There are two types of people in the world: those who like buying clothes and have a lot, and those who couldn’t care less about fashion and only have the bare minimum. Whatever type of person you are, you should always have the staples for occasions. There’s nothing worse than getting invited to a function and having nothing to wear, and then struggling to find an appropriate outfit in time.
Rather than worrying about what to wear the day before, incorporate these four basic occasion outfits into your wardrobe ready for when the time comes. The solutions will suit both those who like to shop and own a lot of clothes, and those who like to only have what’s necessary.
The first occasion that springs to mind when thinking of event specific occasion outfits is a wedding. It’s a general rule of thumb that for women, white is off the cards, so steer clear of it. Instead, choose a pastel option or a bright color; you could even choose a print like a floral print or stripes.
A tea dress or a midi dress are a good option for weddings, but for those who don’t like dresses, opt for a colored/printed jumpsuit or suit. If you do choose a dress, add in a neutral shawl or cardigan in case the weather turns. A pair of heels and complementary jewelry will complete the look.
To recap, for women, choose:
- Bright colors or prints – avoid white
- A tea dress or a midi dress – opt for a jumpsuit or a two piece suit if you don’t like dresses
- A shawl or cardigan if you choose a short-sleeved/sleeveless dress
- A pair of wedges or barely-there heels
- Complementary jewelry
- A clutch bag
- A statement hair piece – a hairband, bow or fascinator will complete the look
Men have things slightly easier and can stick to a suit, but avoid black as this is associated with funerals. A pair of braces and complementary bow tie will give a classic feel to the outfit. Finish everything off with some brown shoes and a matching belt and watch strap.
You can recycle wedding outfits for other events – especially religious events like christenings and celebrations like Eid at the end of Ramadan.
At the other end of the spectrum from weddings are funerals. Unless specified otherwise, stick to black for this. For women, a tailored knee-length dress or a black jumpsuit or two piece suit with a pair of medium black heels will work well. Keep hair accessories to minimum and opt for a small shoulder bag rather than a clutch. Light makeup is also a good idea.
Men’s funeral outfits are broadly the same – a black suit with black shoes, a black tie and a black belt/watch strap.
3. Birthday Party
Birthday parties are harder to dress for because it depends on the venue. If the party is more of a home gathering, women could get away with a pair of distressed skinny jeans, some stiletto style heels and an oversized white shirt that’s unbuttoned at the top. This outfit will also transfer well into a bar or restaurant environment.
Men can get away with something similar, opting for a pair of skinny jeans and a white shirt, styled untucked and unbuttoned at the top. In terms of footwear, a pair of white trainers or brown moccasin style shoes will work well.
If the birthday party could end up in town, men might choose to wear a pair of dress shoes instead of trainers to ensure they aren’t denied entry.
4. Awards Evening
Everyone should have an outfit for an awards evening, and it should be a formal one at that. Women might choose to go for a monochrome theme – black and white cause a nice contrast. You could either go for a knee length or a midi length dress that’s fitted. Try and avoid super high or super low necklines, and instead complement the outfit with statement jewelry.
A two-piece suit with fitted cigarette style trousers and an oversized blazer is increasingly stylish for awards because it’s formal, flattering and practical. Paired with heels and a clutch bag, this is the perfect outfit to collect an award and pose for photos!
Men should choose something similar. A lot of awards events are black tie so a fitted black suit or a dark grey suit with smart shoes and a black tie are a win here. You could choose a bow tie rather than a standard tie to distinguish your awards suit from a funeral suit. Making sure you wear black shoes with a matching black belt and black watch strap will finish off the look, as will a pair of cufflinks.
These are all fairly basic items that can be sourced either second hand or brand new, so there’s an option to suit every budget.
With these four occasion outfits in your arsenal, you’re guaranteed to have an outfit for every occasion!