Don’t get me wrong, I could probably just order takeout and drink wine with my friends every weekend for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. But sometimes it’s fun to throw something a little new into the mix to spice up a typical girl’s night in or dinner party—and that’s where a favorite things party comes in. If you’re the friend who’s constantly looking to try new products and trends, the friend who loves gift-giving, or the friend who has an arsenal of must-haves that they ride or die for, then this is about to be the get-together of your dreams.
Given that it’s quite literally been the year of women supporting women (the Barbie Movie, the Eras Tour, etc.), it’s only right to highlight this adorably pure idea of making a whole night out of sharing all of your favorite things with the lovely gals in your life. So, we broke down everything and anything you need to know about a favorite things party so you can get to planning one (or just knowing the low-down before attending) ASAP.
What Exactly is A Favorite Things Party?
Favorite things parties are another trend brought to popularity by TikTok that we immediately knew we needed to try. While the nitty gritty rules can differ depending on the host, here’s the gist of it: everyone invited to the party chooses an item that they swear by, can’t live without, and would die on this hill for. Your item can be literally anything from a lip balm to socks to a protein powder—just something you absolutely love. Then, you simply bring it to the party and exchange it for a bunch of new things that the ladies in your life swear by.
Basically, it’s like Secret Santa without Christmas or the stress of picking something perfect for whoever you have. And you usually get more than one gift! And it’s a party! Who wouldn’t be down for that?
How to Throw A Favorite Things Party
Now that you know what a favorite things party actually is, you’re probably already in your Notes app making your list of who you want to invite. So, here are all of the aspects and elements to consider in order to make the night a 10/10:
In terms of who to invite, it’s important to consider the idea that everyone in the group will be into the same general things. If you invite your best friend, your brother, your 65-year-old neighbor, and that one coworker you’ve always wanted to hang with outside of the office, the chances of everyone leaving with things they’re actually excited to try are slim to none. So, we recommend loosely considering your demographic so all of said gifts don’t go to waste.
And while there’s nothing wrong with simply making a group chat for the invite (life is busy!), sending out cute invitations is a fun way to be a little extra with it and make the night feel a bit more special. Choose or make a design based on the theme/vibe of the night (we’ll get to that in a second) and give a quick explanation of what exactly the night will entail. Make sure to include an overview of the rules because not everyone you’re inviting will fully understand the concept, and definitely include a note on reaching out to you if they have any questions about anything they’re supposed to do or bring. You’re even welcome to toss them a link to this article (wink, wink). All in all, this sets the scene and gets everyone excited about the event.
Set Rules and a Clear Price Limit
This should be a fun, easy-going evening all around, but if there are two things to be a stickler about, let it be price limits and rules. Both of these aspects are easy to nail down once you know how many people will be in attendance.
Option one: Guests bring enough of their item for each person in attendance
If you’re having a smaller gathering, you can set a limit on how much you can spend on each individual item and note how many of said items you’re supposed to bring. For example, if there will be five people total at the party, be sure to tell everyone to bring four of whatever item they choose and that the item shouldn’t cost more than $15 (so you’d be spending $60 or less in total). Then each partygoer gets to explain to the group why they love the item they brought.
Option two: Guests bring a set number of their item
If the party will be for a bigger group, we recommend establishing that each guest brings a set quantity of their favorite thing. For example, instruct your guests to buy three of whatever their favorite item is (while once again setting a price limit) and take more of a White Elephant-esque approach. Everyone can present their items for the group, then you randomly draw picking orders. You can throw all the names in a bowl or use an online list randomizer on your phone. Then each guest can take turns picking which items they want. You can switch up the order for each round or if you’re looking to make things wild, establish a certain number of “steals” allowed for each item.
Option three: Guests bring one item
This option is perfect if you want guests to take home an item that’s slightly more of an investment. Each guest only brings one favorite thing, usually in the $50-$100 range. After everyone presents their item to the group with an explanation, you’ll approach the gift selection White Elephant style. Just make sure to establish rules about “stealing” or trading ahead of time.
Any of the rules are up to the host’s creative direction. Make it your own or keep it simple—whatever your heart desires.
Pick a Theme
Although this isn’t necessarily mandatory, we would say it’s highly encouraged. Who doesn’t love a themed party, you know? You can go with just a theme for decor/dressing up, a theme for the favorite things (everyone brings their favorite beauty items, snacks, seasonal items, etc.), or a theme that ties all of it together. For instance, you can go with a slumber party theme and have everyone bring their favorite self-care musts, or have everyone wear their all-time favorite outfit and have their item be their all-time favorite product that they cannot live without. The possibilities are endless!
Why It’s a Must-Try With Your Girls
There’s something very special and intimate about sharing the things you love with fellow women (gatekeeping is so out in 2023). It’s almost like you’re giving other people a tiny part of yourself by offering them these little things that make your life in hopes that it’ll do the same thing for them. While at the end of the day, it really is just a fun gift exchange and a valid excuse to eat and drink and spend time with your friends, it’s also a perfect representation of the unique experience of girlhood: the excitement of sharing the little things that make life feel fun, exciting, and just downright good (a man will never know the importance of a good sheet mask or candle the way that we do). Plus, every time you pull out that lip balm or throw those chips in your cart at the grocery store, you’ll always think of the person who shared it with you—now that’s true bonding. So get to planning, gals!
Want to know what our editors would bring to a favorite things party? Click here to find out and get all the inspo you need.