Death is never a welcome visitor, but it is inevitable nonetheless. The least we can do is show respect and bid the final farewell in the right way. While tradition holds that you should dress up and wear black to a funeral, it can be trickier deciding what to don for the funeral home wake. But with some planning and understanding of the occasion, you can show up to pay your respects looking tasteful and appropriate.
In recent years, many people have opted to have “fun” funerals or hold parties instead of traditional services. If this is the case, please contact the family to ask what is appropriate or use your best judgment and dress accordingly. You may not want to wear a black dress and fancy shoes. However, you can always dress up with the intention of dressing down.
Wear the Right Color For the Funeral Service
Black is usually the accepted color worldwide unless the family states that the deceased would have wanted people to dress as usual, i.e. colorful. If there are no such instructions, then it is always safe to assume that Black and White (and Grey) is what you should be going for. A white shirt and a pencil skirt will always do the trick.
Here’s What You Should Wear to a Traditional Funeral
At a more formal, traditional funeral, you may be expected to wear black dress clothes (buttoned suit for men, dress for women). At most funerals, all that is expected is something nice in darker colors.
Don’t Wear Anything Too Casual
Some looks are too casual for such a serious and somber occasion. You don’t want to come across as if you don’t care about the deceased or the bereaved, or don’t have enough respect to dress with more decorum. If you can wear it to the beach – shorts, casual tank tops, flip-flops – then these outfits are not right for the funeral. Work uniforms are inappropriate, as well, and should not be worn unless they are clean and it was impossible for you to change clothes. For women, even if the weather is hot, make sure your shoulders are covered, the neckline is modest and the hemline is longer than mini-length.
How to Wear Makeup/Jewelry to the Funeral
Keep your makeup simple. Foundation, a bit of blush and black eyeliner should suffice. Avoid bright lipstick, if any at all. As with clothing, your makeup should not make you stand out. Jewelry is fine as long as it is kept to a minimum! A nice necklace or a few rings of any color should be fine.
Cover Your Knees for the Funeral
If you are thinking of wearing pants/dresses, then make sure to cover the knees. Remember, you cannot wear any shorts or miniskirts for the funeral.
Colors You Can Wear Other Than Black
If you don’t own any black attire or you just don’t like black, you can opt for navy blue, charcoal gray, forest green or dark brown. Choose a white blouse or shirt to wear as your top with navy blue blazer. The skirt of your suit should be of reasonable length (preferably below the knee) or wear short skirt with black leggings. You can decide to add a simple necklace or just opt it out.
The Right Shoes for the Funeral
Shoes are difficult as it will all depend on location, time of year and situation. Typically you can get away with simple flats. High heels are to be avoided but mid-level heels are fine. It is good to wear black shoes, but anything dark that matches your clothing will also do. Make sure to give your shoes a good shine before you leave the house!
Try This Little Black Chiffon Dress
You can wear the little black chiffon dress, as long as you don’t show too much of the back side and your shoulders are covered.
You Will Look Right in This Lacy Little Black Dress As Well
You can wear this beautiful lacy little black dress as well with the gloves, hat, and black shoes. You will look in this and appropriate for the occasion.
A Midi Dress Can Be Perfect for the Funeral
You can wear a black midi dress too for the funeral. The one in this picture is perfect for a funeral service that is not too traditional. It is fashionable and right for the occasion.
Wear Pattern at the Funeral Service
Don’t go for anything fussy. Plain is always better for a funeral. If you’re wearing patterns, make sure it does not draw too much attention. Certain lace tops, young people sometimes wear to funerals can be tacky. This is not the place to wear your Saturday night sexy stretchy body.
A Hat Is Always a Good Idea
This is a perfect occasion to wear your favorite hat. Hats give a polished look and will complete your ensemble in a classic yet stylish way. Keep in mind your hat should not be gauche or outlandish.
Wear the Right Sunglass
If you are going for sunglasses, don’t go for anything massive, fancy or with lots of embellishments. Something simple that fulfills its purpose and that’s it.
Try This Long Sleeve Swing Dress
Try this long sleeve swing dress. It is perfect both for the funeral as well as the memorial service.
Look Like Katherine Jenkins at the Funeral Service
Katherine Jenkins looks elegant in this dress as she attends Baroness Thatcher’s funeral in St Paul’s Cathedral. You can sport this look too, and will certainly look your best in it.