A: What a wonderful idea to celebrate her at an obviously difficult time. I've never enjoyed black for funerals. I guess I look for any small way to express joy for the person's life. Sometimes dark clothing is the only appropriate option but in this case, where you've agreed as a family to strike out from the norm, I definitely see your dilemma. Sticking with an overall conservative ensemble will still be the most respectful of the occasion but here are a couple of options to complete your look.
1. Something that was her favorite. Is there a dress, blouse or skirt she always loved on you? If it's conservative, pair it with a neutral piece and a piece of jewelry she gifted you.
2. Something you bought together or matching. We're not talking those matching Tweedle-Dee/Tweedle-Dum t-shirts here, but maybe there's a nice dress, etc. that you both loved so much you each bought one.
3. Something in her favorite color or her favorite color on you. Maybe she always loved it when you wore yellow, even though it was a big fashion step for you.
4. Something she made you. Many people today make their own jewelry and other accessories nowadays. Do you have a piece or two she did for you? Choose a neutral ensemble that will really showcase that item.
5. If all else fails, choose a conservative outfit that flatters you, and accessorize with her favorite flower. And think outside the lapel! Flowers will look beautiful and elegant in your hair or on a simple ribbon choker around your neck. Even the retro wrist corsage is a chic option.
As a side note for those attending funerals but who aren't related to the deceased, take your cue for appropriate attire from the family. Start by researching the religious and cultural systems of the bereaved family. For example, Korean's wear white to funerals. Buddhists frown on red. Hindu's wear white if you're a member of the family, otherwise you should wear dark colors. Many customs, including Jewish, require women, men or both to cover their heads so bring a conservative scarf, just in case.
Are you in a style conundrum? Submit your question to Image Interpreters and let us help!
Here's another great question we received!
Q: Help! I have a funeral to attend but I don't want to wear black. My sister passed away after a lifetime of battling illness. Our family wants to celebrate her many victories, instead of mourning in dark clothes. What in the world do I choose that will be appropriate?
Q: Yikes! I am turning 50! What is off limits for a 5'8" and rather slender and mature-- never mind the mature part, change it to immature lady?
Well, Happy Birthday! 50 is the new 40, you know. And in your lucky case, probably the new 35! You ask a great question that too many people don’t ask until they’re already looking frumpy and grumpy or even worse, are deep into trashy territory.
For more tips and tricks, there are two books on this subject that get quoted all the time; Charla Krupp’s anti-aging bible, How Not To Look Old and Style Evolution: How to Create Ageless Personal Style in your 40’s and Beyond by Kendall Farr. Kendall’s I haven’t read yet but Charla’s is great. It’s chock full of pictures clearly illustrating the points she’s making and it’s a fun read. Your library should have both.
You know what will probably keep you young the longest – that “immature” streak you mentioned. Saucy and sassy are key elements to style. If only everyone could stay fun as they age. It would keep us all so vibrant. Never lose that part of you and you’ll be in great shape.
Here are just a couple of outfits with proper proportion. Now go keep enjoying your summer and look better too!
Ah, summertime. Undeniably the most difficult shopping and dressing time for the Modern Mormon Woman. Stores and streets abound with tank tops, mini skirts, short shorts, strappy dresses and bikinis. How do we find our place in this season?
What did I find?
Ann Taylor: 8 out of 71 dresses would be appropriate
Ann Taylor Loft: 4 of 50
J. Crew: 3 of 89
(and that was excluding the wedding dress options, which, by the way were 0 of 32)
Banana Republic: 8 of 41
Gap: 0 of 30 (that’s right – zero!)
Anthropologie: 0 of 107
Brooks Brothers: 5 of 15
White House/Black Market: 0 of 50
Nordstrom had far too many dresses to count but a cursory search of the first few pages yielded many excellent options! I even searched Victoria’s Secret. 26 of 255 would be appropriate.
Many of these stores are standard shopping suggestions from Image Interpreters. Goes to show the season’s aren’t all created equal! It certainly won’t be an easy search, but appropriate, summer weight dresses are out there. My personal favorite is the lightweight jersey wrap dress. Seasonless, with the addition of hosiery and boots, and one of the most flattering and smart wardrobe investments any woman can make.
But what if you already have strappy or strapless items in your closet that you really want to keep wearing? The key is striking a more deliberate contrast!
I’m a big fan of the new fitted undershirts that have hit the market in recent years. They lend a very helpful hand to anyone wanting to maintain modesty and avoid frumpy. But the look can be taken too far. (Am I bursting bubbles here?) I don’t believe they were ever meant to allow us to wear ANY dress or top out there. (Any undertee maker who says otherwise is just trying to sell more!) Are they perfect under slightly sheer tops and dresses? Absolutely! The best for covering gaping under-arm holes? You bet! Excellent for filling in low necklines and covering "flesh belts"? Sure thing! Good looking under tank or halter style tops? Um... negatory.
So how does this translate?
If your browser is a little slow - you can link directly to the video by clicking here.
Let’s briefly analyze what we’ve seen and accept some hard truths.
They’re a staple of every wardrobe but are jeans about as difficult to shop for as bathing suits? Sometimes. The latest jeans employ miraculous tools to camouflage, enhance, sculpt, shrink, and lift your lower half; everything from forward-twisted slimming seams to hidden butt-lifting panels.
Jeans are the first step to a less dowdy, more youthful, and more versatile wardrobe. Let me correct that. The RIGHT jeans are the first step to all that. Here are some tips to help you find that anti-frumpy, flattering, figure enhancing perfect pair.
No matter your age or shape, the right jean can be your wardrobe’s best friend. And once you’ve braved the denim jungle and found a great pair, recycle all your other unflattering ones. Denim is a long-wearing material with many uses. Stuff them in your 72-hour kits, repurpose the material, donate them, etc. Happy hunting!
What would you be wearing if you were living your perfect life? Maybe you are living that life, but your clothes don’t fit in with the rest of the picture.
Is there a particular goal you’ve been avoiding? Could better style now help you take the first step toward meeting it?
Fashion and Style are really just your answers to the questions you’re asked every minute of every day. What am I doing this morning? Afternoon? Evening? Who am I doing it with? What is/will be the weather? What is appropriate for the occasion? How much time do I have to change outfits during the day? What do I want to project? What message do I want this outfit to send? What language are my clothes speaking? Let’s not ever kid ourselves, everything we wear says something, from the underpinnings the public doesn’t see to the smallest of accessories. Our clothing speaks volumes. It talks about who we are, how we’re feeling, and what we believe.
Who is the Modern Modest Woman? She’s trying to look appropriate and up-to-date while setting an example of modesty. Not content to wander drably with The Frumpy, she is keenly aware that more and more, the world is looking at her not only as an example but also to answer questions about our unique lifestyle. If what they see looks weird (and weird is the bad side of peculiar) or off-putting, they may consider their questions already answered. And you can bet it won’t be the most flattering answer.
I have always loved fashion but it took an embarrassing first business trip at my first real job, when I tried too hard to look “executive” (and failed miserably!), for me to start learning about real style. Imogen Lamport, a great image consultant from Australia says, “Style is a learning experience, and one that I never stop learning, and my style never stops changing (and that makes it interesting too).” Image Interpreters is about bringing together the best style and fashion tips and tricks and applying them to our unique lifestyle.
Whether we want to or not, everybody makes a fashion statement - this site is mine.