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How To Dress For A Funeral

How To Dress For A Funeral

Unfortunately, occasions that call for you to look your best aren’t always joyous ones. Death is a part of life, and paying your respect to the deceased, whether they are a family member, friend or other loved one is important. While, it may be hard to think about something as seemingly inconsequential as clothing at a time like this, putting a little thought into what you wear visibly communicates your respect for the deceased.


In the Western world, black is the traditional color of mourning. Choose a dark colored suit, preferably black. If you don’t own a black suit, a dark gray or charcoal suit will work as well. What’s most important is choosing a muted color that doesn’t distract from the occasion.


Keep it simple. A clean, white dress shirt is the best choice. Subdued color like gray or tan can also work. Again, avoid bright colors. The focus of any funeral is to mourn the deceased while also celebrating their life. It’s not about you. Wearing bright, flashy and distracting clothing is not only disrespectful to the deceased, but also will draw the wrong kind of attention to you.


Keep your tie simple. While it doesn’t have to be black it shouldn’t be an overly bright color. Stay away from colors like pink, yellow, or light blue. A solid black tie is probably the safest choice. Dark blue or another dark understated solid color can work as well. If at all possible, avoid patterned or metallic ties.

Be Well-Groomed

Like any important event, putting on a suit isn’t enough. Good grooming is also essential. Get a haircut, shave, brush your teeth and cut your fingernails. Making an effort to look your best reflects well on you, but most importantly, it shows reverence for the deceased and their loved ones.

Some People Approach Funerals Differently

These guidelines apply to traditional funerals. There may also be funerals that you attend that don’t follow these more subdued traditions. More and more frequently, people are choosing to forgo the more somber traditional funeral for a celebration of life that includes music and activities the deceased enjoyed in life. For funerals like this, wearing black or even a suit may be out of place.  Find out what the nature of the funeral you’re attending is and dress accordingly.

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