When it comes to attending a funeral, you want to dress in a way that pays respect to the deceased and the family – but still lets you be comfortable and part of the crowd.
If you don’t wear formal attire very often then you may not want to spend a lot of money on clothes that you might only wear once.
By following this Funeral Dress Guide, you are more likely to be suitably dressed for the event – and at a price you can afford.
General Dress Tips
- As most funerals are a sombre event, stick to conservative styles and colours to be safe. Keep in mind, though, unless the dress code says otherwise, you may be able to deviate a bit from all black (i.e. grey, dark blue)
- Avoid the common traps of casual wear like shorts, sandals, flip flops, bright clothes, and clothes with flashy prints and/or graphics.
- When in doubt, it’s better to be a bit overdressed than the other way around, especially if you don’t know the family too well.
- Don’t be ashamed to ask the family upfront about the dress code, especially if they plan to have a theme related to the deceased.
What to wear to a Funeral: Men
For the average man the most acceptable attire is a dark suit, buttoned up shirt – preferably long sleeve –, a belt, and dress shoes or loafers (that match the belt colour). And remember to tuck in your shirt.
Generally speaking, you should avoid sneakers and athletic shoes, along with traditional blue jeans (darker jeans with a tucked in shirt can be acceptable).
Even in hot weather or a beach setting, shorts and flip flops may not be suitable. Instead, go for lightweight, breathable pants made from cotton like a pair of chinos. And for walking on the beach, wear easy to remove shoes and pants with a slightly higher than normal hem.
What to wear to a Funeral: Women
For women, your best bet is to choose a dark, subdued coloured dress or suit. If you wish to wear a skirt of blouse, make sure the length reaches at least the knees. Also, try to cover the shoulders and pass on any clothes that may be considered revealing.
What about warmer weather? Choose a light and comfortable dress or skirt that falls at least to the knees. Short sleeved tops are acceptable, but avoid revealing too much of the shoulders and chest.
Again, when in doubt, it’s better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed.
Teens and Children
In most cases, teens and children should follow suit with what the adults wear. If it helps, try to go for ‘church’ type appropriate clothes, as they are respectful to the occasion.
Got any questions? Funerals of Compassion is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call our 24-hour number on 1300 906 060 to connect to a friendly team member.