Attire for special occasions


Weddings and funerals are two occasions that bring together family members, close friends and notable contacts. The former is a joyous event, while the latter is a solemn moment. Nonetheless, it’s important for guests to wear appropriate attire that is acceptable and respectable. Here are a few guidelines.

Traditional Namibian weddings follow various customs during which the betrothed and guests display their traditional apparel. The protocol for modern day weddings requires the bride to be adorned in a white gown and the groom to wear a classic formal suit. The golden rule that all female guests are expected to know is that wearing a white dress is reserved for the bride. It is utterly disrespectful to draw attention away from the bride by wearing a white garment or any type of flamboyant outfit. A classy dress in a flattering colour, or with an exquisite pattern complimented with matching high heels, is a good option. Male guests should keep their clothes formal or ceremonial. A light coloured blazer for daytime festivities and a dark suit for evening celebrations are basic style essentials.

Always stick to the dress code provided by the couple or take a hint from the decoration of their invitation card as it usually reflects the theme of the wedding day. Also, consider the location of the ceremony; note if it’s indoors or outdoors and be informed about the weather so that you can dress accordingly.

Attending a memorial service means that you are there to honour the deceased and provide support to the bereaved. It is vital that you present yourself in a reverent manner by wearing conservative attire. Unless you have personalised clothing or specific requirements made for the occasion, black is the standard colour for funerals. However, customarily people wear traditional attire designated for mourning, especially the elders.

For women, select an understated simple dress, skirt or pantsuit in a dark or dull shade, and make sure that your outfit in not skimpy or revealing. It’s alright to add a touch of mild colour to your outfit but keep it subtle. Wear closed shoes that are sensible and comfortable but avoid wearing flashy stilettoes. A hat that is stylish yet practical can add a nice touch to a woman’s outfit although it should not be outlandish or too large. Hairstyles, make-up and jewellery should be moderate and minimalistic. For men, an official suit in black, navy blue or charcoal with a crisp white collared shirt and black tie is a decent option. Tuck a handkerchief inside your blazer and wear official black shoes that are well polished.

When it comes to accessories, it’s always a smart idea to bring along a dark umbrella just in case it rains or for extra cover on a hot sunny day. It’s alright to wear sunglasses outside during a funeral but make sure that your shades are practical and not overly embellished.

Beauty Ndapanda is a lifestyle blogger/writer. Her articles include wellness and beauty tips to help readers look and feel their best, while her topics on introspection examine thoughts and emotional processes for navigating through life’s ups and downs.  –


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