What to Wear: High School Reunion
I have a shopping dilemma and hope you can help. My small town high school class reunion is coming up in June, and I don’t have a thing to wear! I haven’t seen most of these people in 20 years, and I desperately want to win “Hottest, Fiercest and Best Preserved.” (Even though that particular prize is only in my mind.) I was the class nerd and at 18 I dressed like a 40-year old; now I’d really like to look AMAZING at this reunion without looking like I tried too hard, you know?
I don’t want anything too dressy or fussy–the reunion will be in the evening at a steakhouse on a lake and isn’t really a dressy place, it’s the kind of place that people boat up to after a day on the lake so you’ll see everything from dresses and slacks to jeans and shorts. I don’t want to wear jeans or shorts, obviously, but cocktail dresses are out, too.
If it helps to know my body type, I’m a size 6 with a little belly pooch that after seven years I can no longer blame on the baby. My legs are decent (but very pale, and not the pretty kind of pale); most sleeveless tops are fine but tank tops make me feel like a linebacker, and I prefer to wear things with a defined waist. Oh, and also my budget is $150 or less. Can you help?!
Thanks! Just sign me
Wannabe Best Dressed
So usually, when I get these personal-shopper kind of questions, I try to be really broad and general and full of tips! and ideas! for everybody! (You know what you should wear? CONFIDENCE!) And then blah dee blah I add in a few links from a few stores and call it a day.
Today I am skipping all of that because I have the PERFECT dress for you. This one, by Velvet, available online at Anthropologie. (The brand is also available at a lot of small boutique-types stores but alas, I cannot seem to find a full retail availability listing so I suppose Anthropologie is the best bet.)
I know it’s the perfect dress because it’s MY perfect dress — my current go-to outfit for whenever the dress code is a tad nebulous, and my most justified splurge of like, ever. It’s the dress I WISH I WORE to my own high school reunion (I wore white linen pants and a black tank because the dress code got downgraded to “casual” and “no fancy dresses!” at the last minute and I panicked and you know what? Everybody else wore dresses anyway.) It’s cut like a super-flattering cocktail dress (the wide ruched waist hides the baby bulge; the length hits just around the knee) but it’s made of super-soft jersey material, thus keeping it from being “fancy”. It’s sleeveless but covers enough of your shoulders and back to keep from feeling exposed. I have it in the dark purple color, and I usually wear a black knit shrug-type cardigan over it (from Old Navy, of all places, though I can’t find a link to the exact one I have), but any wrap or shawl or sweater would work.
It’s a pretty deep V in the front, so depending on how much cleavage you’d like to flaunt at the reunion, you can either wear it alone or layer a lacy tank underneath (again, the ruched waist means you can wear a tank — or belly-slimming shapewear, cough cough — underneath without any lines showing). (I LOVE RUCHING, WHO KNEW?) Pair it with some really simply jewelry and your favorite pair of heels (I’ve also done black boots, but I’d say show your legs off for a reunion and wear the highest bitches you own). About two weeks before the reunion, start using once a day and you’re done and TOTALLY fierce and fabulous, for under $150.
Published April 27, 2009.
Last updated April 27, 2009.