According to the National Funeral Directors Association, over half of all funerals in the US are now held in unconventional places. In the past, most funerals would be church services, but this is no longer the case.
As a result, you might not know what the proper funeral attire is anymore. And the last thing you want to do is commit a faux pas and become the center of attention. You want to wear something respectful of both the service and the person’s culture you’re honoring.
Don’t worry, as long as you keep the following three things in mind, you will choose the right funeral attire for the occasion.
1. Different Cultures Have Different Customs
In the west, black or dark shades are the appropriate color for both women’s and men’s funeral attire. This is the traditional color of mourning for Catholicism, in particular. But different cultures have different mourning colors for their funeral attire.
Here are some examples:
- Black and purple = Thailand
- White = Buddhism and Hinduism including India, China, and Cambodia
- Red = Some parts of South Africa
- Yellow = Myanmar and Egypt
- Blue = Iran
Before you choose your funeral attire, consider the culture of the person whose life you are celebrating. If you are unsure of the exact customs, ask someone else attending the funeral or a friend with the same culture for advice.
2. Choose Conservative Funeral Attire
When choosing what to wear to funeral proceedings, always stick to conservative styles. Unless you are attending the funeral of a fashion designer or glam rock star, it’s a safe bet. Avoid bold prints and patterns and don’t show lots of skin.
On funeral attire for men, stick to a classic no-frills black or dark suit. Wear a white shirt, black dress shoes, and a toned-down tie. Of course, women can also wear a suit if they like.
If you want to know about common funeral attire for women, opt for a simple black dress that is knee-length or longer. You could also wear black slacks with a white or dark-colored blouse. Opt for black boots, flats, or sandals with a low heel.
When attending a western funeral, navy, dark red, and dark purple are also acceptable colors if you don’t have appropriate black clothes.
3. Honor the Person You Are Celebrating
Some people plan their funerals and list wishes for their end-of-life celebration in their will. Many ask those attending their funeral to not wear black clothes or have a black-tie dress code. Always respect their wishes about funeral attire as a way to honor their memory.
That’s What You Need To Know About Funeral Attire
No one likes thinking about funeral attire when they are mourning the loss of a loved one. But now you know how to dress for a funeral, you don’t have to worry about it and you can concentrate on grieving.
Knowing proper funeral attire is an unfortunate part of life. There are many other traditions and etiquette you will need to learn, too. Browse our lifestyle section for more essential tips and advice!