Home » What To Wear To A Retirement Party: 3 Tips And Ideas

What To Wear To A Retirement Party: 3 Tips And Ideas

Office parties are not like regular parties. Although you get the opportunity to interact with your colleagues in a more informal setting, they are still your professional acquaintances. And retirement parties have still more formal overtones, which is why dressing appropriately for the party is crucial.

If invited to a retirement party, you should pay special attention to dressing well. This is because a retirement party celebrates a person’s life and achievements in the organization, and dressing well is a mark of showing respect for the person.

Putting some thought into your attire will help you appear more confident. After all, many of your coworkers, including your senior colleagues, will be attending as well. Moreover, the person who is retiring will also feel good when you approach them.

Since a retiree is usually above 55 years of age or includes early retirees, it is important to dress appropriately for the event. This is also because elderly people love to dress elegantly for any event.

For them, clothes make a man or a woman. And since there will be many belonging to the senior age group at the party, you would also love to look your best among them.

Is it Necessary to Follow Dress Code During a Retirement Party?

Is it Necessary to Follow Dress Code During a Retirement Party?

Dress codes are in place for a reason, and you should follow them meticulously during a retirement party. It is usually a black-tie event, and you are requested to dress formally.

On the other hand, some retirement parties can be a lot of fun, especially if the retiree is a fun-loving person with a great rapport with their coworkers. So some retirement parties have fun themes like jungle safari or water sports. In such cases, you can dress as the occasion demands.

However, most retirement parties are formal or at least semi-formal in nature. So you should follow a dress code, in case one is specified. If there isn’t one, dress respectably and elegantly to the best of your ability. If you are unsure, you can ask the host about the dress code.

Tips For Dressing For a Retirement Party

Here are some tips for dressing for a retirement party, depending on various categories of dressing. They apply to both men and women and can help you put together elegant attire and look spectacular.

1. Formal Dressing

Formal Dressing

If you are dressing formally, it is appropriate for interviews and retirement parties, here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Ensure your tuxedo, formal dress, or gown is well-pressed and well-stitched. A well-cut suit that fits you well goes a long way.
  • Match your accessories with your attire. Avoid flashy jewelry or loud makeup with formal attire.
  • Match your shoes with what you are wearing. Avoid open-toed sandals and only invest in good dress shoes.
  • Cover up your tattoos. They do not go well with formal outfits.
  • Opt for classic styles and muted colors. You may add a pop of color with a handkerchief or a scarf, but overall, avoid busy prints and vibrant patterns.

2. Semi-Formal Outfit

Semi-Formal Outfit

Unless formal attire has been specifically mentioned in the dress code, semi-formal attire is the best option for a retirement party as it lends you greater flexibility.

  • You can be more flexible with the semi-formal outfit, so a blazer or jacket can work well. Make sure it fits you well and is not drooping at the shoulders.
  • Dress pants are a great choice, but they should be well-pressed. Be careful about the choice of fabric. While men can opt for a wool blend, women can also try satin.
  • Your outfit can be fun and colorful but remember not to go overboard. Make sure if you are adding colors to the outfit, they are well-coordinated.
  • Women can wear cocktail dresses or mid-length gowns but avoid wearing anything too revealing.

3. Casual Attire

Casual Attire

If the ambiance of the party is informal and you are allowed to come in casual wear, then you have quite a few options.

  • You can dress in almost any outfit you like, yet you still need to be mindful that this is a retirement party for a senior colleague. Hence, avoid any revealing outfits or something too flashy.
  • It would be best if you remembered that casual does not mean careless. It would be best if you still put together an appropriate outfit. It should not just look like you strolled in after a trip to the groceries!
  • Invest in a good pair of straight-legged jeans or well-fitted khakis. They may be casual yet still look good. Pair it with a classy top or a good shirt. You can add color and prints to match the laid-back vibe.

Other Aspects of Dressing For a Retirement Party

Here are some other things to remember when you dress for someone’s retirement:

1. Grooming


Grooming is essential before heading to any gathering. Or else, no matter how expensive an outfit you wear, you will not look good.

  • Men should be clean-shaven or have their beards trimmed professionally before the party.
  • Make sure your hair is in place. Use gel to keep your hair in place if you have frizzy or flyaway hair. This is true for both men and women.
  • Women should ideally have a manicure and pedicure.
  • Avoid loud and heavy makeup or resist getting a fake tan, in case it is an outdoor party. Keep things soft and natural as much as possible.

2. Bags


Bags are an essential part of your outfit, and you must have them to carry your belongings. The right bag can make or break your outfit.

  • Carry a bag that goes with your outfit but is also big enough to carry your essentials. If you are going to the party right after office hours, it can hold all the necessary items you need to change for the party.
  • Men can opt for sleek bags that carry their essentials and go well with their formal or semi-formal outfits. Sticking to staples like leather usually helps as they are classics, and you can never go wrong with them.
  • Women can experiment more with their bags but try not to carry anything too blingy. On the other hand, if you have kept the rest of your outfit muted, you can add a dash of color with a classy clutch. A classic tote can be ideal if you have other items to carry.

3. Footwear


Your shoes or sandals will bring your entire look together, so the right footwear is essential.

  • Invest in a good pair of shoes. Avoid shoes that make a lot of noise while walking.
  • Be particular about the kind of shoes you are wearing with your outfit. While you can wear sneakers with a casual outfit, it is a no-no with formal ones.
  • Ladies should invest in dress shoes with block heels or wedges. Avoid uncomfortable stilettos if you do not feel good in them or have plans to dance quite a bit.

4. Jewelry


Both men and women can jazz up their outfits a bit by adding some light and classic jewelry.

  • Men can add cufflinks, a sleek chain, rings, or even minimalist ear studs if they can pull it off.
  • Women can wear a nice bracelet, earrings, a classy brooch, or a wonderful pendant with a chain. Avoid anything too sparkly and stick to the classics.
  • If you want to stand out for your jewelry, then wear something that has more craftsmanship rather than something too heavy or chunky.

Mistakes to Avoid While Choosing an Outfit For a Retirement Party

Mistakes to Avoid While Choosing an Outfit For a Retirement Party

Here are some mistakes you must avoid while dressing for a retirement party.

  • Always dress according to your body type. This is not a place to experiment with your outfits.
  • Do not try to be who you are with your attire. Remember, you are at the party to show your respect to the retiree and not just to improve your own networking.
  • Your outfit, jewelry, or accessory should not seem too out of place or outlandish, even if you thought adding some personal touch would be a good idea. Remember that you will have to return to your workplace again, and many of those who were at the party will see you again at work. You do not want to be the topic of discussion for the rest of the month.
  • Do not try too hard with your outfit, either. Your look should be effortless and comfortable, and trying too hard will make you look tense and out of place. Your primary focus should be on the retiree and looking presentable and approachable.


Like any other party, a retirement party is also a place to connect with people. Yet, it has a somewhat somber ambiance as one of the senior members of the organization would be leaving forever.

Things can become more difficult and emotional for you if you were close to the retiree, especially on their last day of work, such as a mentor or supervisor who has taught you a lot. How you dress would also be a mark of respect to the person. So give some thought to your outfit, and you will look and feel your best.