What Should I Wear to a Funeral?

Do you have to attend someone’s funeral but you don’t know what to wear? Attending funeral services doesn’t have to be complicated. And although it’s a serious and solemn occasion, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion for functionality. You can blend both and still attend a funeral bearing an air of dignity and respect. After all, what you wear exemplifies your regard for the deceased whom you’re honoring for the last time. If you are unsure of what to wear, this article is for you. 

One of the outfit dilemmas you might have is choosing an outfit for the funeral, especially if you’re playing an important role like delivering a eulogy. However, if you are attending a funeral for someone you cherish, whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a co-worker, thinking about what to wear to the funeral may also take a backseat. After all, you’re shrouded in grief and the last thing on your mind would be about the clothes. 

If the funeral is something you did not expect at all, you might not have the time to get something new so you must make use of what you already have. To ensure whether or not a specific dress code was set by the family, ask and double-check with a close family member if they have any color preference for grief. Here are some tips and reminders when choosing what to wear to the funeral services:


Quick Guideline for Attendees

To lessen your confusion here’s a quick chart of appropriate clothing for funeral attendees: 


For Women For Men For Children

Full-length trousers

Plain blouse


Flats/Sensible Heels


Dark Colored Suits



Tailored long sleeve shirt/ polo shirt

Black Tie 

Black or any dark colored shoe


Trousers, plain top, and jumper (dark colored)

Skirt, plain top, and cardigan (dark colored)

Muted colored dresses for girls

Black or any dark-colored shoes



Handy Tips to Help You Get Dressed


The last thing you want to look like when attending a funeral is to appear sloppy. Since you’re honoring the deceased and saying your final farewell, it is fitting to wear something appropriate to the funeral services. Your clothes will also affirm to bereaved family members that the deceased holds a special place in your heart because you’ve put in a lot of effort. Here are helpful hacks for getting dressed for a funeral or memorial service: 


Check Your Wardrobe. Your wardrobe is the best place to start looking for something to wear to a funeral. Look for an outfit that you feel comfortable wearing. Make sure that it’s an outfit that would exemplify respect for the one who has passed away. 


Wear Something Black. Black is the most appropriate and safest color to wear for a funeral. It’s the traditional outfit for the end of life celebrations. If you don’t want to look out of place at a funeral, wearing this classic color is your best bet. If you don’t have any black clothes, find something that is not brightly colored. Choose other clothes in darker tones like navy, dark green, or shades of brown.


Avoid Any Revealing Clothing. Shirts or dresses should cover up to your neck. Although it may sound conservative, it’s a no to open collars for funerals. For women, it’s especially important to avoid showing cleavage. You want eyes on the deceased and not on you. Ideally, pants or dresses should cover the knees. Do not wear shorts or miniskirts. Do not wear ripped jeans and other clothes with cut-out details as these are too informal and inappropriate. Avoid spaghetti straps and clothing that are too tight, especially if the ceremony will happen in a religious place. 


No Wild Prints and Logos. It might be appropriate to wear a t-shirt in a casual setting, like an outdoor memorial or a service in a garden. If you do wear a casual shirt, make sure it does not have any wild prints or logos. 


Use a Small Bag. When it comes to accessories, make them minimal. If you have a favorite bag that’s big, maybe you can try and choose another bag that’s smaller, like a clutch or handbag. And make sure your mobile phone is on silent mode with no vibration so that it doesn’t make noise and disrupts the service.  


Bring Sunglasses. This is an accessory that can help you when grief gets too much bear. If you don’t want to feel conscious about shedding a tear or having puffy eyes after mourning, sunglasses will come in very handy. Secure your glasses and put them on when you need to.


Bring a Formal Jacket or Coat. Bring with you a jacket or coat (not brightly colored). In case it gets cold at the venue, it will be of big help. Apart from keeping you from being cold, it will help any outfit become appropriate for the funeral because these clothing pieces are more tailored and well-cut.


Wear Comfortable Footwear. There will be some walking in a funeral so it is important to wear comfortable yet appropriate footwear without any sparkles or glitters. Make sure you wear something that’s not flashy, and it should still be formal footwear suitable for a funeral. Do your best to avoid wearing athletic shoes or flip-flops. You might be walking on grass, so it’s best to not wear stilettos.  


Final Thoughts

Although the topic of clothes may seem trivial, what you wear to a funeral is very important because it shows how much you value the deceased. And remember, your clothes create an impression before you even open your mouth. Wouldn’t it be great to make a good one?