Funerals are solemn events that require a high level of modesty, dignity, and sensitivity. Wearing appropriate attire at a funeral is one of the best ways to show respect to both the deceased and their family and friends.
According to Everplans, “When deciding what to wear to a funeral or memorial service, think about what you might wear to a business meeting, a job interview, or church or synagogue. While black clothing is almost always appropriate, clothing of other colors may also be worn. In general, an outfit worn to a funeral should be fairly conservative, both in terms of color and style.”
While black is the traditional color of mourning, other dark colors such as navy, charcoal gray, and dark brown are also acceptable. Try to dress conservatively and avoid bright or flashy colors. Funerals are not the time to draw attention to yourself or to make a fashion statement. You should avoid wearing anything that's too revealing, tight-fitting, colorful, or flashy.
If you follow the guidelines below, you will be showing your respect to the deceased and to the deceased’s loved ones.
What to wear for Men: Men should either wear a dark suit and tie or a collared, button-down shirt with dress pants and a belt. A dark-colored blazer is also appropriate. Dress shoes or loafers should be worn. Avoid wearing casual clothes such as jeans, short-sleeved shirts, athletic shoes, and baseball caps.
What to wear for Women: Women can wear a dress, skirt, pantsuit, or skirt suit in a conservative style and color. The length of the dress or skirt should be at or below the knee. Pants with a top with sleeves, a blouse, or a sweater are also considered appropriate attire. Shoes should be dressy and closed-toe, such as pumps or flats. Accessories should be minimal and not too flashy. Women may wear hats to funerals in some religions and cultures, but make sure it's a conservative style and color.
Avoid wearing revealing or tight-fitting clothing, sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers. Also, avoid wearing jewelry or anything that makes noise. A simple necklace, earrings, or bracelet is appropriate. "You can still wear jewelry as long as you don't wear a fashion statement," says Maryanne Parker, founder of Manor of Manners and author of Posh Overnight: The 10 Pillars of Social Etiquette, on CountryLiving.com.
Religious Customs for Funeral Attire: In some cultures, black clothing is considered traditional for mourning, while in other religions and cultures, such as a Quaker funeral, black clothing isn't considered a symbol of mourning. In some religious services, there may be additional guidelines for men’s and women’s clothing, such as head coverings for both men and women, or full-length skirts and tops for women, such as at a Jewish funeral. For more information on religious funeral traditions, read this article.
Funerals are occasions to pay your last respects to the deceased and to show respect to their loved ones. Dressing in an appropriate manner shows that you respect and honor the occasion. Remember to dress conservatively and wear dark colors. Men should wear a suit and tie or a dress shirt and dress pants. Women can wear a dress, skirt, or pantsuit in a conventional style and color. Shoes should be dressy and closed-toe, avoiding sandals, sneakers, and flip flops. Accessories should be minimal and quiet. If you're not sure what to wear, it's best to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively.
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