What to Wear to a Funeral: The Complete Guide

Choosing what to wear to a funeral can be challenging - especially as funerals become more non-traditional. Keep reading to learn more.

Ariella Birnbaum Ariella Birnbaum
ARTICLE3 MIN READ
What to Wear to a Funeral: The Complete Guide

Unfortunately for most, attending a funeral will happen at some point in your life. Whether for a friend or a loved one, the experience is often overwhelming and emotional. But choosing what to wear to a funeral should be easy and stress-free.

Knowing when to wear black, what to wear to a funeral in the summer and more tips for funeral fashion - here’s a complete guide on what to wear to a funeral and common funeral outfits.

Do I have to wear black to a funeral?

First and foremost, the question is always, ‘Do I have to wear black to a funeral?” And the answer is that it depends. As funerals become more modern and shift the focus to celebrating life rather than mourning, the tradition of wearing all black is not as common.

As a good rule of thumb, wear black unless the invitation says otherwise or if the ceremony is non-traditional and you know your loved one would have preferred everyone to wear something with colour. Wearing black as default will make choosing what to wear easier.

Things to consider when choosing a funeral outfit

Before choosing a funeral outfit, here are a few things to consider to make it easier.

Show respect

First, make sure that whatever you choose to wear to the funeral shows respect for the deceased and their family. If you decide to wear black or have clear instructions to wear colour, try and choose a more conservative style. How conservative will depend on the location and the day, but dressing to show respect should be front and centre.

Choose black as a starting point

As mentioned above, black is always a good rule of thumb when deciding what to wear to a funeral, but it’s not always necessary. If you’re struggling to decide on an outfit for a funeral, then stick with black. From there, you can tie in pieces of colour through your shoes and accessories.

Keep the deceased front of mind

When choosing what to wear to a funeral, think about the person's funeral you’re attending. For example, if it’s a grandparent, you might lean more on the side of sombre and conservative. However, if it’s a friend or partner, you might choose something that reflects their personality or something they loved to see you wear.

Consider the location

You should start with the funeral location when choosing your outfit. For example, if the funerals near the beach intend to walk along the sand or water afterwards, you’ll want a shorter hemline and shoes you can remove easily. Or, if the funeral’s during Winter at a church, you may choose closed-toe shoes, a formal jacket and more conservative colours and styles.

What to wear to a funeral in summer

When choosing what to wear to a funeral in summer, consider what you’ll be comfortable in for a long period in the rain or heat. Summer weather is unpredictable, and depending on how long the service is, you’ll want to be comfortable.

What to wear to a funeral in winter

When choosing what to wear to a funeral in winter, opt for pantsuits, long sleeve dresses, and formal attire. Winter clothes are typically darker, making it easier to choose funeral fashion. But, of course, don’t stress if your coat isn’t dark - you can remove it once you’re inside.

Can you wear jeans to a funeral?

Bottom line: jeans are not appropriate for a funeral. Unless the family requests them, you should avoid wearing denim to a funeral. However, if it’s a casual, outdoor service, you can consider a dark (almost black denim) paired with a button-down shirt and blazer.

Choosing what to wear to a funeral

A funeral is about remembering a loved one, so don’t worry too much about your outfit. However, when choosing what to wear to a funeral, be respectful, start with black when unsure and keep in mind the weather and location, so you’re comfortable.

Start writing your will online and make your funeral wishes known (including what colour the guests should wear).

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