What To Wear To A Funeral | Do and Don’t

Your outfit is an important element in showing respect at a funeral. It’s true that you must not wear black. But you do have to follow a few rules while deciding what to wear to a funeral.

It’s always expected for people to wear black because it represents mourning. This expectation is a lot less rigid now. But we do suggest wearing black if you’re a close relative or friend.

You can also check out our post about what to wear to baptism and what to wear to a memorial service.

Funeral Outfits: Dos & Don’ts

Before choosing your funeral clothes, get some facts straight. You have to follow funeral etiquette.

Dos

  • Choose your dress for the funeral as you would choose your interview outfit. Formal and decent.
  • If you don’t go for black, choose something close to black. Gray and deep blue are considered proper funeral attire too.
  • Try to blend in with everyone. Follow the funeral dress code. Keep in mind that a funeral is not a place to stand out in the crowd.
  • Choose the dress for the funeral according to the environment and culture. Everyone has their way of performing a funeral.

Don’ts

  • Do not choose bright colors like red, orange, yellow, etc. Bright color does not go with funeral etiquette.
  • Avoid colorful accessories.
  • Women should avoid wearing something that’s too revealing.
  • Do not wear flip flops to a funeral.

Funeral Outfits for Men

There aren’t many variations in funeral attire for men. You have to stick to a certain funeral dress code if not stated otherwise by the deceased’s family.

You can choose any one of the following for a funeral-

1. Suit With Tie To Wear Funeral

A black suit is the most appropriate funeral attire for men. Combine it with a collared white shirt. For shoes, you can wear dress shoes If you want to use accessories, try silver tie clips. You can also use cufflinks.

Suit with tie To Wear To A Funeral, funeral dress code

Source: Pinterest

2.A button-down Shirt With Tie and Belt

If you’re not considering a suit, try wearing a full sleeve shirt. To move on from the traditional black, choose dark blue. Combine it with a pair of black pants.

For accessories, wear a belt, a watch, and a tie clip. You can keep your sleeves folded if you wish. It’s not improper.

Button down shirt,how to dress for a funeral,

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3. Full-sleeve Shirt With Tie and Vest

A black vest with a white shirt is also a good combination for a funeral. Wear black pants. As for the accessories, you can wear a belt and a watch.

Full-sleeve shirt with tie and vest to wear in funeral.

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4. Shirt and tie with a sweater

For a winter funeral and a less formal outfit, you can choose a sweater over your shirt. Don’t forget to wear ties. Choose the shirt color something other than black.

The pants must be black. It’s better if the sweater is black too. No accessories with this one.

Shirt and tie with a sweater for winter funeral

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Color Should Choose Funeral Outfit

You can swap the following colors among the outfits mentioned above.

  1. Black
  2. Dark blue
  3. Gray

Accessories Should Take For Funeral Outfit

To generalize all proper accessories for a funeral, men can choose a dark-colored tie, tie clip, belt, and suitable cufflinks and pocket square.

What To Wear To Funeral For Women

There are a few types of funeral attires women can go for. The variations for women are a bit more diverse than men.

1. Knee-length Skirt With a Blouse.

Skirts are comfortable for the summer environment. Wear a black blouse with a modest sleeve length. The skirt should be at least long enough to cover your knees.

You can wear simple jewelry like a bracelet with this outfit. Wear sunglasses and carry a small bag. Wear black shoes.

Knee-length Skirt With a Blouse for funeral

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2. Pantsuit To Wear in Funeral

As we mentioned earlier, dressing for a funeral is a lot like dressing for an interview. Choose a white inner and wear a black pantsuit. No jewelry with this one. Wear black heels.

Pantsuit To wear in Funeral

3. Long-sleeve Top With Pants

If you’re seeking comfort, choose a loose-fitting top with long sleeves. Combine it with high waist dress pants. Avoid jeans. Wear a watch and carry a black handbag. Finish it up with black heels.

Long-sleeve Top With Pants, what to wear to a funeral
Long-sleeve Top With Pants

4. Knee-Length Dress

Moving on from the traditional black dress, go for a modest deep blue dress. The dress should cover your thighs and shoulders well enough.

Wear matching heels and carry a different color handbag. Wear simple white stone jewelry. A bracelet, a locket, and a ring.

what to wear to a funeral

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Color That Goes With Funeral

For color variations, you can choose-

  • Deep Blue
  • Gray
  • Dark Brown

Accessories That Goes With Funeral

Your accessories shouldn’t be too funky. You can wear sunglasses, a hat too if the environment allows it. Other than that, carry only the things you need.

Maybe a handbag to carry a few things. You can also wear a headband if you want. As for jewelry, keep it simple and choose colors like black and white.

Funeral Outfit Ideas for Kids & Teenagers

Kids and teenagers should follow what their guardian figure is wearing. They should also choose dark colors and avoid bright colors and prints.

Things to Know Before Choosing Your Funeral clothes

  • Women should keep their shoulders covered. Wear something decent and modest.
  • Men should not wear sneakers or sports shoes for a funeral. Men should wear dress shoes.
  • Men should avoid jeans, caps, polo shirt and short-sleeved shirts too.
  • Avoid any outfit that attracts the attention of the crowd.
  • Choose the fabric depending on the weather or you can experience discomfort.

Question That Asks Our Readers

What is appropriate to wear to a funeral?

The most appropriate attire to wear to a funeral is usually dark and conservative. Items such as jewelry or clothing that contain unneeded distractions will help you maintain a solemn atmosphere. Ladies may choose to wear subdued makeup, but it is okay for this not to be the case. However, if they do wear makeup it should be subtle and conservative- more classy than fancy.

Men should also consider wearing black suits with either matching or an appropriately contrasting tie. Shoes should match the color of one’s suit pants or tie in order to avoid unnecessary distraction on top of the seriousness of the situation.

A person does not need to dress up more than someone who ordinarily wears “business clothes” because, frankly, your loved ones don’t deserve any less respect. Even if they were close to the deceased, one should still maintain modest respect for the person’s family.

For visitors, it is usually best to wear something conservative and neat such as dark dress pants and a button-up shirt with closed-toe shoes. For children or teens, consider wearing special clothes that don’t require buttons or zippers, such as a simple dress or shirt and pants.

What is disrespectful to wear to traditional funerals?

It is disrespectful to wear anything that is too casual such as jeans or shorts. Respectful outfits would be something like a nice shirt and dress pants.

A funeral, liturgical service, wake, wake service, memorial services – whatever you call it – should all follow similar etiquette guidelines because everyone should feel welcome and comfortable.

All clothing should adhere to certain laws of decorum:

  • no tank tops or other revealing clothes;
  • no sleeveless dresses;
  • no visible logos outside the home; etc.

Men’s suits are also customary for those paying respects because they represent formality (and leaving their coat over their arm symbolizes preparing one’s spirit for the transition).

What to wear to a funeral, if not black?

White, but only if the deceased was a woman.

It can be hard to find anything to wear when we’re in mourning and grieving for someone we love. However, it really doesn’t matter what color clothing you wear to a funeral service–it’s about honoring the person who died by coming together with others in the community to grieve their death.

I encourage people not to use this rule as grounds for wearing black or other dark colors though because it sends an implication that the person is still dying rather than celebrating fully living.

What should a toddler wear to a funeral?

It depends on the setting, such as if it’s a formal funeral or not.

Typically kids should bring a little bag with some crayons and something to color with. If it’s an afternoon ceremony or outside, they may want to bring a water bottle and hat for shade/sun protection. Obviously, kids don’t need any kind of dress clothes unless you’re going to a more formal event that has been planned out in advance. Most importantly please get permission from family members about what your child can participate in before going!

What to wear to a funeral in winter?

The best thing to wear in winter is a wool coat. Layers are best for warmth when the temperature fluctuates, and a scarf will add color and warmth to your outfit if needed.

What to wear to a funeral in the summer?

Consider selecting light colors. Black, dark grays and navy are the most traditional colors to wear to a funeral, which means that brighter shades may not match well with many outfits. Darker items of clothing will also absorb more heat from the sun so these clothes will be hotter during warmer weather which is unfortunate but true.

Bottom Line

Deciding what to wear to a funeral comes with a lot of other questions. What color should you choose, what accessories are proper, what you should and shouldn’t choose, and so on. But the primary question is how to dress for a funeral. The rest of the things can be adjusted with the outfit. Go through all the details and make sure you follow them to show proper respect to the deceased. Keep in mind that every funeral has a different environment. We will suggest you adjust your outfit according to that environment.

Don’t forget to tell us if we missed something. We would like to know your opinion about our guide to proper dressing.

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