What to wear to a funeral

Funeral attire

In recent years, the rules about acceptable funeral attire have become much more relaxed than formal requirements of years ago. While a traditional black suit or dress may still be appropriate for some to wear to a funeral, you’ll find more variety, more color and more casual selections in the dress codes of most modern services.

Funeral attire considerations

Venue
At a memorial service on the beach, more casual fabrics and brighter colors are acceptable—but darker colors and more conservative business dress remain appropriate at a traditional church venue.

 

Culture and faith
Some faiths and cultures require specific attire at funerals. If you are attending a service honoring traditions that are not your own, check with a member of the family or the funeral director to find out what you are expected to wear.

General funeral attire guidelines

Men

  • Contemporary celebration of life
  • Traditional: a black, gray or dark blue suit with a collared shirt and tie.
  • Business casual: slacks and a blazer or sport coat instead of a suit. A collared golf shirt in subdued color, not limited to black, gray and navy, is also acceptable.
  • Special attire: with unique celebrations of life on the rise, more families are requesting that guests wear their loved one’s favorite color, sports team jersey or something else that might have been meaningful to the person who passed away.

When in doubt, it’s safe to choose more conservative options if you are concerned about being underdressed.

Women

  • Traditional: a black suit, conservative dress or skirt and blouse in a dark color.
  • Business casual: dress or skirt and blouse in bright or light colors.
  • Special attire: with unique celebrations of life on the rise, more families are requesting that guests wear their loved one’s favorite color, sports team jersey or something else that might have been meaningful to the person who passed away.

Children

If children attend, they should be dressed in clothing similar to their parents’ attire.

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