What the #@$% Do You Wear to a High School Reunion?

Kristen Lamb, Social Media Jedi, Age 18

Okay, so a couple weeks ago I was on the fence, trying to decide whether or not to go to my 20 year high school reunion. I’m lying. I was on the roof drinking straight from the margarita machine, and y’all were talking me down. Well, most of you. A handful called me a sissy and dared me to jump because you’re sick that way and it’s probably why we’re friends. Anyway, after much deliberation and candy bribes, I decided to go. What the hell? What’s the worst that can happen that I can’t blame half of you in my comments section for, right?

This is the kind of accountability America was founded on, people.

So to make matters even MORE WEIRD, because high school wasn’t freaking awkward enough, my husband has totally bailed on going with me. Something about the military arresting him if he chooses me over drill weekend with the Air Force. He can be a total baby like that. Can’t even spend a couple days in jail to be there with his wife at her high school reunion. I figure he just really wanted me to have the authentic high school experience where no one asked me to the dance, but since I already had tickets, I had to bribe some last-minute friend or random homeless person to go with me.

Ingrid decided to take a bullet for me go with me, because she is kind and sweet and it was either go to the high school reunion with me or smother me with a pillow to stop the whining. Ingrid isn’t into murder….yet. But I suspect I might have been pushing that boundary. She will probably do like my mother and come to a rolling stop and shove me out with my backpack and yell something about a neighbor taking me home.

Anyway, I am having a small panic attack because what the hell do you wear to a high school reunion? On the invite? No clues. No pictures and frankly, I only have the movies to go off of here.

Too Formal?

Too formal?

So I am guessing my wedding dress is a tad on the “too formal” side, but then I think all I have left is yoga pants and smart@$$ t-shirts. And yes, I am inserting my wedding pictures in here because I am going stag to my own reunion. Here is PROOF that Stockholm syndrome works and can land you a husband.

Only took 4 months of captivity for him to agree….

Yeah, so any of the high school people who don’t believe I really have a husband, here is proof that I am really married…or really good at Photoshop, which is probably more likely for them to believe.

Too Redneck?

Too Redneck?

For some reason this look could freak people out at the reunion, and that’s all I need is for security to get involved…again.

Too June Cleaver?

Wash off your dish, or I will hunt you like a dog….

Actually, the outfit above is likely the dressiest one I wear. My “dress apron,” reserved for special occasions like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, twice on Saturday, and Sunday. Okay, I seriously live in an apron.

I feel like the maid! Can’t this place stay clean for five SECONDS?

I have no idea what to wear since I live in Dr. Seuss pajama pants and a Batman shirt. I’m a writer! This is why I love my job! Anything I choose, frankly feels like a Lady Gaga meat dress. So I am opening up my comments for suggestions, and you know you’ve hit a special low-point in life when you are asking a bunch of writers for fashion advice, so if I attend wearing my favorite Sponge Bob t-shirt it’s just proof I am powerless in the face of peer pressure. But lay it on me! I don’t want to be too formal, but I don’t want to be too casual, either.

Help me Obi-Wan…you’re my only hope.

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***Changing the contest.

It is a lot of work to pick the winners each week. Not that you guys aren’t totally worth it, but with the launch of WANA International and WANATribe I need to streamline. So I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners will now have one business week  (5 days) to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

There are a couple people I found in the spam folder yesterday, so will be getting edits back to Patricia Morris, Rachel Sullivan, Pauline Jones, and Jennette Mbewe. You are not forgotten. Chad Carver? Send your pages to kristen @ wana intl dot com because I still can’t find your pages.

At the end of June I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

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  1. #1 by Heather Reid on June 22, 2012 - 8:33 am

    My 20th reunion is next year! Yikes, now you’ve got me in a panic. ;-) I’m surprised the invitation didn’t give you a hint at the dress code. Would the venue give you a clue? I think you should wear something you’re comfortable in. Are you planning on buying something? You can’t go wrong in the clichéd little black dress. Let us know what you decide on.

  2. #2 by elainecharton on June 22, 2012 - 8:36 am

    you have my sympathy. I went to my 5th and have not been back since. of course my high school is now closed and I’m on the other side of the country but who’s counting?:)
    I say wear your favorite dazzling dress,not your wedding gown) and dazzle them as the successful author you are. No matter what, remember you probably won’t have to see most of these people for a few years after this, if ever.

  3. #3 by Mother-Earth Book Series on June 22, 2012 - 8:36 am

    20th? Pfft. You’re just a pup. I have a year to turn myself into George Clooney for my 30th! Might be easier just to hire him to go in my stead … hm. I better get back to writing! ; ) Best of luck with yours and I’m sure you’ll do just fine and have a good time.

  4. #4 by redjim99 on June 22, 2012 - 8:36 am

    Go with the gun thing, at least you can retaliate quickly and effectively. And as they say – “You only have to shoot one, the rest should learn quick”

    I hope you do enjoy it though, it’s the countdown that gets you.

    Jim

  5. #5 by sfbell09 on June 22, 2012 - 8:37 am

    You could go starkers, but of course that never ends well when it begins at a reunion. I would suggest wear something you really like, regardless of anything else. A favorite dress perhaps? Or better yet, screw those drama queens and fly your writers flag proudly, go in pajama pants and a t-shirt. Because it says: I write and enjoy the HECK out of life.

  6. #6 by pamelaskjolsvik on June 22, 2012 - 8:37 am

    Wear something you are comfortable in and that reflects your personality, but I would advise against pajamas or the gun, especially if worn together. You’re gonna have a blast..

  7. #7 by Caroline Starr Rose on June 22, 2012 - 8:46 am

    Too funny. My 20th is next month, and I’m not sure, either. Fortunately, my husband’s was last year, and it looks like my school is hosting the same sorts of events his did (though we only attended one, so that doesn’t fully help). From his mixer, I can tell you there was everything from jeans to formal-ish wear. I’d be more comfortable in the jeans.

    Enjoy!

  8. #8 by darcyflynn on June 22, 2012 - 8:48 am

    My class just had the ‘Girls Turning 60 Birthday Party’ ! I didn’t go! Who wants to be reminded they’re turning 60? Not me! I went to my twentieth, so you should, too! I’d wear a sundress if it’s some outdoor do. But if it’s evening, go buy a new dress, something you really like, that looks great on you and that you’ll be able to wear again! Spiked heels of course! And as much as you like to talk…you’ll be great! =:)

  9. #9 by K.B. Owen on June 22, 2012 - 8:48 am

    Church clothes would work for the reunion! (Not going-to-the-chapel-and-we’re-gonna-get-married clothes, LOL). Thanks for sharing your fab wedding pics, Kristen! You’re beautiful, whether you’re wearing a wedding dress or an apron! Nice to see a pic of hubster, too – Spawn looks SO much like him. :)

  10. #10 by Marcy Kennedy on June 22, 2012 - 8:49 am

    It could be dangerous to ask for my advice. I’m not known for my fashion savvy. But my husband always says that it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. How about some dark-colored dress pants and a vibrant blouse? Then you can stash some accessories in your car to dress things up if you need to once you get there. (Yes, I am the obsessive over-planner. You’d be frightened to see what I can pull out of my purse or the console of my truck. Lisa Hall-Wilson always laughs at me, but she’s grateful for it when we need a flashlight, or granola bar, or lanyard, or…)

  11. #11 by Charlotte Betts on June 22, 2012 - 8:51 am

    You have a lovely smile. Anything you wear will look good with that.

  12. #14 by LauraElle on June 22, 2012 - 8:52 am

    Many large department stores offer complimentary personal shopper services. Maybe if you called and explained the dilemma, someone could meet with you? I use these services because I hate shopping yet I keep getting invited to weddings, parties and other events where I can’t wear my flannel pjs. I’d rather not spend my energy thinking about clothes when I could be writing.

    If you don’t have time for that, perhaps answering the following questions will help. The personal shoppers I meet with often ask these types of questions: Where is the venue- an upscale hotel ballroom or a casual place? What is the event- cocktails, dinner and dancing or a cook out? What kind of high school did you attend- a mixed bag with many different kinds of students, an artsy high school, a typical suburban high school, or…? The personal shoppers recommend to me to err on the side of simplicity BUT I do live in Seattle, where casual is king.

    And after looking at your photos in this entry (love the wedding pictures!!), I think you could rock a sundress and wedge heels. Go to a department store- they’ll have it under one roof and you can take care of it in one trip. Macy’s has a reputation for amazing sales racks.

    I hope this helps!! Enjoy the reunion.

    • #15 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 22, 2012 - 8:54 am

      Thanks, Laura. I am the same. I HATE shopping. I appreciate the suggestions :D.

  13. #16 by Amelia Loken on June 22, 2012 - 8:59 am

    You are gorgeous! I am absolutely in awe! I agree with others of finding a great dress that you can wear again (maybe to a writing conference?). I love the synthetic knit dresses that are out there now. Short sleeves (you’re in TX) and knee length (you’re married). Put on a great pair of heels and your fabulous smile and you will be the highlight of most people’s evening.

    Go get ‘em tiger!

  14. #17 by shawn on June 22, 2012 - 9:00 am

    I’m not bailing on you, I just can’t go. As for what to wear, go shopping tomorrow for something business casual, because we can use it for a date night. You know, attire suitable for Eddie-V’s and Bass hall.. Matching purse and shoes are required.

    • #18 by K.B. Owen on June 22, 2012 - 9:06 am

      You’re a keeper, Shawn, even if you can’t go to the reunion with Kristen! No many guys consider the “matching purse and shoes” component to the outfit. I’m impressed!

      • #19 by shawn on June 22, 2012 - 9:28 am

        Thanks, I try!

  15. #20 by Kathy Tetlock on June 22, 2012 - 9:06 am

    You look great so you don’t have to worry about what to wear. Be yourself and go with something comfortable that won’t be annoying you all day and also something sweat-proof.

  16. #21 by Karen Cunningham on June 22, 2012 - 9:06 am

    My hubby voted for the redneck look, and honestly, gun included, that’s what I’d be the most comfortable wearing at a class reunion. Let me say you are a braver woman than I, but you’re accomplished, pretty and still young. I’m proud of you for deciding to go.

    What to wear? Something that makes you feel professional. Dark slacks and a brightly colored blouse? You live in Dallas and it’ll be hot, so skip the blazer. What did you wear to the last writer’s con you went to? Play to your strengths, put your happy on and have a good time. The best thing you can wear is that dazzling smile of yours.

    Have fun!

    • #22 by shawn on June 22, 2012 - 9:30 am

      This is great advice and my vote. Now just do it!

  17. #23 by katmagendie on June 22, 2012 - 9:07 am

    Just don’t do what I did — buy a knit blouse that shows just enough cleavage to be respectable – then have said knit blouse somehow show more and more cleavage as night wears on – and then to further the humiliation, have the hired photographer post pics of the reunion and there are waaaayy too many of – guess what? Yup – my CLEAVAGE OMG! Not my face – but my cleavage – PERV!

    And look! there’s more! – the new pants I bought that I thought so cute – I wore them for the first time at the reunion and so didn’t find out they had a zipper malfunction — the zipper had to be completely locked in or it worked its way down – which I found out when I went to the ladies room and noticed my zipper unzipped – UNGH UNGH!

    First and only reunion I ever went to – the 30th – and there you go – still nerdy as ever *LAUGHING*!

    *won’t talk about drinking just enough to over-come shyness and hit the dance floor and we all know how that turns out*

  18. #24 by Lance on June 22, 2012 - 9:11 am

    I didn’t go to my 20th in 2008 because one of my daughters got sick and had her tonsils and adnoids out the same weekend. I was going to wear my pajamas so people would be insanely jealous at mmy comfort with myself.

    I suck at clothes, but the June Cleaver outfit seems fine.

    We look too young for such events, just saying.

  19. #25 by Judith Post on June 22, 2012 - 9:16 am

    Can’t you do the typical high school girl thing…and call a friend you used to go to school with? Then you can both dress the same, and twist Ingrid’s arm to do that too. If everyone else is formal, and you’re casual, at least there’ll be three of you who didn’t get the message.

  20. #26 by MonaKarel on June 22, 2012 - 9:28 am

    I’ve never been to a reunion, so I can’t comment on that. Fortunately I still go to a part time job, and also have quarterly meetings with delegates so I have those nicer clothes available. Unfortunately most of them are too big (okay, not so unfortunate) Since I also wear those clothes to dog shows, I found out at the wrong time that my “go to” outfits just don’t cut it any more! Arrgh, I HATE shopping for clothes.
    For you, I’d take an afternoon, look for some good fitting black slacks/leggings and one or two tops with colors you love. You’re so darned attractive you’d look great in a burlap bag but gilding the lily might not be a bad idea

  21. #27 by amyskennedy on June 22, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Beautiful bride! My 35(?) is this year, RI, wish I could go, because, frankly, I have way more confidence now. You, you could wear anything! I agree with Laura, do the personal shopper — but you can never go wrong with black slacks and a slinky cream top, then wow them with killer heels and over the top earings. Done.

  22. #28 by Adriana Ryan on June 22, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Kristin, seriously, you could wear a sack and still be one of the prettiest women there! Geez, the wedding pics look like some fabulous country star’s shindig! Hmm, getting back to the issue at hand…I vote for a simple black dress and heels (okay, kitten heels since you’re probably not used to them). I use the little black dress for everything because I’m like you, and have zero dressy clothes. Besides, I’ve found your same black dress can be worn over and over to various events, and no one even notices. Muahaha!

  23. #29 by Adriana Ryan on June 22, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Sorry, I meant KristEn. Not enough coffee, clearly.

  24. #30 by Lanette Kauten on June 22, 2012 - 9:36 am

    You look so beautiful in your wedding pictures! And I’m jealous your husband’s tall.

    Okay, enough about your picture perfect wedding. At my 20th (yes, I still hate the fact you’re younger than me) most of the women were in nice Sunday attire. I was a nerd in high school and wanted to stun the entire class, so I wore a long, sleek evening gown. Nothing fancy, poofy, or prom-dress like. It was sophisticated, classy, and sexy. And yes, people noticed.

    My suggestion is show the world that you are more than a geeky writer. You are also a stunning, gorgeous babe.

  25. #31 by Graylin Fox on June 22, 2012 - 9:43 am

    Now, I’m sure its the introduction to it, but your husband does look like a POW in the wedding photo. I went to high school in Alabama and we showed up for the 20th reunion in jeans and t-shirts. At a bar. With an ice room for shots. We be classy.

  26. #33 by Christine Ashworth on June 22, 2012 - 9:45 am

    Go with a sundress that shows just enough cleavage, just enough toned arms and legs, and that perfect skin of yours and you know what? You’ll look amazing. Of course, you could always cuddle with Ingrid and pretend you’re a lesbian. Create even more of a sensation.

    Just saying. (snort) Have a wonderful time!

  27. #34 by Patti Mallett on June 22, 2012 - 9:46 am

    Kristen, I’d say probably not the wedding dress but the other two are definite considerations for your reunion. Your smile will win everyone over!! (Do you think I could get away with wearing a ball cap to mine?) :-)

  28. #35 by Addy Rae on June 22, 2012 - 9:51 am

    Wear something comfortable, that you’ll feel like yourself in. If that’s yoga pants and a batman T-shirt, go for it. You’ve got nothing to prove to these people, and you’ll be more relaxed if you’re not in uncomfortable clothing!

    Of course, this is from the person who’s lucky to put on shoes in the morning before toddling off to write. :)

  29. #36 by Jen Greyson | Author (@JenGreyson) on June 22, 2012 - 9:57 am

    First, I was SO not excited about going to my 20, and it ended up being one of the funnest nights EVER.

    I went to high school in Wyoming, so use that as your frame for this reference. I wore a great pair of jeans, sexy heels, and the ONE flattering shirt I had to the first night mixer. Dressy dinner the next night was another awesome pair of shoes, and black a-line skirt, and the second best shirt in my closet.

    I’m really liking the cleavage commentary going on here and second it — flaunt what ya’ got! Seriously, you’re adorable, anything will work!!

    Have fun, and report back :D

  30. #37 by Grass Oil on June 22, 2012 - 10:08 am

    good God you’re funny. i went to #10, blew off #20 entirely and i was in truly phenomenal shape. i went to the happy hour that was free, saw everyone i liked and blew off the formal. everyone i wanted to see was already on FB. i think 1) you’ve got great bones and a terrific body: flaunt it girl. let the hairless pot-belly boys see what they missed out on and the scary, overplucked fashionista girls see how awesomely you turned out. good for you. have fun. (but not too much fun.)

  31. #38 by lynnfranklin on June 22, 2012 - 10:14 am

    Kristen, thank you so much for this blog. After hobbling around with a torn ligament in my leg, I really needed a laugh!

    As for what to wear, think in terms of the photos. Like you and other writers, I live in jeans and tees. So the one time I wanted to dress up, I bought the most adorable, long flounce skirt with every color in it. Wore it with a bright three-quarter sleeve tee and belt. Looked gorgeous in the mirror — and a blimp in the photos! All that flounce just looked puffy when standing still.

    As others have said, you need to be comfortable. Maybe black tuxedo jeans, a crisp white shirt (with the sleeves rolled up so you’re comfortable) and belt/jewelry/whatever?

    Remember: High school reunions were invented to create an excuse to buy something new (On the internet, not in the mall. I hate shopping . . .)

  32. #39 by Tiffany Ems Pitts on June 22, 2012 - 10:14 am

    When you figure it out, will you let me know? I have my 20th next month too.

  33. #40 by Klara on June 22, 2012 - 10:26 am

    I’d say, just be who you are and don’t be something you’re not, and find your style ‘sweet spot’. I’m British, and my ‘uniform’ is a floral 50’s dress, a cardigan and flat, sensible shoes. I’ve developed this uniform out of loving to look pretty/vintage/ bathed in fabric with bare legs, hate wearing heels so prefer flats, and dislike my arms so I wear cardi’s. I feel at my best in this outfit, comfortable and attractive. I’m sure you have a similar ‘uniform’. Look at what you like to wear, and notice where you get that sweet spot between comfortable (mentally & physically) and attractive, & authentic to you. So don’t stress out look outward- just look inward first.

  34. #41 by amyshojai on June 22, 2012 - 10:37 am

    Hell, this is easy. Wear rhinestones. It’s in Texas, right? Nobody will look beyond the sparkles. Trust me (voice of experience here!). And…beverages are legal. Have fun!

  35. #42 by Elen Grey on June 22, 2012 - 10:40 am

    What’s wrong with what you were wearing when you were 18? I particularly love the hair! After that, I’d go with the dress apron. Seriously, I didn’t go to my high school reunion. I told myself I lived in a foreign land, and it would probably require a passport and a 20-page questionnaire. Sorry. You’re on your own.

    p.s. I think the hubster paid the AF to assign him drill weekend duty. I know I would. :-D Just go with Hunter Chick. Bon chance!

  36. #43 by geekgirlat40 on June 22, 2012 - 10:41 am

    Hmmm…that is a toughie. I say go for semi-professional comfort. I have a pair of dress pants that are comfy as all getout and loose, too, so I can pig out. Then put on a nice top and done. If you want to be dressy, add a scarf but if you ge there and it looks too dressy, take it off.

    For the pants, I say go black because they go with EVERYTHING and also then you can just put on a funky top which are easier to find that fit anyway.

    Good luck to you!

  37. #44 by Kate Gallison on June 22, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Go for comfortable and prosperous. Rhinestones sound good, and heels as high as you can stand up in for three hours. Bear in mind that every other woman there is going to feel badly dressed and coiffed. Try to cheer them up. When you go to your fiftieth, you will all be happy simply to find each other still alive; everyone will have forgotten who they didn’t like.

  38. #45 by The Happy Amateur on June 22, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Kristen, thank you so much for the chuckle :-) I understand it’s not a laughing matter though.. My husband is going to his high school reunion really soon. He’s been trying to convince me to go with him, but.. I don’t think so. One of the reasons for not going: I don’t have to wreck my brain trying to come up with a proper outfit. It’s easier for men: my husband just grabs whatever he needs off the shelf, tries it on, buys it, 5min. – he’s done. I postpone shopping for as long as I can, then spend exhausting hours at the mall, or online, and often end up buying something that doesn’t fit. I hate shopping. But sometimes there’s just no way around it, and wearing something new that really becomes you (to an occasion you’re not particularly crazy about) can perk you up and help you actually enjoy yourself! Best of luck, have fun at the reunion!
    Sasha

  39. #46 by Maria Toth on June 22, 2012 - 11:09 am

    Kristen~Love the 50s’s dice! Have you ever seen the movie, “Peggy Sue Got Married?” She goes to her reunion and is the only one who dresses up in her 50s get-up. She’s a big hit with her classmates! So, what were kids wearing in ’92? Was that the Beverly Hills 90210 era?

    Glad you’re going! Went to my 20th (think Little House on the Prairie) and had a good time.

    So, have a blast to the past!!! Looking forward to a follow up post! :-)

  40. #47 by Pauline Baird Jones on June 22, 2012 - 11:10 am

    First, don’t buy new shoes. You’ll regret it real fast. I kind of like the one with the gun, but I’m a writer. LOL! My advice, go to Cold Water Creek or Chico’s and beg for help. That’s what I do when I have to go out in public and my sister isn’t in town.

  41. #48 by Michel King on June 22, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Honestly, if you are looking for something that will get you through the reunion, but nothing else, head to a place like Ross and pick up something comfortable, cheap, and somewhat professional-ish-esque. And a new pair of funky flip flops to go with them. Worst case scenareo, you get new clothes and you’ll be comfortable while hiding in the corner! LOL (seriously though, I would sulk in a corner scared out of my mind sipping punch that I spiked with the flask I snuck in, ’cause I couldn’t handle that kind of social scene).

    Or, wear what you wear to confrences. You’ve gone to a few and have promoted your books, so dress up like you are doing a book promo and take a bunch of cards with you. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or gets snooty, just press a card on them and start rattling off all the cool facts about social ettiquite and how not following it is unattractive. They might get the hint and go away. *Shrug* LOL

    All joking aside, I hope you have a great time! And, Kudos to Ingrid from going with you. That is one brave friend!

  42. #49 by Kathleen Boston McCune on June 22, 2012 - 11:34 am

    All I can offer is what I decided on last year….and yes, I too had to bribe a fellow classmate to sit with me (thankfully …for me….her husband chose not to attend, just as mine did). Since ours was also in June and I live in Kansas (very similar weather to Texas) I wore raw silk slacks, blouse and shirt….tailered or classic…whichever you call it. I didn’t “stick out”…at least for my clothing! It was nice actually recognizing most everyone….even their names came immediately to mind….proving I’m not alzheimered yet! Oh, yes…the shoes were sandals with newly pedicured toes….just like everyone else….when you exceed 50 years old you skip the high heels…particularly when you no longer weigh less than 120lbs!

    Anyway, Good Luck and I’m sure you’ll enjoy…you’re still gorgeous and there will still be that segment of women who “hate” you for that!!

  43. #50 by Kathleen on June 22, 2012 - 11:52 am

    I have a dress, and considering my kids are all dropping sick around me THE DAY BEFORE THE REUNION and I may have to go without MY husband b/c of it, I’ve chosen to stop worrying about what everyone else is going to wear, and whether I”m going to look like I’m headed off to church choir by comparison. I don’t havetime to worry!

    (That doesn’t help one teeny bit, does it?)

    • #51 by shawn on June 22, 2012 - 2:31 pm

      Actually, this makes me feel better. Lol

  44. #52 by holliganlee on June 22, 2012 - 12:11 pm

    At our 35th reunion, some wore fashion from back in the day (without the ludicrous blue eyeshadow, thank heaven). Try to find SOMEthing flattering from 1992 and wear that!

  45. #53 by Emma Burcart on June 22, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    What a fun assignment! I LOVE talking about what to wear. Almost as much as I love shopping! I think one of the good things about being a writer is that I can sit in my office in a formal dress and costume jewlery and no one will ask me why I’m so dressed up. I think your high school reunion is the perfect excuse to go shopping for a cute dress. Not too formal, though. FYI: your wedding dress is actually a gown, which is more formal than a dress.

    I think you should wear something you feel comfortable in and that makes you feel fabulous. A reunion is awkward enough, you don’t want to be self concious about what you are wearing. Something that is a color you love, in a good cut. Something that comes in at the waist will be flattering, and if you still have the same arms as in your wedding pic, I would showcase those! You should try on dresses that hit at or just above the knee and are in a somewhat casual fabric like jersey or a cotton blend.

    The most important thing is to take a trusted friend with you shopping! You don’t have to go it alone. And, really, shopping alone for a big event takes a lot of shopping experience to pull off. It’s not for the faint of mall. I don’t know what store you have in Texas, but I would start at a department store that you love. Me, I start at Nordstrom Rack because it has all the great styles at a slightly lower price. But, I don’t know if you have that there. Start with the store you are the most comfortable in, and ask for help! Tell them what you are shopping for and what your comfort zone is. Most people working in retail love clothes and they can help you.

    Oh, and if you know what shoes and accessories (like jewlery) you are going to wear, bring them with you. If you don’t know, bring one pair of heels that you might wear. You can’t get a good picture of what you’ll look like in a dress and workout socks.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but I love talking about shopping! I can’t wait to see what you wear! I assume you will tell us all about it. :)

  46. #54 by Genie Gabriel on June 22, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    LOL, Kristen! The “redneck look” would not even generate a second glance where I went to high school. Second choice would be to take your hubby’s advice and shop for something business casual. Date night plus matching shoes and purse? Who cares what people think at your HS reunion? You have a definite keeper at home. :)

  47. #55 by Sandra Murphy on June 22, 2012 - 12:33 pm

    My friend went to her reunion and looked so many thousand per cent better than in high school, classmates were looking at her husband (the Air Force wouldn’t have him and several years later, neither would she), to see if they recognized him as a reunioneer. I went to mine, was six feet inside the door when the class president looked up and said Hi Sandy, how are you? so obviously no change for the better there. The next reunion (how did I dare go more than once?), couldn’t find anything to wear in the closet except the dress from the first one – and the day of the reunion, it would not zip. Obviously, it went defective from hanging in the closet for so long. It will probably be dark wherever it is, put on slacks without holes in them, have a t-shirt made with that 18-year-old-you on the front and drink heavily. It’s for the best.

  48. #56 by geekinacardigan on June 22, 2012 - 1:04 pm

    Comfy is key. I say buy a fun, cheap dress that you won’t mind spilling many margaritas on. Because spilling margaritas on yourself is the most fun part of any high school reunion.

  49. #57 by tomwisk on June 22, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    Hell woman, you’ve dressed yourself this far in your life and you should know what will be fetching and allow you to stay in your comfort zone. All you’ve got to do is dazzle them with your fabulousness and remember that getting even with those who wronged you twenty years ago isn’t really all that fun. Oh yeah, have some, fun that is.

  50. #58 by August McLaughlin on June 22, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    Speaking of high school awkwardness, a friend of mine and I once traded dresses mid-dance to see if our dates noticed. They didn’t. Or if they did, they probably deemed themselves looney—which makes this tactic extremely worthwhile.

    Alas, I vote for changing outfits throughout the night. (But you may want to leave that gun at home. LOL) Can’t wait to hear how your night goes. :)

    • #59 by Lynn Kelley on June 25, 2012 - 7:05 pm

      August, that’s hysterical about your friend & you trading dresses and your dates didn’t notice! LOL!

  51. #60 by bonnie leon on June 22, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Thanks for making my day brighter. Laughter is good for the soul.

  52. #61 by Teresa on June 22, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    It’s really unfair that you have both brains and beauty..and lots of it! So I think you should suffer by having to go alone. Just kidding…about the second part, not about the first! Anyone as talented and beautiful as you can attend the reunion stag and not emerge with a complex. ;)

  53. #62 by glitterlady on June 22, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    pastels are really big this year, a peach or light blue skinny jean with cream or white pumps and a white stylish blouse is both youthful, dressed up yet casual. Pair it with a nice long necklace and straight hair and I’d say you’ve got a nice look :-)

  54. #63 by Sandra Murphy on June 22, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    You can do like Cher did one year at the Oscars. She took a bunch of outfits and sat in the car to see what others were wearing. Then she got dressed in the back seat. You exercise. You’re agile enough to do this.

  55. #64 by Gloria Richard Author on June 22, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    One store. Four words. White House|Black Market. It’s my “go to” place for everything. Dress up, dress down. They even carry Khaki, so you could coordinate with your camo evening coat when winter rolls around (soon, please!) Their signature color at the moment is a cobalt blue that would POP with your eyes and smile.

    I have none of their cobalt blue in my closet yet. It hasn’t gone on sale. I try things on in the store, then purchase online when they go on sale. Let me know if you need helpful tips on working the WHBM sales/coupons game.

    I LOVE it when you let your snark off the leash. You always have humor hits in your posts, but I suspected there was a full on, ball-istas to-the-wall snark attack lurking.

    ZOWIE on your wedding day pics.

    • #65 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 22, 2012 - 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Gloria! I actually bought an outfit this evening from Black House White Market with pants from Chico’s.

  56. #66 by KM Huber on June 22, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    I vote for borrowing and then wearing Ingrid’s hat, toting the gun in lieu of a purse (this creates professional distance), and wearing the apron to accessorize the hat and the gun. Then, what you wear underneath will matter only be a matter of your comfort, a/k/a your usual attire.

    Karen

  57. #67 by punkrgrl on June 22, 2012 - 6:31 pm

    Good suggestions for Coldwater Creek, Chico’s and White House|Black Market. Comforatble shoes are a must! If you can, consider getting a facial a couple of weeks in advance (nice, but not essential). I went to my multi-year high school reunion, kept things simple, and was able to enjoy myself. Had a great time!

    • #68 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 22, 2012 - 8:51 pm

      Actually, I am just back from shopping and my outfit is from Chico’s AND White House Black Market. You guys have great taste. Well, *rolls eyes*, of course you do or you wouldn’t be fans of my blog, LOL :D.

  58. #69 by Susan on June 22, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    Kristen ;) I just heaved a sigh of relief that those who are in charge of such things didn’t plan a thirtieth reunion :) I always think, when in doubt, make a splash .

  59. #70 by Sonia G Medeiros on June 22, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    I vote for the redneck outfit. You look great and nobody would mess with you in it. LOL.

    I have a 20 year reunion in 2 years. Looking forward to that. O_o

  60. #71 by Donna Amis Davis on June 22, 2012 - 9:36 pm

    Flattering neckline. Solid color, preferably black, but definitely dark. No prints – too housewifish and middle-aged in pictures. Skirt as short as you are comfortable with. Think how it will photograph. (My 40th is this summer, wish I am missing over here across the ocean. But I’ve already done the 20th, 25th and 30th, so LOTS of experience with that panic!) Cool, classy, sexy-in-a-happily-married-sort-of-way.

  61. #72 by Donna Amis Davis on June 22, 2012 - 9:37 pm

    BTW – darn that old husband. He’s the best accessory!

  62. #73 by Jess Witkins on June 22, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    That totally sucks your hubby can’t go, but Ingrid is a phenomenal stand in! If Ingrid can’t make it, ask that waitress from the Italian place who helped with your fashion faux paux when the rest of us were blind. ;)

    P.S. What are you holding in the top picture? It looks US Flag print croc shoes? Cowbells? What is that???

  63. #74 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on June 22, 2012 - 11:11 pm

    You are just so freaking cute. I’ll loan you my jeans. Oh wait…those are my son’s jeans. Nevermind. ;-) I say wear something topless. I mean strapless. But topless is good too! And super memorable.

  64. #75 by Emma on June 23, 2012 - 5:27 am

    Relax and enjoy the evening. Of course I’d be up on the roof with a drink too if I had to contemplate going to mine.
    My clothes suggestions is smart, skinny jeans and a casual/classy top with boots.

  65. #76 by Misha on June 23, 2012 - 5:52 am

    I have NO idea what you should wear. Smart casual in the day and semi-formal in the evening? It’s always better to be a tad over or under dressed, as long as you can own it. Good luck!

  66. #77 by Kim Mullican on June 23, 2012 - 8:16 am

    The little black dress always works for nearly any occasion. As a matter of fact, when I’m so stressed I empty my entire closet onto the bed looking for something appropriate to wear, that’s what I land on… every time.

    I was fortunate to graduate from a small class of 69 lazy dopes who met in the basement of a bar for our reunion. We dressed casual, drank too much and I was all to happy to see the beauty queens wearing a size 16, looking like they were 20 years older from living in the tanning beds when we were in school… but then again, I’m shallow like that.

    Good luck at your reunion!

  67. #78 by Julie Glover on June 23, 2012 - 9:08 am

    We had two events for my reunion — one get-together at a local restaurant/bar and the reunion dinner. The first was super-casual, with everything from sundresses to shorts and tees. The dinner event was mainly casual and business casual.

    My one recommendation is to choose something comfortable! Sure, you want to present your best self, but you may be walking around that room a lot reintroducing yourself and you’ll want comfy shoes (my wedges worked great because they looked nice but were cushy). Also, comfortable includes not struggling with a cute outfit that has your bra straps sneaking out every two seconds, or a strapless dress that needs to be tugged at, or a pencil skirt that makes you feel like Mrs. Wiggins walking to the boss’s desk when you cross the room.

    Also, tell Ingrid she’s the bridesmaid in this show. It is her duty to wear a Pepto-Bismol pink dress with puffy sleeves to make you look even better. ;)

  68. #79 by Paisley Kirkpatrick on June 23, 2012 - 11:52 am

    I feel your pain. My 50th reunion is in two months and I have no idea on attire either. Since they’ve asked me to sell my book at the reunion – my very first released four days before – I’d like to look nice.

  69. #80 by Serena Dracis, Author on June 23, 2012 - 1:22 pm

    Little black dress, slinky heels and you’ll be set. Seriously. Head high, confident smile and you will knock everyone’s socks off. Butterflies in your stomach? No one needs to know. ;-) They’ll be too wowed by your look and success.

  70. #81 by lizardqueen on June 23, 2012 - 11:49 pm

    If you wear all black, the black clothes all match in “blackness,” and they cover what needs to be covered, you’re good to go.

    For instance, for my 20th two years ago, I wore over-long loose black cabana drawstring pants, a plain black T-shirt — untucked to cover the drawstring! — and black strappy sandals. I wrong pearl earrings so that I didn’t look like I just came out of a funeral. Once there, I saw that the majority of folks looked like they received the memo for Business Casual.

    As long as you don’t dress like a frump or a ho, you’re good to go. ;-)

  71. #82 by ABE on June 23, 2012 - 11:50 pm

    Have you had your colors done? You can wear almost anything you like as long as the frame for your face makes your skin glow – instead of making your skin look dead.
    And/or a color that brings out your eye color.
    Try to get a preview under the right kinds of light – if you can figure out what they will have there. Make sure there is no lipstick on your teeth.
    You will probably stand a lot – make sure the shoes are really comfortable.

  72. #83 by lizardqueen on June 23, 2012 - 11:50 pm

    *wore pearl earrings

  73. #84 by Jennifer Worrell on June 24, 2012 - 8:07 am

    I like the gun-toting look! WooooHoo! Glad I found you on Twitter!

  74. #85 by Cathryn Leigh on June 24, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Well the first thing is – what’s the venue? That shouldn’t be too hard to look up form the invitation. If it’s in a hotel, then you’re back to square one, but, if like my 5 year reunion, it was at a dock side bar with a pool, it narrows the choices… sort of. :}

    Since I’m into long dresses I wore a sleeveless number, canary yellow, in linen, with white sandles.

    My recommendation is go to Macy’s or Khols and pick up a Maxi dress (no sleeves and long), or something shorter. Your apron neckline looks good on you, so don’t be afraid of a little plunge (you may even find a dress like it). Go with comfortable but nice looking shoes. If you’re not used to heals, do not buy them for the reunion.

    And if you’re not much into dresses, just buy a pair of casual dress pants and top. As the person before me implied – wear business casual and you can’t go wrong. (But be comfortable too or you may be miserable) :}

  75. #86 by T.M. Mulligan on June 24, 2012 - 9:11 am

    20 years later and I’m in love with a guy named Nick. I decided to call my best friend in high school (who also happened to be the star jock – hm, was I forecasting? Me as queen of prom?) and came out to him and asked if our attendance would be too unsettling for the rest of my hometown, blue-collar Mustang alumni? I expected he’d hang up, but he said that everyone knew/knows I’m gay, and that everyone would love to see us. We went and had so much fun! People still talk about how all the girls wanted pix with Nick and I. Sadly though, the women aged beautifully, while at least three of my male heart-throbs were paunchy, balding, disinterested bores. Since most girls turned women from my class developed a sense of style over 20 years, I think you should dress as stylish as is comfortable, and frame your success by what you wear. And most importantly, keep an eye on accessories – great shoes, subtle bracelets and earrings, Rolex watch, and one big stone either on your finger or in a necklace. Style, detail and expression.

  76. #87 by smirkpretty on June 24, 2012 - 10:09 am

    Wear something much sassier than you think you should. You won’t regret it.

  77. #88 by DJ Austin on June 24, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    I went back to the old town 19 years later, saw everyone I wanted to see and never went to the reunion (I live 1500 miles away). Personally, I hated high school, so it wasn’t much of a loss, but I don’t mean to be a downer. I agree with smirkpretty, go sassy!

  78. #89 by Shafer...Power! on June 24, 2012 - 9:31 pm

    Wear a (stolen) cheerleader’s outfit. You’ll thank me later…

  79. #90 by Genny Lynch on June 24, 2012 - 10:28 pm

    As a writer and a former fashion designer I say it depends. If you want to be friendly and approachable then wear a print. If you want to intimidate wear one solid color preferably black with expensive.

    As to style perhaps something you’d wear to give a reading. With one unique accessory that will give people something to comment on for an ice breaker.

    Have fun!

  80. #91 by neyska on June 25, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    My 20th is next year. I’m eagerly watching to see how yours goes. You’re my test subject in a way. ;)

    As for what to wear, I think something you’d wear to a decent dinner. Comfortable, but not quite as comfortable as what you wear working, and just a hint of dressy. You don’t want to spend the whole time adjusting the skirt or pulling up the top. Wear something that makes you feel good and confident and that you don’t have to think about while you’re wearing it. If that happens to be a crazy t-shirt then do it.

    Have fun and let us know how it goes!

  81. #92 by Lynn Kelley on June 25, 2012 - 7:24 pm

    What a gorgeous bride you were! And you still look the same as you did when you were 18, only better! The gun pic rocks! Love it! You’ll have a good time with Ingrid and won’t have to worry about your hubby being bored. Looks like you’ve gotten lots of great fashion advice so I won’t offer mine since I’m not too hot at looking fashionable, and I hate to go shopping, too. I like the black dress with comfy heels advice or even the cobalt blue like someone suggested. The ticket or invitation should tell you what’s appropriate for the occasion.

    My hubby and I went to his 30 year reunion ten years ago, and it was a last-minute decision, so we dressed up like we did for all our other reunions. We go there and it turned out it was casual dress! Hubby wore a suit and I wore a cute dress and heels. No one said anything or even seemed to care, especially my hubby because he started running a fever and felt super lousy but stayed a while to catch up with old friends. I was out on the dance floor and had a better time than he did. Poor guy.

    I know you’re going to have a blast, whatever you decide to wear. Just be sure and post pics for us!

  82. #93 by mapelba on June 25, 2012 - 10:33 pm

    Okay, I’m over here because a writer friend recommend your blog (because I’m struggling with the whole writer-hermit-self-promotion-obnoxiousness wormhole. So, since I would never except on pain of death ever go to my high school reunion, I had to read this post. To be honest–and heck, this is the Internet!–my first thought was, “What? Women this pretty don’t know what to wear?” They’re going to think you’re beautiful is you wear a sack–poorly dressed, perhaps, but beautiful nonetheless.

    For my two cents–and that’s about all my fashion sense is worth–wear a simple black dress or a drop dead y’all red dress.

    And then have fun.

    If that’s possible.

    At a reunion.

    Watch Gross Point Blank before you go.

  83. #94 by Evie on June 26, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    You’re lovely; whatever you choose will be fine as your classmates will be deeply jealous that you (unlike them and some of us) haven’t put on 75lbs since graduation. However, since you asked for suggestions:
    It’s summer. The best (and easiest) thing to do is find a pretty sundress you feel good in and go with that. Do it up with jewelry if you want and take 2 pairs of shoes in the car- dressy sandals/strappy heels and a pair of flip-flops. That way you can be either chic or chill depending on what you see when you arrive. And you’ll have flip-flops for later.

  84. #95 by The Meandering Matriarch on July 27, 2012 - 10:04 pm

    As a Survivor of my 50 Year HS reunion, I feel your pain. It was the first one I attended, and I had travelled from Tasmania to Kansas City to do so. That, of course, gave me a certain cachet that I never had in HS, which was a bit other-worldly. But I did win the prize for the person who had travelled the farthest.

  85. #96 by Tamara Stern on October 2, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    LMAO!!! This had me cracking up. I say wear a really cute(sexy) dress or a pencil skirt with a cute(sexy) sweater and gorgeous shoes. You want to go in looking the best cuz let’s face it most of us are either looking NO WAY like we did in high school and the really popular girls and guys back then got ugly in adulthood and seriously who would not pay tickets to see that plus to point and laugh. I missed my 10th cuz my old school has practically become a gang related news story now but hey maybe my 20th will be something to look forward to(insert sarcastic comment here).

  86. #97 by Mary Richter on October 10, 2012 - 8:27 am

    Wait…. So what did you wear??? My 20th is this month and my hubby’s is next… Ahhh! I need help. I really, really, REALLY have no idea what to wear but I’m hoping for something I can wear to both (also hope same ppl aren’t @ both of ‘em- that would be bad!). Here is the problem…I am a corrections officer and I have a feeling most ppl assume female c/o’s are beefy. I love the fact that I put a uniform on everynight and head to work- no thought required but when it comes to the rest of my life I am clueless!!!! On top of that I am vain with self esteem issues. Or that could mean I’m bipolar. I was always the heaviest 1 in my class. Not the biggest but I weighed the most out of my circle of friends. Carry alot of muscle from yrs in sports, gym etc thus the beefy c/o label. All these yrs later I managed to only weigh about 20 lbs more that when I graduated and my husband promises me I look better now than ever but then again he loves me and kinda has to say that. (I’ve been known to have a short fuse.) I so want to go but I don’t think the uniform gonna be dressy enough. Help!

    • #98 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 10, 2012 - 1:19 pm

      I wore a gold sleeveless sweater and black capris. Church dress. Most everyone there was dressed the same. Not too fancy. Business casual. I say be cute but be comfortable. There is a lot of walking around and talking to people and we are more relaxed when our feet aren’t screaming.

  87. #99 by Flora Brown on October 12, 2012 - 4:47 pm

    Kristen,

    I got a big kick out your concern about what to wear to your high school reunion.

    I just went to my 51st high school reunion in Sept, and what to wear was a lot less of a concern than it was 30 years ago. We were just grateful to still be alive, healthy and willing to still talk to each other. Nobody was the same size they were in high school anyway so we opted for comfort in clothes and shoes.

    We had a 5-day reunion in Las Vegas, NV (not our hometown) where we could have loads of time to chat, go to shows, shop or whatever folk wanted to do on their own. There were about 15 of us from a class of 180, with about 15 more who were spouses/partners.

    Funny that what I wore to the “banquet” ( I use that term loosely since it wasn’t very formal) was also a gold top and a white skirt. None of the guys wore suits. After all, it was held at a buffet in one of the casino hotels.

    We’re planning a cruise for the 52nd. At our 50th we decided to have an annual reunion in different places for whoever can make the trip. Good plan.

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