twistedchic

September 20, 2012

A Tough Month: Funerals and Wakes

Filed under: Angst,Clothing,Style,Uncategorized — by twistedchic @ 4:01 am
Tags: , , ,

This has been a tough month in Chicagoland.  My good friend LL recently lost her mother, and my friend KK’s aunt in law also passed away.  My condolences go out to both of my friends.

But my friend KK asked me for some advice, and I’m reposting it here, because I know this is something we’ve all gone through.  (I remember frantically shopping for something to wear to a funeral, and that’s awful, because you can’t really think and don’t know what to get, and you’re just not in a good place.  Last minute funeral shopping is not a good thing.  So go and do this ahead of time.  Not that I want anyone to have to attend a funeral, but you never know.)

So here’s the thing; KK needs something to wear to the wake, and she literally has nothing to wear.  KK doesn’t wear black very often, and hates dresses.  Howeve,  funerals and wakes have a very specific dress code.  And my friend, who is on a tight budget, doesn’t want to spend money on something she won’t wear very much.  Which is perfectly understandable.  So, to help her out, I came up with a list of things which are wake-appropriate, but can also work in a normal wardrobe.

Black Dress Chinos: spend the money and buy yourself a pair of heavy duty black chinos, fitted or straight leg.  I have two pairs of black Gap chinos (so soft! and comfy), and I wear those all the time.  Dress them up, dress them down; these will be workhorses of your closet, as well as emergency funeral wear.

Charcoal Dress Shirt: this isn’t black, so you don’t have to worry about your blacks matching.  Buy it in a supersoft material; something you will love feeling on your skin, and you will wear it all the time.

Lightweight neutral sweater or cardigan: doesn’t have to be black or grey, could be oatmeal, beige, off white, whatever, as long as it doesn’t have a graphic pattern or print.  But do yourself a favor and buy cashmere or a silk blend.  It’s warmer and softer, and believe me comfort and warmth are what you are needing during a funeral or wake.

Cotton Canvas Jacket: this has enough structure to be dressy, but isn’t as fussy as a traditional blazer. Again, doesn’t need to be black, but some dark neutral color.   Something like these two options:

All of these pieces are alternatives to the traditional black dress and blazer combo; they are funeral appropriate, yet still very everyday wearable.

So hopefully this is some helpful advice for your real life.  Also?  Try googling “funeral clothing” or “what to wear to a wake.”  Everyone in the pictures lookes happy and is smiling. WTF Google?!

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