Proper Attire for a Fundraiser

Formal attire is reserved for only the fanciest of fundraisers.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Raising money for a good cause is seriously cool, whether you're helping to plan the fundraiser or you're handing over the big bucks. There is nothing more in style than giving to those who are less fortunate. Of course, a true fashionista can focus on the downtrodden at the same time that she focuses on her own awesome attire, so use your ability to multi-function to pick the perfect look. Fundraisers can range from the totally casual to the elegantly formal, so plan your outfit based on the type of event you're attending.

Casual

Some fundraisers are held in formal country clubs or expensive restaurants, while others are held at your local public school baseball field. If you're headed to a fundraiser taking place at a field, a local school, a park or something similar and it's called for daytime hours, you can be sure that no one there is wearing a cocktail dress. For these casual fundraisers, you can wear your favorite pair of jeans and the T-shirt of your choice. Make sure you look cute, but most importantly, feel comfortable. Some casual fundraising events offer activities such as relay races and food competitions, so dress to get down and dirty.

School or Group Fundraiser

If you're part of a group going door to door for a fundraiser or trying to raise money for your own school, you can attract more attention if you dress in matching T-shirts. Show your school spirit and devotion by wearing team shirts or tees emblazoned with your school logo. As you sell candy, wrapping paper, raffle tickets or whatever, customers will see that you're truly devoted to the cause and will be more excited about helping you out. The cheapest and easiest thing would be to grab whatever shirts you have lying around, such as a Homecoming shirt from freshman year or your old basketball jersey, but you can also have shirts made specifically for the cause. Thespiritzone.com is one website that specializes in making T-shirts for fundraisers.

Formal

A totally different type of attire would be expected if you've been invited to a formal fundraiser. This includes dinners, evening affairs and cocktail parties and usually takes place at night with an adult-only crowd. For this type of event, you should wear a cocktail dress, little black dress or fancy evening outfit paired with heels. Choose elegant jewelry to go along with your outfit, as well as a pair of high-heeled shoes and a formal purse. As opposed to the messy bun that can be expected of a casual fundraising crowd, your hair should be neatly done and either pulled back or worn down.

Black Tie

A black tie fundraising event is only made for those with serious dough who can afford to donate enough to make the cost of the event worth it. If you've been invited to one of these exclusive affairs, then chances are you can afford to dress the part. For a black tie fundraiser, you are expected to wear a formal evening gown, which is traditionally floor-sweeping length, but has recently been expanded to include any number of lengths. Only real jewelry is expected (as opposed to costume pieces) and should be elegant and upscale. Heels, satin or silk purses and fur wraps are expected, as is neatly done hair.

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