What to wear for different occasions?
Clothes, like music, can be enjoyed by everyone. I'm a big advocate for dressing appropriately for different occasions. I've heard the saying that it's best to over-dress than under-dress. As a student of history, research and putting together factual pieces help decode the meaning of people, events, forecasting trends. With that, before you attend an event… just like going on an interview, it's best to be prepared. No one feels truly comfortable attending a game that they are not adequately dressed for.
1. Attending A Daytime Function
Depending on the weather, wear a relaxed, comfortable and fitted attire. Form-fitting clothes worn in the heat may result in sweat stains. And, of course, cause you to feel uncomfortable. Since confidence is a main ingredient to your inner and outer look, you want to start off on a good note. For the ladies, pairing an outfit with sandals or wedges brings a level of comfort. Sundresses, maxi dresses, rompers, shorts and skirts are essential pieces to have in your closet. Any one of these items is suitable for daytime activities.
2. Shopping Attire
Wear an outfit that is easy to remove so the trying on clothes process is faster. I usually wear a sundress since it's only one piece of clothing to remove; it allows you to try on bottoms without removing your entire outfit. Voila! The dress falls back down and we're ready to try on the next piece. I also prefer wearing backless sandals or flip-flops since they're easy to slip on and off without having to tie shoelaces or buckle straps. Grocery shopping clothes are a little different; yoga pants, leggings, jeggings are a nice fit. Grocery stores tend to be cold, and since we're going to be in store a little longer, it's best to be comfortable.
3. Movie Attire
I know that I am breaking this down, but there's a method to my madness. Since the theatre seats are always filled with people, wearing long pants and long sleeves are a must. For starters, the oils and scents from others are drenched in the seats, and we don't know how often the seats are cleaned. I'm not necessarily a germ head, I'm just particular about skin coming in contact with the movie seats. Wearing shorts or a mini skirt to the movies freaks me out. The movie theatre also gets pretty cold, so it's important to be comfortable because you will be in there for at least a few hours.
4. Traveling Attire
Traveling attire should always be comfy and breathable. It doesn't matter how you’ll be traveling; if by plane, due to the cold temperature in the airport, it's best to wear long pants or a long dress/skirt/jacket/cardigan. I follow almost the same guideline as dressing for the movies because of the unsanitary seats on the plane and theater. Thousands of people travel, and we do not know how often the seats are cleaned. Also, wear easy to remove shoes that will not delay you going through security. I am not trying to be one of those people herded together tying shoelaces or putting on complicated footwear. Sometimes going through the metal detectors can be annoying when small things like belts or too many buckles in jeans set it off. That's why it's best to be a minimalist while traveling via plane. Car trips don't necessarily have to follow the same guidelines. You are dressed for the elements.
5. Work Function
I find that this is a grey area for a lot of people… especially the corporate line of work. When the event consists of being with co-workers, it's best to still wear cute semi-modest attire. Food for thought: it's also best to conduct yourself in a relaxed, professional manner. No no to crude jokes, obsessive drinking, speaking ill about others, etc. Salacious talk always gets leaked around the office.
Never be Blabby Gabby, Whiney Willie or Angry Harry. That was a nice insert to help with maintaining office etiquette. For instance, I attended several outside of work events held during the sunny Florida day. I wore bermuda shorts that were close to the knees and a work polo shirt. It's best to not go overboard or have the attitude that “I'm not at work so I can wear anything”.
6. Work Work Work
This is one of my favorite areas to address. I've worked in various settings from the age of sixteen to late thirties. I have seen just about all of work no-no's. I am a firm advocate of dressing for success. If you work for a business, company or organization, you should know the apparel guidelines. Some establishments have company uniforms, which I love. It keeps the guessing game on what to wear. When wearing the company uniform, keep it clean and ironed. My father worked for the US Postal Service until retirement and they have uniforms that must be worn by employees. I grew up always seeing my father in his uniform — clean and pressed. A keyword to remember is "value." Always be a person of value and value what you do no matter what it is. Value others in spite of rank and title. All of these tidbits and side notes are critical to self-preservation.
Ladies — if you work in an office, please remember that less is best. Let's try to not wear those fishnet stockings you had stored in your dresser and are dying to wear. Work is not the place… PUT IT AWAY!!! So many women had to experience the dreaded fingertip length when it came to wearing skirts and shorts. I don't like the fingertip rule and think it's hogwash. People have different body types, and some people have shorter arms or torsos.
Skirts should be a few inches above the knee since it hikes up a bit when you sit down. Although this can be a sensitive topic, it should be taken into account: body size should also be factored in. I'm not the type of person that would encourage you to wear something that is not flattering. Slacks, dress skirts, pants, and dresses are suitable items to wear to work. Clothes that should be worn for house chores should not be worn to work. Remember, the way you present yourself at work can impact a promotion or even just being taken seriously.
8. Weddings/formal and semi-formal gatherings
Daaaadaada — that’s the sound of the traditional wedding processional. A wedding is a fabulous event to wear that dress you have been longing to pull out of the closet. But, again… let's review what's acceptable for which gathering. If you're attending a daytime sunny wedding, please wear breathable clothing that will not leave sweat stains. That long formal pageant dress with the sequins is overkill; you will look and feel uncomfortable and the keyword here is comfortable.
I attended a fall wedding and was taken back when one of the guests was wearing UGG furry boots! If the event is on a grass surface, try pairing the attire with wedge heels; they will not sink down in the deep dirt and ruin the heel. I'm a lover of wedge shoes. They can quickly go from dressy to casual. I had to learn the hard way when I ruined a nice pair of satin dress shoes because the heel was embedded in the soil. If you attend a beach wedding or event, most times it's breezy and your dress will blow in the wind. It's smart to go with the long flowy dress.
Go formal if that's the dress code. If you're not in show business or regularly attending formal events, take the time to go all out. Yesssssss, I'm a visionary and love channeling different iconic legends from different eras. So, when I think of formal, I think of the opulent scenes of old Hollywood opera movies. I can be over the top when it's necessary. The look can be fierce but straightforward. Bold statement jewelry, glitzy dresses, fashion-forward shoes. The whole shabam plus the kitchen sink.
I once wore a black satin dress with a deep v-neck in the back, paired with a rhinestone belt. I had my seamstress sew a long decorative rhinestone necklace on the back for a more dramatic illusion. Since the dress was simple, I added these extra elements to make the look standout. The dress was actually lingerie that I bought on sale. Since the fabric was thick, I knew the look would not come off as tacky.
Dressing for different occasions does not have to be stressful, if like everything else, is prepared and given thought first.