Festival Snobs

What to Wear to a Funeral: Honoring the Dress Codes

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funeral dress code

Funeral dress codes vary greatly. Some people honor the traditional and standard funeral dress code, while others will tell you what they expect you to wear. The latter is easier to dress for since you already have a color, style and actual attire suggestions. Dressing for funerals that don’t give dress code directives is harder.
If you are not part of the funeral arrangements, you can use the following suggestions to choose what to wear to a funeral.

The Right Color 

The traditional funeral color is black. It’s always applicable in most cases, but in some cultures white is considered the color of mourning and grief. Colors like dark grays and deep blues are also acceptable, but sticking to black is an excellent decision especially if you want to blend in. Avoid bright colors like yellow, pink, orange and red. These colors are often associated with celebration, so it is best to avoid them.

Follow Tradition and Be Conservative

Finally, make sure your attire is simple. Avoid over-the-top, elaborately designed clothes that will make you the center of attention. Funeral ceremonies should focus on the deceased and not the mourners.

Doing some research about the culture and religion of the funeral you will be attending will also help you choose the right dress. For instance, showing up in the head cover to a funeral where the presiding religion values such headgear will make you blend in better.

For women, it is best to choose conservative styles and dark colors. Choose a suit, skirts or pants in a solid color that does not show too much skin. A skirt should be the appropriate length, while shoes will depend on the location of the ceremony.

For men, it is best to dress as if you are going to a business meeting. Though you may not need to wear a tie, always choose to wear a suit and slacks. It’s best to wear dark gray or any muted color. It’s best not to wear jeans, sandals, sneakers and baseball hats.

If you want to bring children to a funeral ceremony, parents should choose formal dresses and clothes that they would wear when going to church or a formal occasion.

When to Break Tradition?

woman wearing black dress

There are instances when mourners and family members do not follow these suggestions. When the deceased requested for a service that celebrates life and asked the family and friends to wear something more casual, it is best to give in to their last wishes.

Currently, the traditional attire to funerals is no longer a mandatory requirement. But when you are in doubt, anything along the lines of business casual or Sunday best is acceptable. A polo shirt in the right colors and a pair of nice dark slacks could suffice in most modern funerals. If you’re not sure what to choose, go with the traditional attire. Appearing very formal than turning up to be under dressed is better. Being modest and subdued for a funeral is the best way to show your respect to the dearly departed.

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