Something about balmy air and your own terrace can invoke a spirit of unbounded hospitality -- you can't seem to help tossing out invites to dear friends, and their dear friends (why not?), and so on (since it's already a crowd). Very generous, but who's supposed to deal with the party prep? Don't pull in the welcome mat just yet -- if you check off the items on our must-have list, you'll be entertaining without draining your budget. Now there's no good excuse not to share your great outdoors.
Pottery Barn's brightly colored glasses (pictured; all $4 at Pottery Barn stores) come in a variety of sizes (lightweight, middleweight, frat-boy). Now on to filling them: For yummy frozen drinks, pick up a Rival Ice Crusher ($29.88 at Bernie's Discount Center) and a KitchenAid blender (five-to-six-cup capacity, $87.50 at Bernie's). A bag of Margarita Mix (pictured, $2.98 at Pier 1 stores), a tin of margarita salt ($5.95 at Crate & Barrel stores), a cart-required booze-buying spree at Astor Wines & Spirits (free delivery), and voilà -- you've given life to a party. Or, you could keep things simple: A galvanized pail from Bed Bath & Beyond ($19.99) is the perfect receptacle for keeping beers ice-cold (and close at hand). Summery watermelon candles (pictured, $4.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond) give your patio some extra glow, as do silver lanterns on the perimeter ($7, at Bed Bath & Beyond). And what outdoor soirée would be complete -- and, more important, bug-free -- without citronella tiki torches (pictured, $5 at Pier 1)?
Bernie's Discount Center, 821 Sixth Ave., near 28th St. (212-564-8582); Astor Wines & Spirits, 12 Astor Pl. (212-674-7500).
Picks of the Week
The Loom Company's high-end personal and home accessories are mostly 50 percent off. Stock up on gifts: candles, handmade ceramics, and hand-carved Lucite jewelry by Alexis Bittar. 31 W. 27th St., tenth floor (212-889-1182); cash only; Wed.-Thurs. 10-7; 6/6-6/7.
Capezio is discounting its summer leotards, tops, and pants. Buy one dancewear piece (from $19.99 to $24.99) and get the second at half off. Capezio stores (212-245-2130); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 9:30-7, Sat. 9:30-6:30, Sun. 11:30- 5; 6/11-7/2.
Small Change has comfy, sporty clothes for kids for 50 percent off. Lilly Pulitzer dresses for girls 2-14 are about $40, marked down from $80. 964 Lexington Ave., near 70th St. (212-772-6455); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 10-5:30, Sat. 10-4:30; starts 6/11.
Colette Malouf's pretty, girlish hair accessories and jewelry (commissioned by Michael Kors for his runway shows) are $5 to $100, normally $7 to $400. 594 Broadway, near Prince St., suite 1216 (212-941-9588); M.C., V.; Wed.-Thurs. 12-7; 6/6- 6/7.
Madison Avenue Brides' wide range of wedding-dress styles is mostly 60 percent off. A double-satin bodice with a portrait collar was $3,500, now $2,200. 1385 Broadway, near 38th St., suite 1210 (212-278-8984); A.E., M.C., V.; by appointment only; 5/28-6/8.