I was getting ready for work this morning and thought of something (things pop into my head at the weirdest times!) but I was thinking about my boss’ recent passing and NO ONE ever talks about what to wear to a funeral! When I was trying to figure out what to wear – what would be appropriate as I had to speak in front of about 400 people, I went online to search. I found nothing. Sad to say, I’ve been to several funerals over the years and I always hesitate – too dressy, not dressy enough, etc. I see people wearing denim, which I think is totally inappropriate, but what are the rules to follow?
This is an important question and you are so right, one that we can feel uncomfortable talking about. Really what you wear to a funeral is all about paying respect to the family. I don’t like to ever use the words “rules” because dressing is a way to express ourselves but when it comes to attending a funeral we want to be respectful to others traditions.
Here are some tips to think about before you go:
- Dress like you are going to be giving a speech to a group of bankers. Conservative work dress is what is acceptable for a funeral. If you think your outfit is too dressy or too sloppy it probably is.
- If the funeral is going to be held in a church be aware that you will want to dress in a modest way. Covering your arms is sometimes required.
- Black is not mandatory but you can never go wrong wearing it. However, anything in a dark color will be just fine.
- Avoid wearing jeans. This is just not appropriate for this type of event.
- Nothing flashy or bright. If your style is to wear colorful clothes, try to tone it down for a funeral. This is not the time to try to bring attention to yourself.
- Make sure your shoes are not too uncomfortable. Funerals can be a lot of standing and walking, so plan accordingly.
- Try your outfit on the night before. If you have an outfit that you “save” as your funeral outfit you want to make sure it still fits!
- Don’t forget to tuck some tissue in your purse and an extra one to share.
- Turn off your cell phone before you go. How embarrassing to have your phone go off in the middle of this solemn event.