Your Life Now - Expert Advice

Amy Sedaris

Throw a better party with tips from this comedienne and hostess extraordinaire.

What's your favorite party outfit?
I'm a bloater, so I love elastic waistbands. I also love an apron. It's the perfect thing to pull an outfit together. Say you're wearing a dress with no waistline—you can tie it, belt it, and it hides stains. But whatever you're wearing has gotta be useful. You don't want to cook in clothes that are a hindrance in the kitchen, like wizard sleeves.

What should you never do at your own bash?
Never turn the music down, never complain about your day, and never leave—especially if the party's at your house.

How do you make sure guests don't leave empty-handed?
I sell stuff—everything from half bottles of lotion and aspirin to old CDs and tapes, even buckets and fans. It's like a little garage sale. I clean out my drawers and put anything I don't need anymore on a "For Sale" table. But I cater the items to my audience. If I know you like turtles, then maybe there's something in my apartment that's, you know, turtlelike. And the 25¢ always helps pay for my laundry.

How do you nudge guests out the door at the end of the night?
I just say, "It's time for you to go now. If you don't, then I'll have to leave—and I live here!" There's no other way to say it. Why be polite about it? If they don't know better, then what are you worried about?

BY TARA RUMMELL BERSON 

© 2005 Redbook