Advice on Funeral Attire

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Many people can feel anxious about attending a funeral service. Knowing what to say, what to wear and what to do to express sympathy to those who have lost a loved one can be overwhelming during an already difficult time.

When you are determining what to wear, consider where and when the service will be held. Every service is unique and the type of service should help you decide the appropriate attire. For instance, if you are attending a personal service on the beach, you would most likely want to dress more casually and wear brighter colours than if you are attending a more traditional service in a church, temple, synagogue or chapel.

If you are unsure what to wear, here are a few general guidelines to follow:

Men should wear a suit with a collared shirt and tie. Traditional funeral attire generally calls for predominately black, gray or dark blue colors; however, colored shirts and ties are more becoming more acceptable.

Women should wear a dress, skirt and blouse, or suit. Adding brighter elements of color are becoming more typical, but the primary color should be either dark or neutral. Avoid patterns or other prints that may be distracting.

The same guidelines can be applied to children attire.

If you are attending a graveside service or will be standing for long hours, remember to wear comfortable shoes without a heel.

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before attending a service so you are prepared if the forecast calls for rain or severe temperatures. Bring an umbrella, raincoat, overcoat, gloves or a hat as appropriate, especially if you will be outside for an extended period of time.