9 Types of Clothes to Wear at a Funeral

Weddings and funerals – two occasions where you either need to purchase a new wardrobe or dig through your closet to find something appropriate to wear. But while this may be difficult for cash-strapped folks or individuals who do not sport such professional clothing, using common sense may be a bit more necessary than anything else.

When choosing clothes to wear to a funeral, it is best to employ the three Ps:

  • Professional
  • Polite
  • Plodding

That said, here are nine types of clothes to wear to a funeral:

1. For Both Genders: Be Conservative

The most important thing for men and women to understand is to dress in a conservative manner. But while this might seem subjective, you can always think of it this way: What would you wear to the office? Indeed, the answer to that is business attire.

Ultimately, this is how you should dress for a funeral. You do not want to wear your beach apparel or your outfit to the local nightclub.

2. For Both Genders: Choose Subtlety

The goal for anyone attending a funeral is to blend in with the crowd. You do not want to stand out from everyone and be noticeable from a distance. The one way to achieve this is to be subtle, nothing over-the-top, flashy, or colourful. You want neutral colours – black, gray, or dark blue.

3. For Men: Shine Your Shoes

Of course, nobody is going to a funeral to pay attention to your shoes. But it is still all about respect, which means that your shoes need to be really clean and, most importantly, shiny.

It isn’t necessary to visit a shoeshine shop, but it would be a good idea to shine them yourself – you can always purchase a shoeshine kit at the local dollar store. This will prove to be a worthwhile investment, too.

4. For Women: Wear Closed-Toe Shoes

A funeral might be taking place in the middle of summer, but it still does not mean you can wear sandals or flip flops. Unless directed otherwise, it would be a good idea to wear closed-toe shoes; it doesn’t matter if the shoe has a heel or it is flat.

5. For Both Genders: Know the Culture

Lastly, it is always a good idea to understand the culture of the person who has died. The family may opt to institute a more cultural affair, dedicated to traditions of their background. If this is the case, then you must find out what these customs are and be sure to heed their recommendations.

By not doing so, you are disrespecting not only the dead but also friends and family who have invited you to this deeply personal event. Do your best to respect their requests.

6. Formal Clothing

The best clothes to wear to a funeral home should be formal in nature. Printed t-shirts, wrinkled pants, or some dress shirt from your prom that is missing some buttons and has a few holes – it is always a good idea to avoid casual clothing when attending a funeral, even if these types of clothing are an upgrade from your usual wardrobe.

Again, it is about respect. You are not demonstrating any by putting on a muscle shirt or wearing sneakers.

7. Muted Colours

There are occasions where families will want to have a more upbeat environment at a funeral. They could request attendees to sport a bit more colourful clothing to cheer things up. However, for the most part, families will prefer that you wear the usual colours for this sad event: darks.

Remember, this is not your affair, so you might find the typical colours to be depressing. Just respect their wishes.

8. Subtle Jewelry

Do you wear flamboyant jewelry to special events? Do you save all your diamonds, pearls, and gold for important functions? Well, don’t when you’re heading to a funeral. Instead, leave all these pieces at home in your shoebox.

Like bright colours, your aim is to blend into the crowd and not be recognizable to all from a distance.

9. Quiet Apparel

Finally, one of the most annoying things that people do is wear apparel that is noisy, even if that is not the intention. Whether it is complementary pieces or fabric that can make a swishing noise, you do not want to wear or do anything that will attract attention to you or disrupt the sombre occasion.

It can be tough going to funerals, especially if it is a relative or somebody you were close. For others, it can still be difficult to attend a funeral for someone you only knew from afar, mainly because you have less of an interest in the deceased. So, you may have a bad habit of laughing at funerals or you could get bored, prompting you to look at your phone.

If there is one piece of advice to take with you to a funeral it is this: Use common sense!


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