Summer is a wonderful time to go outside and reengage with the world after the colder months have kept us inside. And what better group of people to connect with than your family? Family reunions are lovely summer occasions. Extended members get to see each other again, the younger generations can hear the stories of the older generations, and there is usually a delicious spread to enjoy while you are visiting with each other.
Some family reunions are large-scale events with matching T-shirts and games, and more. If you have that kind of family, your dress code is decided, and you are definitely going to have a blast. In the absence of provided attire, you have to make the decision about what to wear by yourself. The question is, how do you decide? Here are some ideas for what to wear to your family reunion!
You’ve received an invite to the reunion and have responded positively. What was that invite like? With some families, word of mouth is all you get, but in others, there might be an actual invitation you can reference to get an idea of the kind of gathering this is going to be. A mass email will probably mean a less formal get-together. A mailed invitation probably means something more upscale. However, many are not so lucky. If the word-of-mouth case applies, you must have been told when and where. That should give you some idea of the setting of the reunion and, therefore, some idea of what might fit into that setting. The clothes for a kid-friendly afternoon park barbecue are going to be different than an evening party in a conference room at an all-inclusive resort with childcare provided.
If you still can’t figure it out, don’t worry! Every family has family planners who know more than the rest. Contact that planner who is closest to your age bracket and maybe that of the bracket above you to get a solid idea of what might be appropriate.
If the location and time are a little more casual, and you know you are going to be running around playing games with kiddos, opting for a fitted women’s T-shirt paired with jean shorts and tennis shoes is probably your best bet. Jeans are hardy enough to run around in, shorts will give you access to a decent range of motion for high-energy activities, and if your T-shirt is in a dark color, any accidental stains are less likely to be a problem. Wearing tennis shoes should speak for itself.
If the party is outdoors, but at a slightly nicer venue, you may want to go a little dressier. The idea is to be cute while being modest. This is your family, after all. Consider white shorts with a rose pink blouse or a floral skirt with a white blouse. Either of these options paired with sandals and some sunglasses would work well for a nice family event.
If this reunion is also a celebration of some kind, and you know everyone will be a bit more dressed up, the floral skirt and blouse with heels and a nice purse might be a better choice. Need the next level up? Try a maxi dress or a nice summer dress with heels. For reference, picture what you might wear to an older friend’s wedding. You can also use your jewelry to add a little style if you still feel you might be underdressed. If you are unsure, having different jewelry options in your purse can give you confidence that you will be ready for anything.
For those laid-back, fun-filled backyard parties, guys should also go with the T-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoe combination. If the weather is going to be extra hot and there is talk of a family football game, you may want to make sure you bring along your deodorant—maybe even an extra shirt, so you aren’t left sticky and uncomfortable after the game is over.
For a slightly more formal outdoor occasion, guys can go with light-colored tapered shorts with a darker long-sleeve or darker fitted shorts with a white short-sleeved men’s polo shirt . Add white tennis shoes to complete either outfit. Another option is to pair the lighter shorts with a navy short-sleeved collared shirt—maybe one with a simple, delicate pattern—and boat shoes. Add a pair of sunglasses, and he is ready to go.
For the nicer evening occasions where the girls wear dresses and heels, try the polo shirt with nice dark jeans. If you need something a little more formal, trade the polo for a long-sleeved men’s dress shirt, and, if the occasion calls for it, dress pants.
With these ideas as a starting point and your family there to help you out, go find something that will be perfect for making memories at your upcoming family reunion.