What to wear to a funeral

When attending a funeral service or visitation, you want to show respect for the deceased as well as the loved ones mourning his or her passing. You can do this through your behavior, but also through your attire. While funerals are often unexpected, it is easy to plan an outfit that is both simple and tasteful. Here are a few guidelines on what to wear to a funeral or visitation.

We recommend wearing dark or neutral colors, to avoid standing out in the crowd. Darker colors reflect the mourning atmosphere of the service or visitation.

Men will generally wear suits or dress pants, dress shirts and jackets along with a subtle tie. Women typically wear pants, skirts and blouses, dresses or suits. If you are unsure how to dress, think about what you might wear to a job interview in an office environment.

A funeral service is an event designed for loved ones and the community to say goodbye to the deceased and to reflect on their life. You won’t want to wear flashy or elaborate clothing, jewelry or other accessories. When in doubt, take a conservative approach.

Considering that many funeral services are followed by outdoor burials at a cemetery gravesite, it is also essential to plan an outfit that is comfortable and appropriate for seasonal weather.

There are exceptions to the recommendations above. For the funeral of a veteran, it is perfectly acceptable to dress in a military uniform. Or if your religion or the religion of the deceased calls for a specific style of dress, you should certainly follow those rules.

Many people consider funerals a celebration of life rather than a sad occasion. If the family asks attendees to dress in a more upbeat manner (such as in the colors of their loved one’s favorite sports team, for example), you should feel free to follow their request.

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