What Do I Wear To: A Celebration Of Life Party?

Jenn's grandpa didn't want a funeral, but a party in celebration of his life. But what does she wear?
Publish date:
August 25, 2011
dresses, shoppables, funerals, shoes, what do i wear to, celebration, yellow

Dear Laia, I'm having a major fashion conundrum that only you can help me with. My Granddad passed away yesterday, and instead of a weepy funeral type service for him, he specified that he wants the family to get together and have a party to celebrate his life. Great idea, right? Except for one very important thing-what in holy hell am I supposed to wear to something like this? I don't think that dour all black mourning is called for, but I don't want to look like an ass and wear jeans. I'd really like to find something that makes me look cute and feel confident (haven't seen this side of the family in ages), that is appropriate for the occasion AND conducive to chasing my kids and not going to put me in the poorhouse. The Life Celebration Party is on October 1 in PA (I live in TN, so we're in completely different seasons as far as weather goes at that point), so I need to get to shopping. Can you help a sister out? It would be so great to have some idea of stuff to look for when I make it to the store in a couple of weeks. Thank you x3!JennPS. I'd send a picture, but I cannot for the life of me find one decent enough to send for public viewing, and am too weepy to take a good one now. Oh yeah, and I'm terribly short and in that lovely 'tweener size range, if that helps at all. Thanks again. :)Hi Jenn, I'm so sorry for your loss but thank you for writing in. This is definitely a tough event to dress up for, but I think in the end you should go with what feels right for you at that moment. There's definitely a LOT of space between "all dour black" and "jeans" so there's a lot of space to find something great.

Ellery Dress $59.99, Fossil & Yellow Imperial Lily Print Cap Sleeve Dress $98, Topshop

A good idea would be to think back to your life with your grandpa to find something that you'll feel comfortable in. While the thought of choosing something other than black to wear might seem really daunting, wearing a yellow dress, for example, because he used to call you "buttercup" or maybe he just really liked the song "Mellow Yellow."

Or think about what you were wearing on a day you had a lot of fun together and wear something inspired by it. Even if you were a little girl in your memory! It might sound a little cheesy, but it makes sense to me.

Lucky Brand Emmie Ballet Flats $28.32, Bloomingdale's & Restricted Boggle Floral Flat $34.95, DSW

If you feel like wearing black, however, then maybe you could pair it with a color or a print -- it doesn't even have to be bright -- to still be part of the "festive" theme. You could even wear all black, like a nice blouse with trousers and a cardigan paired with bright floral flats. Maybe you'd like to be a little dressier, with a knee-length skirt worn with tights and classic sweater. Another great option would be to tie a scarf around your neck. There's something very festive about a scarf tied around the neck. It' a cool look.

This is already a tough time in your life and you shouldn't have to complicate things extra by worrying what to wear. Just think about all the great times you had together and let love and happiness be your inspiration.Have a fashion conundrum? Let me at it! Send me all your queries and a pic of yourself to laia@janepratt.com.