Saturday, 5 January 2013

What to wear to a funeral

This is a sensitive subject, but one that many people have questions about. The definition of appropriate funeral attire varies a lot across different cultures and religions. This is particularly true for color  For example, in western culture black is the color of bereavement, but in other cultures it is white.

But I think it is safe to say that a funeral is not about us and our outfit. It is about paying one’s last respects to the deceased and supporting their family. That’s why I suggest the safe “M-D-M” dressing rule. Wear a “muted”, “dressy” and “modest” outfit and you’ll look and feel appropriate.

Here’s the checklist in more detail as applied to a funeral:

Keep it muted: Dark colours like black, charcoal grey, navy and brown are no-brainers. Deep burgundy reds, greens and purples, or muted pastels and beige are also fine as long as you don’t wear anything too bright, flashy or bold. Generally, no lively pops of colour for this outfit and that includes make-up.
Keep it dressy: No jeans please. A funeral is a not a casual occasion so at the very least think dressy business casual, but business formal is best. Skirts and dresses are the traditional choice but dress slacks are just as acceptable. Closed toe shoes are not a must but covering up neon toe nail polish is a good idea.
Keep it modest: Tailored clothing is fab but anything too alluring is inappropriate. If an item of clothing is too short, too tight or too low-cut to wear to work, you probably shouldn’t be wearing it to a funeral. Hose is not essential especially if it’s hot, but it does add a polished touch to your skirt or dress ensemble.