Help! What does one wear to a 50th Class Reunion??

I am desperately needing your ideas and inspiration for deciding what to wear for my 50th high school reunion in late September in a town on the Great Plains where the weather can be anything at this time of year.
I feel so much pressure to try with two or three outfits to show who I am . I am not out to impress or look young or alluring, but would like to look modern. No dress code has been mentioned but most will be casual. There is a dinner but on the casual side...indoors with BBQ. For this I would like to wear a dress but nothing cocktail. Unless it's hot, I don't have a suitable dress though. It is Homecoming, so there is floatbuilding scheduled, also a parade and game.
I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you have. What would you wear? Or take to wear? (This is a car trip, so not limited to a carry-on.)

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  • Zibbets replied 4 years ago

    How fun! You will look fabulous in whatever you choose, Joy. I had a close-knit high school class to begin with, but even so, I have enjoyed seeing how increasingly relaxed and friendly my class reunions have become. 

    So many women seem to resort to black for evening. I would wear a dress in a bright color. This one may be too dressy, but the style and color seem good for the time of year your party will be.

  • Susie replied 4 years ago

    Ok, I know this is not the least bit helpful but I just had to share that my first thought when I read your title was "whatever the heck one wants!"

    For the homecoming piece, would you want to wear school colors? Maybe build around them with jeans and a cotton sweater or a knt jacket?

  • Zibbets replied 4 years ago

    Found this for you too!

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    Ah, the 50th reunions where everyone is talking about grandkids and your former heartthrob is paunchy and balding but still has that twinkle in his eyes that you remember so well.

    My strategy was to start with a silhouette instead of an actual item like a dress. In my case, I opted for a long, lean line with fabulous shoes and an updated hair cut. I found the shoes, got the haircut, bought a new bra, and then went shopping for the outfit to pull everything together. My eventual choice was a pair of skinny pants with a longish, fluid top in a color that made me happy when I saw myself in the mirror. I twisted and turned in the dressing room to make sure everything looked good when I moved, sat, and bent down so I knew I looked good from all angles without having to fuss.

    I had a great time, got lots of compliments, but, most importantly, felt good about myself so I could forget about my clothes and concentrate on renewing old friendships--and making new ones when I totally bonded with the lovely woman that old boyfriend had married. He always did have good taste in women. ;)

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Zibbets, that dress looks just right except that it is too short for me. Maybe it has a hem that can be let out. I will have to check.
    Susie, LOL@ "whatever the heck one wants" :). I remember when my parents went to a 50th reunion and could not imagine being that old! I've learned that something inside does not age but stays ageless. So it is a shock to realize how much time has passed. It doesn't feel that long ago. My school colors are not flattering but I love your idea and will keep it in mind when looking for what to wear. Maybe there is a shade of dark red for me.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Joy, you will look absolutely gorgeous, I'm sure of it! 

    Of course you are feeling a bit of pressure. Trips bring that out in the best of us, and a class reunion only ups the ante. 

    But please know that your shining and current hair, your natural elegance, and your fashion savvy will save the day(s)! 

    You have a fairly large closet, filled with many terrific items. 

    How about taking a look at some of Angie's early autumn ensembles from this year (coming up) and last year, and seeing if you can put together a few of the daytime outfits based on those? 

    In fact, now that I think on it -- something like Karen's outfit today would be superb for daytime wear!! 

    Meanwhile, I love the idea of a new dress for your evening event. How about one from Angie's recent roundup? Too dressy?

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Gaylene, you are so wise. All old boyfriends are dead now. I really like your choice of skinny pants and fluid top. Were your pants jeans or more like trousers?

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Hahah, when I read "all old boyfriends are dead now," I thought you were talking about BF JEANS!!! 

    Here's the dress in Finds. I think it might be dressier than what you are after, though. 

    The other one might be too "busy" in the pattern. It would probably be long enough IRL. 

    I was wondering about Kamalikulture. Those dresses pack so well! 

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Suz,thank you so much. I will try that dress and wonder what scuba fabric is like. One if the reviews suggested that it can be worn casually as well as dressed up. I also love your thought of doing something like Karen's outfit today.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    We cross-posted. Sadly most of the guys in my class were sent to VietNam.
    Kamalikulture is a great source to try. I don't have one. If between sizes would you size up or down?

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Zibbets, that is a beautiful dress! I need 40" of length, possibly 39" for that style. Fab dress!

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    Joy, my pants and top were from the MaxMara spring collection. The pants were a black slim, ankle-length trouser and the top was a dolman sleeved, curved hem, silky knit. I wore the pants with the EF sandal and a open weave EF sweater layered over a silk cami during the day, and then subbed in a pair of heeled metallic sandals and the MaxMara top for the evening event. The evening was casual dress and, in the small town where I attended high school, it is easy to be overdressed. Pants seemed a safer bet. Karen's outfit would have hit exactly the right note for my event--a bit of polish but not out of place.

    ETA: Your mention of Vietnam brought back so many memories. I remember spending a summer in California with relatives when I was 17. I adored the sun and the beach, but I'll never forget sitting on the beach at night with boys a year or two older than myself who were facing being drafted and sent to Vietnam. The stories they told about what had happened to older friends and brothers were heart wrenching. Up till then, living in Canada, it was just an academic argument about being opposed to the war. That summer, it became very scary and very real.

    A few ago, while in DC, I spent a few hours at the memorial and the horror I felt that summer hit me again.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Joy, I think I would size up in Kamalikulture...probably. The reason I say that is the dresses I have (in XS) are definitely body con. And I am not sure that is the look you would be going for.

    My sleeveless one has ruching which makes it both dressier and a little less obviously body con, if that makes sense....although being sleeveless it also feels a bit "sexier."  My turtleneck one is really fitted and I mostly wear it at home or else I wear it with a topper of some kind. It's a great casual dress and a good autumn weight. 

  • Classically Casual replied 4 years ago

    You'll look fab whatever you decide to wear, Joy. Trust your instincts.

    I attended DH's 50th, but couldn't face my own. I didn't know the women, so had no preconceived notions. There were a few who appeared to be trying too hard. But for all the rest, just looking healthy, fit and well groomed was all it took. The men's appearance was all over the map. Some looked decades older or younger than others. Just have a good time. At the reunion I attended, no one was paying attention to the clothes, it was about reconnecting or trying to remember who people were :).

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    CC, you are wise. That's really my intention, to catch up. I was only at this place for the 3 years of highschool but most knew each other from kindergarten. Did you know anyone there other than your husband?

  • retailgirl replied 4 years ago

    I went to my 45th reunion a few years ago. Held in a hotel ballroom, in November, no dress code on the invitation. I was going to wear a beautiful grey cashmere jkt I have, but at the last minute I swapped it out for a red jkt. Over narrow black pants, blk shell and a grey pearl necklace that looks like Tahitians. I felt fab in the bright color, got lots of compliments, ( including "you're aging well" from an old crush...compliment or not?). The women who looked the worst were the ones who obviously spend time at the gym and were thin and toned, but a bare cocktail dress does not look good on a 60 plus may be toned but the skin sags after a certain age and we don't need to see so much of it!

  • UmmLila replied 4 years ago

    I went to my 30th high school reunion in May of this year. It was a weekend-long event. I bought two beautiful dresses and ended up wearing neither because people were not going for formal. I was a little bummed about that.

    One day I had a silk front top and white jeans, the next a casual dress with a sweater that came on and off as the sun came in and out.

    No one was really paying attention to the clothes. (Well, the one person who was in process of running for political office was looking super fantastic but that is part of her campaign I guess.) As CC said above, it was all about reconnecting.

  • bj1111 replied 4 years ago

    Joy, nothing to add about the dress, because whatever you choose, you will look fab and be your charming self. I'm sure you will have a good time reminiscing. Come back here and dish about the outfits you see, k?

  • Transcona Shannon replied 4 years ago

    I'm with Suz in that your stylish haircut, beautiful smile and fabulous figure will make whatever you choose look great. Are you wanting to buy something new or go with something you already have? I'm wondering if your gorgeous purple EF dress could work? You look incredible in that color.

  • unfrumped replied 4 years ago

    Would you wear a tibe skirt, or is the too casual?
    I like what Gaylene said , as I think about footwear, too meaning, in some dresses I just can't muster the shoes that are called for. So I risk looking more frumpy. Or I know I'm going to freeze in the ballroom, so I need to plan in the jacket, or great sweater , or layers, right up, not as an afterthought.

  • Classically Casual replied 4 years ago

    Joy, I knew a couple of guys and their wives who had been around when we got married, and who we back packed with in the early years. But some of the most fun conversations were with strangers. It was way more fun and relaxing than the 10th was. That one was fraught with a plethora of old girl friends who didn't give up easily! If they were at the 50th, they kept a much lower profile thank goodness!

  • replied 4 years ago

    I think you probably have several outfits already in your closet that would work just fine. Maybe you can bring a selection since the weather can be unpredictable.
    I just went to my 30th reunion in Arlington, VA last weekend. There was nothing on the invitation that specified attire, but it was being held on the top floor of a sports pub (which I called, and they said it was being catered as a "white tablecloth"--fancy event). Since I have such a small wardrobe, choosing what to wear was relatively easy. I picked a body con printed jersey dress from Ann Taylor and ballet flats for the "DANCING, DANCING, DANCING" that was on the invitation. The attire was all over the map, but no one really looked out of place. I felt comfortable in my outfit and I was so glad I didn't rush out and charge a Tory Burch dress and some Jimmy Choos to try to impress everyone, as was my first impulse, lol! 

    I think slim slacks would be fantastic on you, and will show everyone that you still have your girlish figure. I hope you have a fantastic time catching up with everyone. This was my first class reunion and it was a real hoot!

  • always trying replied 4 years ago

    Mine was last year, didn't go but was sent lots of pictures and everyone seemed to be in jeans or skinnies with longish tops.  It was in August so there were some white jeans, but most were black, And a few capris.. Not very fashionable, and some actually looked grandmawish (if that is a word), so if yours in anything like mine YOU will definitely be the most FAB one there no matter what you decide to wear...

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for your reunion stories and boosting my confidence. From what several of you have said, I think I may forget about a dress and go with pants. However, all my best fitting pants are jeans. Trousers seem to be made for women with hips. Recently I tried on 10 pair at The Rack and nothing looked good unless you want balloon butt (pull on track pants) or saggy diaper bottom ( trousers). I need to try BR as I've had some luck there in the past, so there is hope.
    I probably do have several possibilities in my closet, depending on the weather. If something fabulous and unpretentious comes along, I would buy new. DH has his 50th hot on the heels of mine so a good outfit can do double duty.

  • replied 4 years ago

    Wear your jeans then! You look great in them, and denim is The Great Equalizer. It seems appropriate for most any occasion these days. You will blow them all away Joy. :)

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Claire, I may just wear jeans, even to the dinner with a silk top. If I do, I suspect that the other women will wish that they were in jeans too:)

  • replied 4 years ago

    That makes me smile. I suspect you're right! :D

  • Debbie replied 4 years ago

    You will look fabulous no matter what you wear. Have you thought about wearing one of your EF dresses?
    I went to my husbands 50th a couple of years ago. It was interesting. The 1st night was at a various and I wore jeans with a silk shirt. The second night I wore a dress. As others have said woman were dressed all over the place.
    Their was an emotional tribute to the classmates lost in Vietnam.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Debbie, I was planning to wear a newer navy EF dress and maybe still will if it is warm. I'm afraid it may be too cold. I bought a cardigan in the same color but it is a loose weave and not warm.

  • Adelfa replied 4 years ago

    Joy, I've never seen you in an outfit that wouldn't be perfect for the reunion! By all means, wear jeans!

    For a dress, I remember an EF dress from a year or more ago that I think you got in more than one intense color--what about that one? IIRC it's a dress for colder weather so if you brought that and the navy you'd be covered weather-wise.

    You will look amazing.

  • Liz replied 4 years ago

    Joy, do you think most of the women at the reunion will have lived in that "town on the Great Plains" for many years? If so, anything you wear from your closet is going to be totally appropriate. From my experience, I'd say that you would find the crowd nicely dressed but not necessarily fashionably dressed; most of the outfits I've seen  you wear would look quite dressy and "fashiony" by comparison--even your version of a jeans outfit. You'll look great in anything you wear!

  • Lantana replied 4 years ago

    Getting back to your saying that you want to show people who you are, why don't you choose one of your favourite outfits, favourite for whatever reasons, because then you will feel comfortable and genuine. One of my favourite outfits on you is the denim you wore to meet your son at the aiport.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Late to this thread, but wanted to reassure you Joy, that no matter what you wear - you will look killer. 

    I vote choose one of your favourite on trend jeans outfits and go from there, since it will be casual. xo

  • Lyn D. replied 4 years ago

    I enjoyed reading all the replies here Joy!
    I am sure you will be very approachable and stylishly-Fab in your jean outfit, and I hope you have a wonderful time :)

  • shiny replied 4 years ago

    BBQ is code word for casual, so I vote jeans. 

    And I refuse to believe you are old enough to be going to a 50th Class reunion, Joy!

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    I can't believe it either ,Shiny :)

  • Deborah replied 4 years ago

    Joy, not advise but just encouragement that whatever you choose will look wonderful.  Class Reunions must be a bid deal in the States?  I am not aware of them being so here.  And it's not just the one event?

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