Reconnecting with high school classmates years after graduation can be exciting to anticipate. Class reunions are occasions when you want to look your best as you party and reminisce about bygone days. Show your lovely and elegant style by wearing age-appropriate attire and accessories that play up your strengths. Rather than wearing something too youthful or spending a mint on the latest trends, create a comfortable outfit with impeccable fit that expresses your grace and confidence.
Impress in a Dress
The dress is a wardrobe staple that's easy to build a look around. While the little black dress is a classic and timeless go-to, sometimes a color or white can help you make a splash on the scene. Consider the season and the event venue, and then pick a dress silhouette that most flatters you, such as a short dress if you have great legs. Younger women typically can go with higher hemlines, shorter sleeves and sleeveless frocks. Older women tend to prefer longer dresses -- at least to the knees. Try a fit-and-flare frock for your 10-year reunion, a fitted sheath if you're headed to your 20th, a print wrap dress or below-the-knee silk dress and bolero combo for your 30-year reunion and beyond.
Suited to Perfection
Beautifully accessorized, a pants or skirt suit makes a crisp and comfortable look for a reunion. Choose a suit with some added design details such as a peplum, pleats, or surface embellishments such as embroidery or beads. If the suit is simple and a neutral color such as black, navy, gray or tan, carefully coordinate your shoes, jewelry, handbag and other accessories -- and they need to pop. You want to look festive, not like you just left the office. In your 20s or 30s, go with an above-the-knee skirt and belted jacket over a simple shell. In your 40s or 50s, a chic option is a tailored black pantsuit with a white cotton wrap blouse and turquoise or coral jewelry. At 60 and older, dazzle in a high-waist, calf-length pencil skirt with a matching jacket, silk high-neck blouse and several strands of pearls.
Skirting the Issue
If the reunion is rather informal and you want to look special without over-dressing, the skirt is a powerful ally. It can be combined with many other garments and accessories for a polished look with lots of personality. In your 20s and 30s, a fitted mini with a batwing-sleeve blouse and a flower pin or small brooch makes a hip outfit. In your 40s or 50s, pair a brocade A-line skirt with a beaded sweater twinset and a dramatic bracelet for sophisticated flair. In your 60s and beyond, a long pleated skirt with a lace-trimmed blouse, statement necklace and shimmery wrap is a winning look.
You may decide that you want to be a showstopper, unforgettable in your sartorial splendor. For a 10 or 20 year casual reunion, combine a pair of slim jeans or pants with a drapey top and a pair of sparkly, strappy heels. If the setting is more serious such as cocktail hour, and you're in your 40s or older, top off your ensemble with a fur wrap or jacket. Real or faux, fur conveys formality. At any age, a tuxedo-style suit or dress instantly commands attention, especially when worn with a heel in a made-you-look color such as red or platinum. Sparkly jewelry in diamond or other precious gems and metals ups your glam factor, and a reptile handbag lends a luxurious feel to any look. For the coup de grace, add head wear in a size and style that complement your outfit and facial features. A fabulous hat has a way of drawing attention.
LaMont Jones was an award-winning fashion and beauty editor for a decade at the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." A five-time nominator and judge of the CFDA Awards, he covers New York Fashion Week regularly. Jones is a 2011 inductee into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame and coaches fashion models.