Deciding What to Wear at a Funeral: Practical Advice and Tips

Attending a funeral for the first time may leave you wondering about appropriate attire. Our guide offers practical advice and tips to help you navigate this sensitive matter.

Choosing Funeral Attire:

While traditional funeral attire typically consists of black or dark-coloured formal clothing, customs are evolving. Some families now opt for brighter colours that hold significance for the deceased. It’s important to communicate with the family to understand their preferences for personalizing the funeral or specific colours they’d like attendees to wear.

Funeral Outfits: Women’s Ideas:

For a traditional funeral, consider wearing formal attire in dark colours, which need not be limited to black. Grey or burgundy are also suitable options. You can choose a skirt or trousers paired with a plain coloured blouse and blazer-style jacket, or opt for a dark-coloured knee-length or long dress with dark tights. A plain jumper with dark trousers, along with a smart dark-coloured coat, can also be appropriate. Ultimately, prioritize feeling comfortable in your chosen outfit.

Funeral Outfits: Men’s Ideas:

Men’s funeral attire generally adheres to a more uniform standard. Most men opt for a dark or black suit paired with a white shirt, a plain dark tie, and smart shoes. If you don’t have a suit, dark trousers or smart jeans with a long-sleeved shirt, a black tie, and a smart black coat can be a suitable alternative. Remember, the most important thing is to be present, so wear whatever makes you comfortable.

Attending a Summer Funeral:

When attending a funeral on a hot day, select breathable clothing made of materials like cotton or linen. Consider bringing sunglasses for any outdoor components of the service. While a suit is still acceptable, it’s acceptable to remove the jacket if it becomes uncomfortable.

Attending a Winter Funeral:

For funerals during colder weather, dress warmly and layer your outfit. This can include wearing a smart jumper underneath your suit jacket or a plain t-shirt beneath your shirt or blouse. opt for a dark, smart coat and remember to wear a hat, scarf, and gloves. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella in case the weather worsens.

What Not to Wear at a Funeral:

Respect the family’s wishes when it comes to clothing choices. While bright colours or specific themes may be appropriate if requested, it’s generally best to avoid:

– Ripped jeans

– Flip flops or trainers

– Football shirts/sportswear

– Caps

– T-shirts

– Clothing with inappropriate slogans

Understanding the Tradition of Wearing Black:

The tradition of wearing black for funerals dates back centuries and remains prevalent in many cultures worldwide. Black symbolizes understatedness, modesty, and respect, reflecting the sorrow experienced by family and friends, particularly on the day of the funeral. While some families are opting for more colourful funerals to personalize the event, many still adhere to the traditional black attire.

Can I Wear Jeans to a Funeral?

While jeans are not traditionally associated with funeral attire, there is no strict rule against wearing them. In recent years, there has been a shift away from strict formal wear, allowing for more flexibility. If you feel more comfortable in jeans, you can choose to wear them.

When in Doubt, Seek Clarification:

If unsure about the dress code for a specific funeral, it is best to ask. Contact a family member or reach out to the funeral home organizing the service. They will provide guidance on any specific requests or dress preferences made by the family. Remember, what matters most is your presence, not just what you’re wearing.