Tuesday, September 18, 2012

...you are attending a memorial service or funeral.

Unfortunately, events like these are hard enough without having to come up with a couple of outfits to get you through.  I will be attending a memorial service this weekend and there are a couple of tips and hints I'd like to share based on experience and the scenarios presented.

1.  Black isn't the only acceptable color.  While it just happens that I'll be wearing a black outfit to the dinner on Saturday night, there are plenty of other suitable colors to wear to events like these.  I love wearing navy or cobalt blues; they aren't as somber while being completely respectful at the same time.  I'll be wearing a blue dress to the cemetery in the morning with a black heel.  Oxblood is a great color choice right now as well as the full range of grays and some aubergines.  

2.  If you are going to the cemetery, be aware of your shoe choices.  Nothing like a heel to sink you into the ground.  You can do one of 2 things:  wear a heel that you don't mind getting a little dirty (like my 5 year old Kate Spade black pumps versus my brand new Manolo black pumps) OR find a 'stacked heel' pump.  Wedges are ok too if they are classic and appropriate.  Patent leather works better in damp grass than plain leather.  Leave suede at home.

3.  Don't overlook outerwear.  These events go on rain-or-shine, so the appropriate outwear is necessary.  I'm afraid that a rain parka is not going to cut it.  A classic trench in either khaki, black or navy will do.  In the winter, a long, wool, dark colored topcoat is your option with leather gloves.  Always be sure to have these classic pieces ready to go. There is a threat of rain in the weekend forecast, so I'll be sure to have my black trench with me.  Pack a small, black umbrella in your car.  You'll be grateful that you're not using your flowered Vera Bradley umbrella (which is the only one in my trunk right now).

4.  Keep it simple and classic.  Now is the time to break out your quilted shoulder bag, diamond studs, gold bangle, and conservative pumps.  Leave anything trendy at home.  

5.  Pack a wrap.  Not only are places of worship sometimes cold and drafty buildings, but keeping your shoulders covered is respectful.  If your dress or skirt/top or pants suit is short sleeved or cap sleeved, please consider a wrap for around your shoulders.  I literally just purchased one yesterday, from W by Worth; it's a black wool wrap with ruffled edges.  I have no doubt it will be used a lot this weekend.

6.  Don't forget the basics.  Cotton handkerchief and/or tissues.  Sunglasses.  Compact mirror and pressed powder.  Turn your cell phone to vibrate, or better yet, leave it in the car.  

I hope that covers it.  See some sample outfits below.  Let us know if you have any other tips or hints. ~ JH

W2WW: Attending a Memorial

Wallis black cocktail dress

Theory pants

Rachel Roy leather shoes

L.K.Bennett flat shoes
$315 - johnlewis.com

L.K.Bennett flat shoes
$315 - johnlewis.com

Prada pointed toe pumps

Chanel handbag

Marc Jacobs marc jacob

Cartier watch

Banana Republic flower jewelry

Ann Taylor pave jewelry

Michael Kors pave stud earrings

Valentino scarve

Tory burch sunglasses


  1. Per my elderly mother, no diamonds at a funeral. Pearls only. Not sure about a memorial (after the formal services). Dark, muted colors. THink very conservative. Family jewelry, nothing that makes noise (charms, multiple bracelets). THink of the audience, generally elderly.

  2. Thank you for all of the terrific advice you guys are the best