What should I wear to a funeral?
Choosing what to wear to a funeral is an outfit dilemma you don’t really want to find yourself in. This blog is designed to help that decision as simple and stress-free as possible.
As a woman, choosing what to wear to a funeral is an outfit dilemma you don’t really want to find yourself in. It may be a little overwhelming to choose an outfit and preparing for a funeral can be an emotional experience.
You don’t have to buy a new outfit for a funeral. Especially if you don’t have the time or inclination to venture to the shops at this time. Your outfit should be the perfect mix between allowing you to feel comfortable and yourself, while ensuring you are respectful towards the deceased and the wishes of the family, if you are attending as a guest.
If you don’t feel comfortable dressing all in black, perhaps opt for darker tones such as navy, dark green or grey.
Have the family asked you to wear an item of a specific colour? Perhaps it was the deceased’s favourite colour. Opt for an accessory, such as a scarf or earrings to achieve this. Colourful personalised funerals are becoming more popular and you can read more about these here.
What is appropriate to wear at a funeral?
Traditionally, it has been common for funerals to have a black dress code, with mourners opting for something smart and respectful. So put away those mini LBD’s, sheer low cut tops and shorts! Instead you should be looking for something below the knee or a trouser suit. If you are unsure what to wear, please speak to one of our team who can provide guidance on appropriate funeral attire.
Sunglasses are appropriate at a funeral, particularly if you don’t want to feel watched or if things get too much for you.
What isn’t appropriate to wear at a funeral?
Anything that is really revealing or overly casual.
Bright colours should be avoided unless the family have specifically requested so.
Keep accessories to a minimum – remember less is more. Perhaps opt for something classic and understated.
Do not wear flip flops or trainers to a funeral.
Some helpful tips
- Consider bringing a jacket to wear, as venue can get cold.
- A dress with pockets will alleviate the need to dig in your handbag for tissues.
- Smart but comfortable shoes are a must. Avoid stilettos if you will be attending a burial.
- Hats or headwear is appropriate for very traditional funerals, just remember smaller is better so you don’t block someone else’s view in church.
What to wear to a funeral as a man
Traditional funeral attire for men is quite simple. A smart dark or black suit, a white shirt with collar, dark tie and smart shoes make a standard funeral attire. Suits aren’t compulsory however, you should wear what you feel comfortable in. Perhaps a smart pair of jeans or chinos.
What can children wear to funerals
Children can wear something smart – it’s more relaxed these days for them to attend.
Dressing for a winter or summer funeral
Depending on the time of year, may mean you have to dress slightly differently at a funeral. If it’s a hot day, you may opt for a lighter weight dress, skirt or suit. Men can remove their suit jacket too. During winter funerals, when the weather is colder, it’s standard practice to opt for layers and a coat, scarf and gloves.
Religious funeral dress code
If you are attending a religious funeral, then you should make yourself aware of the customs which are followed by that particular faith. A summary of the different faiths are noted below:
- Catholic funerals – you are usually expected to wear dark, modest clothing.
- Buddhist funerals – the family of the deceased will traditionally wear white or cover themselves with a white cloth. Attendees are expected to wear simple black or dark clothing.
- Christian funerals – similar to Catholic funerals, etiquette encourages dark, modest clothing.
- Hindu funerals – unlike other religions, white is considered the primary colour of mourning at a Hindu funeral.
- Jewish funerals – black is most commonly worn at a Jewish funeral, but dark colours are also accepted.
- Muslim funerals – all attendees are required to dress modestly and wear black or dark colours.
- Sikh funerals – traditionally, in Asian culture, white is seen as the colour of mourning, however, black, navy or grey is more common if the funeral takes place in Western society.