Choosing an attire for a funeral may be difficult, whether you’re looking through your closet for the proper colors to wear to a funeral or need to order something online. One approach to show respect for the occasion is to dress appropriately for a funeral. To the bereaved family, your dress choices might convey sympathy and sadness.
Funeral and memorial dress rules are getting more individualized, but unless you’ve been given explicit instructions, or unless a certain clothing style is a part of your cultural or religious funeral tradition, now is not the time to wear bright, loud colors or a sultry cocktail dress. Instead, think about the message your wardrobe choices are delivering. How can you express your appreciation and affection for the person who has passed away?
Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Colors To Wear To A Funeral
Consult a funeral director or religious leader, or look up typical funeral dos and don’ts on the internet. Dress as though you’re going to a job interview or attending services at the targeted church, temple, or mosque. Depending on the family’s culture and customs, most funeral dress rules range from business casual to more formal clothes.
Make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the occasion. Head coverings and other accouterments may be required or requested in some cultural or religious settings.
Remember that the attire you wear to a funeral or memorial will not only add to the mood of the occasion but will also be captured for posterity in any images taken that day. You want to be able to look back on your funeral attire and feel good about it.
How Not to Dress for a Funeral
If you’re attending a traditional funeral ceremony, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Color: When attending a funeral, what color should you wear? Funeral services are often held in black. Non-black attire, such as dark blue or gray, is often appropriate. To avoid drawing attention away from the individual being recognized, stick to muted colors and fabric textures. Red, hot pink, orange, yellow, and other bright hues should be avoided. Shirts worn beneath darker coats or sweaters are appropriate in white.
- Coverage: Dresses and shirts should be long enough to cover the neck and knees. Avoid wearing anything too exposing.
- Shoes: The greatest way to match the formality of the attire is to wear formal shoes. Avoid sports shoes and flip-flops.
- Casual: If the occasion is informal, stay away from crazy prints and large logos unless the family specifically requests it.
What Men Should Wear to a Funeral
Men’s funeral dress can range from casual to formal, but it generally includes the following:
- A dark, buttoned suit or a blazer is appropriate.
- A collared dress shirt or a casual shirt
- Wear a belt and tuck your shirt in.
- Dress shoes or loafers
- Baseball hats, shorts, jeans, and footwear should be avoided.
- Stick to muted colors like dark hues or earth tones.
While the traditional funeral costume has been a complete suit, many individuals are now opting for “Sunday best” or “business wear” for modern funeral rituals. Slacks with a polo shirt, for example, are often appropriate.
What Women Should Wear at a Funeral
Women’s funeral outfits can be paired with a variety of accessories and combinations. Consider the following possibilities for women’s funeral attire:
- A dark-colored dress
- A skirt paired with a blouse or a sweater
- Slacks and a jacket are included in this pantsuit set.
- Sundresses that are too bright should be avoided.
- If desired, jewelry or color accents might be added to the ensemble.
A black dress suit or dress is the typical attire for a formal funeral. Women should wear dresses or skirts that reach the knees and cover their shoulders.
In the Summer, What to Wear to a Funeral
Even if it’s hot outside, your funeral attire should not be too exposed. Here are some helpful tips for summer services:
- Layering: If you are in a facility with air conditioning, the funeral ceremony may be cool. Many folks think that having a jacket or sweater to wear during the sessions is advantageous. When heading to the cemetery for a burial service, this extra coat can be removed. The base layer should be made of a lightweight fabric that is cool to the touch.
- Sandals: Choose simple, beautiful shoes that complement the dress or pantsuit if you want to keep your feet cool. Dress shoes and slacks are the most common choices for men. Avoid wearing flip-flops or other casual footwear.
- Colors: It might be hot to wear black in the sun. You could want to go with a softer hue like gray or brown.
- Accessories: Sunglasses and a hat are necessary for coping with the heat. Choose plain, black sunglasses that aren’t adorned with summery patterns. When using an umbrella to provide shelter in the sun, make careful to remain towards the back of the crowd to prevent obscuring the view.
In the Winter, What to Wear to a Funeral
In the winter, adhere to the same clothing code as in the summer. However, you must ensure that you will be sufficiently warm when standing outside:
- Coat: Dress it up with a coat, such as a classic wool button-up in muted tones.
- Accessories: Scarves, gloves, and hats are just a few of the items that may help you stay warm in chilly weather. If it is snowing or pouring, a black umbrella might be utilized for protection.
- Shoes: Sandals and open-toed shoes should be avoided. Rain boots are ideal if it is raining outside.
Other End-of-Life Services: What to Wear
While suitable funeral clothes are generally expected for upper-class, high-profile funerals, there may be no such requirement at non-traditional funerals. The suggestions listed above are for conventional funeral services. With the passage of time, however, more families are opting for less-formal celebrations, allowing participants to be more casual in their attire.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most typical wardrobe suggestions for non-traditional services:
- What should you wear at a funeral? To assess the formality of the memorial ceremony, ask questions. Because a memorial may be just as formal as a regular funeral, you should dress according to the criteria outlined above. Other memorial rituals are more informal, such as a backyard gathering or on-site ashes sprinkling. Seek advice from family members for outfit suggestions.
- What should you wear to a viewing? A viewing is frequently held prior to the funeral ceremony. As a result, it’s ideal to dress the same for both the viewing and the funeral. Traditional funeral rituals and viewings frequently necessitate more traditional funeral clothes.
- What should you wear to a memorial service? Somber or black apparel may not be appropriate for this event because it is intended to be joyous. Attendees are sometimes encouraged to dress up in bright colors, costumes, or attire to complement the event’s theme. For example, if you’re attending a memorial service with a BBQ and tailgate theme, your favorite jeans and sports jersey would be acceptable.
When in doubt, modest or traditional funeral attire is typically the best choice. If you’re not familiar with the service site or the family, go for the overdressed look rather than the underdressed look.
There’s no reason why you can’t dress for a funeral in a way that is both practical and stylish. The most essential thing to remember is that the funeral dress code represents the family’s desires for honoring their loved one. Their preferred funeral or memorial attire may be more or less recognizable to you, depending on their faith and formality. Do not be scared to inquire about what to dress at a funeral. It’s a show of respect to the desire to dress properly, therefore bravo for being considerate!