We have prepared a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to what is appropriate attire for a funeral. When you think of a loved one’s passing and attending a funeral, you likely immediately think of the color black. While this is the most common hue worn, there are other opportunities to express oneself and not have to wear traditional black.
Traditional Do’s and Don’ts
- Business or business casual attire is suitable for a funeral. Wearing dark colors such as black, navy, charcoal, or purple are acceptable. It is recommended that men wear a sweater or suit and tie. Most women tend to wear casual or fancy dresses, but even an office wear business suit will suffice.
- Makeup and jewelry should be kept simple. A simple necklace and earrings is respectable.
- Dependent on the time of year and location, appropriate and comfortable shoes should be worn.
- Make sure to maintain good hygiene. Men should remember to shave and/or trim facial hair.
- Bring a black umbrella as you never know what the weather will do!
- Jeans and shorts should be avoided. You do not want to be underdressed and stand out in the group.
- Women should not expose their shoulders as it is considered poor taste. If you decide to go sleeveless, consider wearing a shawl or oversized scarf.
- Do not pair your dress with leggings. Always wear black tights for a more professional look.
- Avoid bright lipstick, if any at all. As with clothing, you’re makeup should not make you stand out.
- High heels should not be worn, but mid-size heels are acceptable.
Families often opt to celebrate the life of their loved one honoring a special hobby, sports team or event in their lives. The attire for these weddings is at the discretion of the family. They may even hold a party instead of a funeral. In these situations, use your best judgment and dress accordingly.
Several religions have specific funeral requirements. Be aware that you may have to conform to these faith and cultural traditions. It is a good idea to look into these traditions so you are prepared when attending services. A few examples are listed below:
- Jewish funeral services will require women to cover their heads with a scarf and sit in a different section than men. Some synagogues may provide complementary head coverings at the entrance.
- Muslim funeral services may require you to remove your shoes before entering.
- Buddhist funeral services may have no dress code whatsoever. Many religious funeral services require women to dress very modestly and to cover bare skin.
We hope that we were able to provide some good tips and information about what to wear and what not to wear to a funeral. The clothes you wear to a funeral say a lot about your respect and your condolence for the family and the deceased. The most important things to always remember are modesty and respect of the friends and family of the deceased.