Every year about this time I buy two dresses; one to wear to weddings, and another to wear to funerals. Southerners love weddings but we LIVE for funerals, and we tend to go to both with startling frequency, especially in the summer which is when all the best people kick off. At a recent memorial service of a wonderful and deeply missed lady, not only did all the friends and family attend, but so did her husband’s dentist, barber and maybe the daughter’s former pediatrician. Plus I got to wear a mantilla. That doesn’t really have anything to do with the story, but it’s not often an Episcopalian girl gets to wear a mantilla, so I just thought I’d share.
Between making deviled eggs and writing condolence letters –on proper stationery, if you please– if you’re going to a funeral, or desperately wondering WHAT you’re going to do now that Wedgwood has discontinued the deviled egg plate you’ve been giving six times a year since 1997 (what? We’re an egg-loving people.) if you’re going to a wedding, the one thing you DON’T have time to do is worry about what you’re going to wear.
(click image for link)
Yes, it’s the same dress. Weddings — like funerals– are about being appropriately dressed, so while I understand wanting to look capital F Fabulous all the time, when it comes to events that are typically religious ceremonies, it’s better to be understated. Oh, a word to the wise: Linen is not an evening fabric so if you’ve got a wedding after dark, unless you plan on wearing some serious Liz Taylor jewels, you might be better served by finding another jacket.
How to wear it:
–pearls, of course. And gloves, if you’re That Kinda Girl (probably not for a funeral, unless you’re a Known Entity and loved for it)
–flawless, perfectly polished understated make-up.
–lovely shawl or delicate cardigan. For the sake of photos AND propriety, keep your upper arms covered.
–big brooch, or cameos. I love cameos and people never wear them anymore.
–with fabric shoes. I might be the last person on earth who cares about this, but weddings and funerals call for fabric shoes. Plain leather, no matter how fancy or expensive, isn’t formal enough. If you’re going to be outside, think twice before you wear stilettos lest you sink into that lovely sacred ground.