What to Wear on your Retirement Day by Laura Watson
Thinking about your retirement party brings up many questions. What should I wear? Who can I ask to be my plus one? Do I need to reserve a special room or is any old room good enough? Where can I find affordable decorations and table settings? How much money do I need to set aside for gifts, food, and entertainment? And perhaps most importantly, what the heck do I wear on my retirement day?
These may seem like little details that don’t require much planning. But with so much at stake in terms of self-presentation, first impressions, and lasting memories, dressing appropriately on your final day at work is absolutely essential. Read on for our best tips regarding what to wear on your retirement day:
Decide on your outfit ahead of time
Of all the details we’ve listed, this might be the most important. Wearing the “wrong” thing on your retirement day will instantly undermine all the other work you put into the event.
It’s an unfortunate fact that all eyes will be on you, and if you’re not dressed for the occasion, your friends and colleagues might feel distracted by your attire and miss out on the joy of the day. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out and don full formal wear. But you should definitely decide on your outfit ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress.
If you can, wear something that represents your career or your personality. If you’ve gotten a promotion or won an award during your time at the company, this is a great chance to show it off. You don’t have to wear formal wear, either.
A bright shirt, a flashy tie, or a stylish jacket can also make a great outfit. Of course, you should also consider the rest of your attire. Your pants, socks, shoes, and other accessories should be appropriate for the occasion.
Dressing for the occasion: Finding the right balance
Retirement is, of course, a formal occasion, but it’s also not a wedding. While you want to look your best and make a great impression on your friends and colleagues, you don’t want to wear anything too flashy or attention-grabbing.
This is a celebration of your career, not an excuse to show off your designer wardrobe. You should wear what is appropriate for a work event: no jeans or sneakers, no sleeveless shirts or shorts, and nothing overtly revealing or too flashy. Instead, look for tasteful clothing that is comfortable, easily washable, and age-appropriate.
You don’t want your retirement party to be the first time you wear that ridiculously expensive designer suit you’ve been saving for decades. Save it for the next company gala.
Don’t wear black (unless you’re a man)
Black is a powerful color, often associated with gravitas and formality. It’s also the color of mourning and grief. If you’re a man, black is fine, but it’s important to recognize the cultural context of your clothing. If you’re a woman, however, wearing black is a bad idea.
For women, a much better color choice would be a strong and vibrant shade of blue. Blue is associated with confidence, intelligence, and trustworthiness. It’s also the color of the sky, the sea, and other natural elements. Blue is a bold and beautiful color that will help you stand out as a strong, confident woman.
Go for color and vibrancy
Beyond the specific color choices, you should also look for vibrant, colorful clothing. This will help you stand out among your peers, but in a positive way. It’s common for people to be nervous or anxious at a retirement party, and bright, eye-catching clothing can help you overcome this nervousness.
It’s also a great way to make sure that you’re remembered; the host of the party will appreciate your vibrant clothing, and your friends will remember it forever. A great way to find vibrant clothing is to visit a local thrift store. You can find great ready to wear pieces from previous decades that are both colorful and comfortable.
Another option would be to visit a vintage clothing store; many such shops have a large selection of vibrant vintage clothing that would be perfect for a retirement party.
Look for comfortable, breathable fabrics
Retirement parties tend to be long. You’ll likely be celebrating well into the evening, and you might even have to stand for a speech or two. Even if you have the luxury of sitting down most of the time, you’ll be on your feet plenty.
To make sure you stay comfortable throughout the event, you should select clothing made from breathable fabrics. This will keep you cool and collected even as the event progresses.
It’s also important to select fabrics that are comfortable as you move around. For women, a nice suit made from a soft, stretchy fabric would be a great choice. A soft pair of slacks with a stretchy waistband would also be a good option.
Plan your accessories with care
If you don’t want to wear a suit and you don’t want to wear a dress, what should you wear? Accessories are very important in this situation. You can still make a great impression with a carefully selected tie or an eye-catching watch.
You might also want to consider a nice pair of shoes; many people overlook footwear and don’t realize how important it is to find comfortable, stylish shoes. A carefully selected tie can be a great way to show your personality.
You can use it to reference your career or show off your interests and hobbies. You might even want to use your retirement party as an opportunity to debut a new tie.
Find the right shoes
One of the last things you should think about when choosing your outfit for your retirement party is the shoes. This is not the time to break in a new pair of dress shoes or to wear a pair of clunky hiking boots. Instead, you should find comfy, stylish shoes that will go well with pretty much anything.
While there are definitely footwear options that are more formal than others, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to look comfortable, not overly prim and proper.
You want to look like yourself, not like you’ve been forced into the wrong role. Retirement parties are a celebration of a lifetime of hard work and accomplishments. While they can be stressful and nerve-wracking, you can make things a little easier by dressing appropriately.
Retirement parties can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but you can make things a little easier by dressing appropriately. You’ll want to make sure to wear something that is appropriate for a work event and to make sure it represents your personality.
It’s also important to choose vibrant, colorful clothing that will help you stand out. It’s also important to choose comfy, breathable fabrics and to plan your accessories with care. When it comes to shoes, you should find ones that are comfortable and go well with pretty much anything.
Kathe Kline has been working with retirees for over 25 years. She discovered that retirement is not just about money and insurance, but is also about: Social & Family; Adventure & Travel; Volunteer & Philanthropy; Spirit & Soul, Sexual issues, and Sandwich Generation issues or helping your Family members as they age
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