We’re so sorry for your loss. Funerals are hard enough without having to worry about what to wear. What’s appropriate to wear to a funeral or celebration of life memorial greatly depends on the wishes of the person being honored, his or her family, and the location. Below, we’ve gathered some appropriate outfits that will allow you to focus on your loved one instead of your wardrobe.
Here’s what to wear to a funeral.
First, it’s important to understand the reason for these customs. Dressing up is traditionally a sign of respect for the person being honored. If there’s no set dress code, keep the focus on the loved one and avoid anything that draws extra attention to yourself.
WEAR BUSINESS CASUAL
A good rule of thumb is to dress as though you are headed to an important business meeting. If you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview, you shouldn’t wear it to a funeral. Not sure what exactly business casual means these days? Check out our helpful blog post What does business casual attire mean?
OPT FOR DARK TONES
While black has been traditional in Western cultures for centuries, you don’t have to dress in all black at a funeral. Stick to dark colors such as black, charcoal, dark brown, navy, burgundy, dark plum and olive. In addition to keeping your outfit low-key, these colors are a representation of mourning and respect.
Even when attending a more casual funeral, such as a celebration of life service, it’s important to keep things covered as a sign of reverence. Keep bare skin to a minimum—avoid wearing sleeveless and showing too much cleavage or leg.
ERR ON THE SIDE OF OVERDRESSED
Oscar Wilde said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” This has never been more true than when honoring a loved one at a funeral. When in doubt, go for the dressier option.
What to avoid wearing to a funeral
- Bright colors, flashy prints or sequins: Save bright colors, flashy prints and anything with glitter or sequins for other events. The exception to this rule is when the loved one being honored or the family asks those attending to wear a specific color, pattern or theme.
- Shorts and mini skirts: Skirts below, at or right above, your knees are best.
- Open-toed shoes, sandals, or sneakers: Everything that you would wear to the beach should stay home. Open toed footwear should be avoided as it’s too casual. Instead, opt for more classic closed-toe footwear such as flats, loafers, pumps, booties, etc.
- Statement jewelry: Avoid any accessories that says “look at me!”. Keep jewelry minimal and classic, like a dainty pendant necklace or a timeless string of pearls.
Need help putting together a look that’s respectful and tasteful? Our style experts are ready to lend you a hand to find the best style for you. Take your style quiz to get started and schedule a Fix. Ask your stylist to include a variety of modest options. You can try on everything at home, and shipping and returns are always free.