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Funeral Dress Code: What to Wear to a Funeral

If you’ve been invited to a funeral service, showing respect to the memory of the person who departed and the people grieving with the loss is important to show you cared for the person. A part of proper funeral etiquette is funeral dress codes.

Have you been invited to a funeral and want to know if your attire is fit for the funeral dress code? We share this practical guide so you can dress appropriately at a funeral.

General Recommendations

Black is the most common color to wear to a funeral. However, when attending a funeral service, a memorial service, or a celebration of life there is more to consider than just wearing black.

Color is crucial for the funeral dress code. In most cases the go-to color is black, but there are times where black is reserved for the family members or you don’t own anything black. If you can’t wear black, some staple colors to wear at a funeral are dark and muted tones such as navy blue, charcoal, deep greys, maroons, deep purple, etc.

No matter what style or shade you are going for within the range of alternatives, looking well-groomed is always a must and you should opt for looking presentable.

Celebrations of life are becoming more popular nowadays and the best part about them is that everything, including the dress code, is personalized to the deceased member’s past interests. The rule of gold, in any case, is dressing according to the service you are going to attend, following the requested dress code.

Whenever you are unsure about the funeral dress code, you can never go wrong with a conservative attire. You can still portray your style through your funeral outfit, just try to stay within the guidelines as they can ensure you show the due respect to the family’s loss.

Just like your clothes, accessories play a major role in the complete outfit. If you wear a black suit with a red tie or a navy dress with a big coral necklace, you will call attention the wrong way. It’s better to reserve any bright or prominent items for other occasions. This also applies to hair and jewelry for both men and women. Nothing too extravagant will distract you or the guests from the true essence of the ceremony.

Another recommendation when dressing for a funeral is considering time, weather and comfort. Evening or night ceremonies are more formal than daytime ceremonies. Check out the weather prior to the event to choose your garment accordingly, trying to stay as comfortable as possible.

And last but not least, an item you shouldn’t miss when attending a funeral ceremony is a handkerchief. Make sure to take your own and some extra ones if you can for anyone who needs them.

Other Colors for Mourning

Generally yes, but there are different cultures and places in the world who wear other mourning colors such as white to symbolize purity and rebirth, commonly seen in Eastern Asia. Other mourning colors may be red and purple.

For Ladies

Women’s attire at a funeral can be diverse from a dress to a skirt, or pantsuits. Any piece that’s covered up and modest is a great choice. 

Consider covering knees, back, and shoulders. Long skirts or dresses are considered excellent pieces for feminine funeral dress code, however, if you consider the length is too short, you can wear tights with your skirt or dress for added elegance. To cover up back and shoulders, a stylish blazer or a cozy cardigan will do the trick.

Modest can still be chic at a funeral if you don’t overdo it. You can play with patterns and textures on your outfit very subtly. 

When accessorizing and styling, easy and minimal are great concepts to have in mind. It’s preferable to tone down jewelry and other accessories as well as the makeup. Last but not least, select some simple shoes such as low-heels, boots, or flats and a handbag to go with your outfit and you’re ready to go.

For Men

Suits are the best attire to attend a funeral service as a guy. To follow a funeral dress code, your outfit or suit has to be formal, similar to what you’d wear for a job interview.

Covering legs, back, and shoulders are necessary. Therefore, you have to avoid garments such as shorts or t-shirts unless it’s a celebration of life or you want to commemorate the person in a special way. If you don’t want to wear a suit, you can’t go wrong with a grey blazer and navy pants or a button shirt with a tie.

As far as what shirt, accessories and shoes to pair with your suit, the more subtle you are, the better. A classic white shirt is the best option to wear with the suit. Try to stick to solid ties and accessories but again,  you can still play with a simple pattern.

Once you add your black shoes and calf socks to cover the leg, your funeral attire is done.

What you wear when you show up to a funeral can demonstrate how much you cared and respected the person who passed away. The most important thing is to be there to offer your support for the loss. For more advice and funeral services, get in touch with Funeral Caring USA today.

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