What to Wear to a Funeral

Though the definition of appropriate funeral attire varies a lot across different cultures and religions, you may want to pay one’s last respects to the deceased and support their family through your modest and respectable dressing. Keep on reading for “dressy” and “modest” ways to look and feel appropriate.

cut out dress with sandals

dress pants with turtleneck and blazer white vintage dress slim belt with full skirt and navy top black dress with laceup heels

When choosing your outfit, keep it dressy and formal. This means that skinny jeans and denim shorts are out of the equation. Wearing jeans or the same clothes you would wear to a backyard barbecue show a great lack of care and respect for the persons who are grieving for their loss. Skirts and dresses are the traditional choices, but dress slacks are just as acceptable as long as they’re clean, neat, and well-pressed. Never wear the same old wrinkled shirt, blue jeans, flip-flops, sandals, or sneakers. Closed toe shoes are not a must but covering up neon toenail polish is a good idea.

black and gray outfit coat with lace dress nude dress with ckunky heels nude lace top and black lace skirt white shirtdress with heels

Always keep modesty in mind as tailored clothing is fabulous, but anything too alluring is inappropriate for attending the funeral. Though some religions impose strict standards of modesty on women, skipping body tight fits, plunging necklines, short hemlines, and sheer clothing would be desirable. If an item of clothing is too short or too sheer, you must layer outerwear like a decent coat, trench coat, blazer, cardigan and such to keep your skin covered and your outfit funeral-appropriate.

black maxi dress black top with statement skirt black trtleneck with lace skirt navy dress with brown belt and clogs

While black is still best shade, especially for the immediate family of the deceased, as a guest, you have more options as long as the colors are subdued, conservative, and respectful to the event. Wearing a color other than black is no longer a sign of disrespect, as long as the color isn’t bright or wildly patterned. You may think of dark and muted colors like black, gray, navy, and brown, but skip those too bright, flashy, or bold colors. Even for your accessories and makeup, there must not be lively pops of color especially reds, oranges, bright greens, yellows and anything that has bright and cheery hues. In many cultures, bright red is a color for a festival that’s inappropriate for a funeral.

striped top with trousers striped top with maxi skirt knitted top with coat and boots graphic print pants with chic top checkered outfit with patent pants

You may still wear patterns and prints as long as you’re skipping those cheery, bold, and loud colors. You may still wear floral prints and animal prints, but go for ones with tamed prints and subdued color. For a safe choice, you may go for stripes, chevron, polka dots, houndstooth, checks, plaids, and such in neutral shades of black, white, brown, navy, or dark red. Even it’s a classic print but in cheery colors, better skip it and go for a neutral colored ensemble than looking disrespectful and inconsiderate on the funeral you’re going for.


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