You are reading this because you have received some tragic news and we would first like to give you our sincerest condolences. At a time of deep sadness caused by the passing of a loved one, the last thing on your mind is setting a fashion statement. Deciding what to wear to a funeral can be troublesome, you want to look presentable with limited time and energy to think about everything that goes into such an outfit. We have come up with a few options and alternatives to aid you in your time of grief.

Do’s

  • Dress to blend in, a funeral is certainly not the time to stand out. You want to make sure that the close family is the object of attention.
  • Consider the cultural appropriations, some cultures have specific traditions to funeral attire. For example, If its a celebration of life in some cultures they will wear white. Note, that with specific cultures it is perfectly fine to ask the family or a family member on the preferred attire.
  • Simplicity, Makeup and jewellery should be kept simple. Tip: waterproof mascara
  • Hygiene, maintain good hygiene, men should remember to shave/trim facial hair

Don’ts

  • Underdress, you will see many different fashion choices but it is always better to be on the dressy side as a form of respect. When you undress to an occasion such as this, it shows disrespect.
  • Stand out, if you are unsure of what to wear stick with dark shades rather than colours (brown, grey, black). Remember you’re there to show your support to the loved ones and you want to be respectful
  • Patterns, Stick to muted colours, dark shades. When in doubt dress in black and if you do wear a pattern ensure it is subtle and does not stand out.

What to Wear – Women:

  • You should always dress and appear respectful in the time and place of mourning
  • A dark coloured (brown, grey, black) skirt or pant and blouse
  • Conservative dress in a dark shade that achieves the appropriate length
  • Skirts and dresses should be to the appropriate length (around your knee)
  • Cover shoulders with a blouse or sweater
  • Avoid ‘flashy’ colours and low cut tops or blouses

What to Wear – Men:

  • A dark coloured suit
  • If you feel more comfortable in something less dressy try dark coloured dress pants with a collared shirt and tie
  • Pair with a classic shoe (oxfords)
  • Avoid articles of clothing like jeans, t-shirts and sneakers

Tip: When in doubt think of dressing to a business meeting and remember to always be on the conservative side

Different Cultures

Note: Several religions have specific rules and regulations to oblige by if attending a specific cultural ceremony ensure you’re dressed accordingly.

  • Traditional Jewish funeral services require women to cover their heads with a scarf and sit on the opposite side of the room than men
  • Muslim funeral services may require you to remove your shoes upon entry
  • Buddhist funeral services may have no dress code, but still, ensure you are wearing appropriate clothing to honour the deceased
  • Catholic attire is traditionally more conservative and usually, the colour black is preferred

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