any of the above items.  

Find more fresh ideas for your host here