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What to Wear – Dressing Appropriately for A Funeral

funeral.attire.jpgThe saying that there is a time and place for everything applies especially to a funeral – it means that a funeral is not the best place and time to wear your trendy and colorful clothes. Remember that people go to a funeral for two reasons, to show support to the family of the deceased and to show love or respect to the person who passed away. Regardless of your reason, your funeral attire should be dressed appropriately when attending a funeral.

What Is the Right Type of Clothing for A Funeral?

As a somber occasion, it is appropriate to wear somber colors like black or gray when attending a funeral. For men, here are some of the appropriate dress to wear:

  • Wear a black or dark suit, you can also wear collared shirts in muted colors and pair it with a slack
  • Some black shoes or leather shoes will do

For women, you can wear the following:

  • Skirt or dress in a black or solid color is highly recommended
  • Remember to wear a skirt of appropriate length

If you are bringing in a kid to a funeral, you don’t have to ask them to dress in a suit. Just have them wear their regular church clothes, just not the colorful ones. Not everyone who goes to funeral wears black or somber colored funeral attire. There are some exceptions such as wearing a military uniform if the deceased is a member of the Force or wearing school uniform if the deceased is a student.

What to Consider When Choosing Funeral Attire - A Dress: There are two things two consider when choosing a dress for a funeral – the do’s and don’ts.


  • Know the place of memorial service, is it at home, at a church, at an office (for public officials) or at a military camp (for officers). If you know where the memorial place is, then you would know what attire to wear (formal but comfortable at least)
  • Ask a family member of the deceased or the funeral director if they are instructions such as wearing green (because the deceased is an environmentalist) or wearing red (because he died violently, and the family is seeking justice)
  • Wear something that will blend with the crowd. A funeral is not a place to stand out because you are wearing something bright and flashy
  • Learn of the grieving family’s culture. If the deceased and its family practice their religion strictly, they might have some dress code that you must be aware of like wearing hijab or turban for Muslims


  • Don’t pick this time to show how different you are. If you are the black sheep of the family, don’t show it off
  • Don’t underdress. Being underdress means wearing your regular home clothes. Sandals, shorts, and flip-flops are a no-no
  • Don’t forget the reason why people are gathered for the day. A funeral is a way for family and friends to show respect to the deceased, to show their love one last time and to support one another. It is not about you so don’t expect people to be watching you
  • Don’t overthink on what to wear. It is a funeral. It is the last time for you to see a loved one or a dear friend. Wear what you think is the best for the occasion (considering all factors like location, culture, and religion) and you are good

Accessories to Go with Your Dress

Accessories are not limited to watch, necklace or earrings. Dress accessories can include your shoes, your tie, and your make-up for women. For shoes, go for formal shoes that are comfortable like flats or black shoes for men. Do not wear high heeled sandals if you can avoid it. For men, if you can avoid wearing sneakers, do so.

When it comes to men ties, plain colored ties are highly advisable. Do not wear patterned ties or brightly colored ties. When it comes to make-up, tone it down. Put minimal make-up if possible. You can just apply powder if needed. Lastly, avoid wearing perfume or at least keep it minimal. Don’t go to a funeral bathed in your perfume or with a scented body lotion. This is to show concern in case there are people who might be allergic to strong scents. You wouldn’t want people to start coughing or sneezing once you arrive.

When it comes to traditional pieces of jewelry like earrings and necklaces, do not wear dangling earrings or a necklace with eye-catching pendant. The rule is to keep it simple. Remember that you are there to show respect to the deceased.

Renting Ready Suits for Funerals

Most people wouldn’t think of a funeral dress until they lose someone. No one would purchase a dress thinking that it is good to wear for funerals. To avoid the hassle of buying a funeral dress, you can check online for ‘funeral suits or dress for rent.’ There are funeral homes and online stores that offer such service.

There is no need to make a fuss over what to wear on a funeral. At the end of the day, your presence is what the grieving family will remember. However, it is best to be remembered as the one who wears proper attire during the funeral. It will also show your sincere support to the family during this dark time as you showed some effort in showing your respect to the deceased.