What to Wear on Memorial Day

What to Wear on Memorial Day - Closet52

Whether you are heading to a barbecue or a park for Memorial Day, we have you covered. But let us first pay tribute to those who gave their lives in battle and service for this country. Originally known as Decoration Day in the days following the Civil War, Memorial Day was renamed and became an official federal holiday 50 years ago, observed on the last Monday of May every year.

Many Americans take 3-day weekend trips or go to parties or barbecues on the holiday itself. The long Memorial Day weekend comprises of Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which, unofficially marks the beginning of summer. The “fashion police” mark it as the day you can openly wear white clothes, shoes and accessories. This outdated notion isn’t followed by many anymore, especially those who live in year-round warm weather states, or by those who like to break the rules.

How ‘Wearing White after Memorial Day’ Started

In the 1930’s, during America’s Great Depression, those with money fancied white clothing in the summer. This leisure class, as it was known, adopted the theory that white suited them better, while darker clothing in the summer was mostly for less fortunate or working people. Many of the elite upper class traveled to their summer homes which were near water, and that usually meant the ocean or lakes. An entirely different wardrobe was needed, especially bright white dresses, white shoes and white handbags for women and white linen suits for men. Once their vacations were over on Labor Day, the white clothes and accessories were put away.

Dressing in all white looks fresh during any season. The rule is… there is no rule. Wear what looks good. Wear what you like. Clean, fresh and bright clothing works whenever you think it does. One bit of advice is to put away your white dress when attending a wedding. But even that concept isn’t followed when the couple is having a snowball wedding and you are in the bridal party.

Maybe you’ve gotten a Memorial Day invite and you don’t know what to wear. Let us give you some options. It’s easy to find the right dress at Closet52.

What to Wear to a Memorial Day Parade

While many people will be wearing red, white and blue or any of those colors individually, not everyone will. The idea is to show your patriotism in one way or another. Choose a casual, comfortable dress. Remember, you’ll probably be standing for a long time. If you like heels, then by all means, put them on, but sneakers and flats are just as stylish when watching the marching band and members of the local VFW walk by.

May we suggest: Flutter Sleeve Button Front Dress

Flutter Sleeve Red Dress

Easy and effortless, this stunning shift dress is both casual and chic. Designed with pintuck pleats down the bodice, short flutter sleeves, a functional button front and finishes with a tiered hem. 


What to Wear to a Memorial Day Barbecue

Being outside all day means you have to think about comfort first. When standing in a backyard or sitting at a picnic table, the last thing you need is a fussy outfit. Casual is what first comes to mind and comfort is key. Sleeveless is a good choice too, especially if the temperatures are over 80 degrees. Chambray is a great fabric to look for, it wears well and washes even better. And just for kicks, wear sneaks instead of shoes (which can be slippery in the grass).

May we suggest: Tiered Chambray Dress 

Tiered Chambray Dress

This dress is a warm weather wonder. In a lightweight fabric with casual style that includes side pockets (yay!). The tiered design is in an easy silhouette, with a ruffled collar, long ties and a pleated hem. This dress is also available in Plus Sizes.


What to Wear to Go on a Memorial Day Shopping Trip

First, remember, you’ll be on your feet most of the day, excluding the short breaks at the local coffee place. Comfort is priority, but that’s not the only thing. Think about wearing a dress. One-piece dressing makes try-ons truly easy, so you won’t waste much time in the dressing rooms. Think about how fast you can try on all those new clothes you like without a hassle. Lightweight fabrics are also something to look for, ensuring you’ll be cool all day long. Sneakers are a smart choice, flip-flops, too.

May we suggest: Colorblock Dress

Colorblock Casual Dress

The secret to carefree, easy-breezy style. Colorblock tiers make up the personality of this dress along with simple design details: a scoop neckline, capped sleeves and a ruffled hem. This dress is also in additional colors and it’s available in Petites’ sizes too. 


What to Wear for a Cemetery Visit on Memorial Day

You can dress casually and still be respectful. Don’t overexpose. Here, skin isn’t in. The dress you choose should still be appropriate for the weather, your audience and your personal style. Pick something that’s easy to move around in. A dress with a tight pencil skirt would make it hard to walk in some outdoor areas. Tiered, flowy midis and maxis are right on trend this season and they look great with most sandals or flats.

 May we suggest: Cap Sleeve Midi Dress

Cap Sleeve Midi Dress

Day or night, this sophisticated midi dress is the one you’ll be reaching for again and again. Change it up each time you wear it with different jewelry. And stylishly layer it with a blazer, shrug or sweater. Detailed with a fitted bodice, capped sleeves and button trim above a long midi skirt. 


What to Wear to a Memorial Day Wedding

You will find people wearing all colors, except the bride, but more than likely, you’ll see red, white or blue, perhaps all three. Why not join in and show your patriotic side! Pick a dress that’s comfortable and flowy…one that lets you show your moves on the dancefloor and not give you reason to worry about a wardrobe mishap. Chiffon offers a more dressed up look, and it’s lightweight, which is a real plus.  

May we suggest: Plus Size Pleated Party Dress


Plus Size Pleated Red Party Dress

Twirl around the dance floor in this gorgeous colorblock dress. Designed with a faux halter front, with cut-in armholes, crew neckline and elasticized waist. The pleated skirt falls below the knee while the waist sash and hemline provide a contrast color pop. Functional covered buttons in back create a dramatic keyhole. 


What to Wear on a Memorial Day Dinner Date

Heading to your favorite restaurant with your special someone. Is lobster or a steak on your menu? Maybe just veggies are on your diet. No matter. Pick a dress that’s fun and shows you can’t wait for summer to start. Sleeveless, if the weather calls for it, a maxi because you are nothing if not stylish. And finally, florals because they are calling your name and are on every chic and flowy dress this season.

May we suggest: Floral Maxi Dress

Flowy Floral Maxi Dress

This breathtaking maxi is sure to bring you tiers of joy. Our floral print chiffon dress starts with a banded neckline above an inverted pleated bodice. The blouson style gives you room to move around. The long skirt is designed in three tiers ending in a slight ruffled hem. Sleeveless styling and a back keyhole round out the details.

What to Wear to a Memorial Day Block Party

When you know the day is going to be about fun and frolic, the first thing to remember is to wear a soft, comfortable dress made in a lightweight fabric. One with stretch is even better because it moves when you do. To be the best dressed at your block party, keep in mind that cute is key. No dressy dresses, no ripped denim shorts. Sneakers or sandals are the way to go. And be sure to pick a dress that complements the hot dogs and watermelon.

May we suggest: Dotted Tiered Dress

White and Black Dotted Tiered Dress

Connect the dots. This season's favorite print is spotted on the best dresses. Here, our tiered dress is designed with a scoop neck, ruffled hem and slight balloon sleeves. Super-comfortable stretchy gauze makes super comfortable to wear all day long.


What to Wear to a Memorial Day Sunset Beach Party

Did you get a sunset beach invite? Yay! What a great way to end Memorial Day! The smart idea here to pick a lightweight sundress that has an A-line shape. Why? Because more than likely you’ll be sitting on a blanket in the sand. Make it easy on yourself. Be comfortable. Pick a fabric that breathes. A cute, flowy, maxi sundress is not only a social-media fave with the setting sun, but it is a perfect mate to a delicious s’more. Worried about the ever-present breeze at the shore while in a dress? Slip on a pair of bike or cheer shorts beneath. Problem solved.

May we suggest: Linen-Blend Maxi Dress

Linen Blend White Maxi Dress

Welcome summer in this breezy sundress, styled with a button front bodice that's finished with tie straps and a smocked back. The tiered skirt falls to the season's favorite maxi length. This dress is also available in Plus Sizes.


What to Wear to a Memorial Day Outdoor Concert

One of the best things about summer is that concerts move outside. Whether your favorite band is playing at a festival, a local band is playing at the town square on Main Street, or the Philharmonic is playing at a gorgeous alfresco venue, it doesn’t matter. What you wear, does. Pick a great stylish and comfortable summer dress and don’t forget the shrug for later, when the sun goes down and the chill picks up. Pairing a flowy maxi with your favorite sandals shows your stylish side.

May we suggest: Mock Neck Swiss Dot Dress

Mock Neck White Swiss Dot Dress

Celebrate the special days of summer in our faux halter midi dress. The burnout Swiss dots give it texture and style. The bodice is designed with a mock neck and cut-in armholes and a delicate gathering all the way to the self-tied waist. The tiered skirt has side pockets and a slight ruffled hem, while the bow in back adds a dramatic flourish to this stunner. This dress is also available in Plus and Petites’ Sizes.

What to Wear to the Park on Memorial Day

A day at the park means you need fun, casual style from morning to sunset. Burgers, corn, potato salad are on the menu, so be smart and keep it easy. A loose-fitting dress is perfect for frisbee and volleyball and even playing around with your dog. Show everyone that it’s still easy to be stylish and be carefree. Sneakers are your best option if you intend on playing games, flat sandals will work otherwise. Even if cartwheels aren’t in your future, wearing a pair of bike shorts under your dress will make the day go easier with whatever you get into.

May we suggest: Gauze Tiered Dress

Coral Gauze Tiered Dress

Head to the park with great, casual style. This stretchy gauze dress moves with you. Designed in a tiered silhouette with a jewel neckline, short, capped sleeves and a ruffled hem. Sneakers keep it fun; heels give it glam. This dress is also available in Petites’ sizes.


What to Wear to a Memorial Day Pool or Beach Party

 While dresses aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when heading to the pool or the shore, we think they should be. A babydoll dress is the ideal cover-up to your swimsuit. First, it’s got loads of style. You already love it. It looks good on you. Second, it slips right over your head and presto, you’re ready to jump in. Many cover-ups are oversized and not completely flattering, while a babydoll dress looks great even at the concession stand or a nearby outdoor restaurant. The versatility of this dress is incredible. With heels and jewelry, you can dress it up for bigger events.

May we suggest: Ruffled Babydoll Dress

Blue Ruffled Babydoll Dress

Do the ruffle shuffle in our babydoll dress. Can be worn on or off the shoulders, this dress is designed with an empire waist, an A-line shape and a ruffled hem. It’s an anytime, every time look. It’s so versatile, it can go from a party to a pool cover-up with no hassle.

Closet52 has dresses that are made to flatter every woman. One great hint is to find the design or designs that look good on you and buy them in different fabrics, different colors and different lengths. Then you’ll never go through your closet and say, I don’t have anything to wear.

As you can see, our dresses are extremely versatile and can be worn way beyond Memorial Day. When shopping, it’s also important to look for how many ways you can wear the dress. Your investment is much smarter and goes much further when you change the styling. That doesn’t only mean wearing different shoes or different jewelry (but those do count too). It could mean adding a shrug, a blazer or a hat. Also changing your makeup to be more dramatic in the evening or changing your hair to an updo will make a world of difference to the same dress.

We hope this gives you some ideas on what to wear for your different invitations from casual to patriotic to dressy. We would love to see what dresses you wear for your different Memorial Day outings. Just hashtag #LoveCloset52 on to your social media post.


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