I am often asked questions about the upcoming funeral services and how to prepare for them. One of the most common questions in the past few years has centered on what a person attending a funeral can and should wear.
While there is no specific dress code for a funeral service, it’s always best to dress conservatively. One shouldn’t be afraid of appearing overdressed, as a funeral is a time to honor the deceased and show respect.
Funeral attire for men should always be respectful and conservative. A suit paired with a crisp dress shirt and tie is the standard for men’s funeral attire. A sport jacket, nice pair of slacks paired with a tie and dress shirt is also acceptable. Remember, you don’t want your clothes to draw unnecessary attention. Stick to simple dark colors like black, gray, or dark blue.
Depending on the color of your suit or dress clothes, make sure you wear the appropriate colored shoes to match. For instance, brown shoes pair best with brown, blue, or light gray suits. Black shoes go best with black, dark blue, and dark gray suits.
Much like with clothing, make sure you’re conservative with your jewelry choices as well. Matching the band of a watch to your belt and shoes is a great way to finish your outfit.
Similar to a man’s funeral attire, a woman should make sure that she chooses a conservative outfit to wear—a business suit or a simple dress that covers the shoulders and knees. Again, when it comes to colors, stick to more subtle colors like black, gray, or dark blue. Your outfit should also feature more basic design patterns and avoid clothes that have overly floral or vibrant patterns.
When it comes to jewelry, women should try to keep it to a minimum as well. While it’s ok to wear earrings, a necklace, and rings, stick to wearing just a few simple yet elegant pieces that will compliment your outfit. If you can, try to wear a piece of jewelry that the deceased owned or had gifted to you as a tribute to them.
If you’re unsure about what to wear to a funeral, ask for advice. Whether it’s to the immediate family or us, reach out and ask if your outfit is ok. If you are attending a more informal service, the family may have requested that guests dress in more casual outfits.
The location of a service and time of year should influence your choice in clothing. For instance, the clothes worn for an outdoor ceremony in the summer will be much different than one in the fall or winter. If you are attending a graveside service, the terrain of the cemetery might be difficult to walk across in high heels. You’ll likely be spending a lot of time sitting, standing, and walking when you attend a funeral service. Make sure you pick shoes that you will be comfortable throughout the day.
It’s likely that you will have some clothes that will be appropriate to wear. Remember, you’re there to honor the deceased, so people will be more focused on that rather than what you’ve chosen to wear.