What To Wear to a Funeral
Knowing what funeral attire is and isn’t acceptable is an important part of attending a funeral, and expectations can vary substantially between services. The general guideline is that your clothes should not draw attention to you; the focus should be on the reason you’re gathered at the service.
Of course, you want to feel comfortable that you’re making the right, respectful choices. Appropriate attire can vary depending on culture, family wishes and the place of the funeral, but we’ve covered some of the more traditional funeral attire guidelines to help.
General funeral attire tips
There are some widespread guidelines that apply to most (but not all) funerals.
- Be conservative
- Wear black or dark colours
- Ensure shirts don’t have an open neck
- Keep jewellery simple and understated
- Wear shoes with a closed toe
- Keep makeup to a minimum
- A formal jacket often comes in useful
- Be considerate of any religious requirements
What not to wear
There are many things it’s recommended you avoid when it comes to choosing attire for a funeral. As a general guideline if you’re unsure, think about what you’d usually wear to a church service. Here are some things that you shouldn’t wear to a funeral (unless the family has specifically requested that you do):
- Party clothes (anything too loud or attention grabbing)
- Anything that’s culturally inappropriate
- Statement fashion
- Flip-flops, sneakers or very high heels
- Anything that reveals too much skin
- Noisy jewellery
- Baseball caps
- Clothes that are ripped or torn
- T-shirts with vibrant prints
- Bright sun dresses or shorts
Ask the family for any specific guidelines
Sometimes, families will request that you don’t wear traditional funeral attire, and instead opt for something that reflects the individual life being celebrated.
For example, some funerals are viewed as a celebration, and a means to mark the upbeat nature of the recently departed. In these circumstances, you may be asked to wear vibrant colours, or even fancy dress. You should also bear in mind funeral attire for different cultural or religious purposes; some Asian cultures prefer you to wear white, and some African colours favour red and black, for example.
Standard funeral outfits for men:
- Black or dark suit with a tie
- Buttoned up shirt (which can be white if it’s underneath a smart black jacket)
- Smart polo shirt with trousers
- Long sleeved shirts with a collar
- Dress shoes
Standard funeral outfits for women:
- Skirt or pant suit
- Something that doesn’t have a low neckline or high hemline
- Smart dress
- Skirt and blouse
- Pants and a top with sleeves
- Dark colours, though tasteful accent colours may be acceptable
Contact Fry Bros
Fry Bros has been helping families to plan beautiful farewells for their loved ones since 1889, servicing Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley. We believe that each life is unique and should be remembered as so, so we’ll help you with the entire planning process – from choosing a location to planning finer details such as how you wish guests to dress for the service.
We’re available for a chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so feel free to call us on 0249336155 whenever you’re ready.