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Dos And Don'ts Of Funeral Attire: What To Wear To A Funeral


When attending a funeral, the last thing you want to worry about is your attire. What should you wear to a funeral? It can be difficult to decide, but don't fret! We're here to help. In this article, we will discuss the dos and don'ts of funeral attire. We'll also give you some ideas on what to wear when attending a funeral.

What To Wear To A Funeral: Dos and Don'ts


Funeral attendees gathering near a casket


Consider the culture: Certain funerary practices are observed in certain parts of the world. Some Asian people, for example, prefer white, and some African cultures favor red and black. If the funeral service is for someone belonging to a distinct cultural group, it is acceptable to inquire about custom clothing from a family member.

Use your best judgment: If you are attending the funeral of someone who was known to be formal, it is safe to assume that a formal attire would work best.

Research the dress code: If you are unsure about what to wear, it is best to ask a close friend or family member of the deceased. The focus should be on the life of the person who has died, not what you're wearing. You want to be dressed along the same lines as the other mourners.

Traditionally, mourners choose dark-colored attire when attending funeral services.

Ask for assistance: It's appropriate to seek advice from an immediate family member or the funeral director when selecting apparel. The deceased may have specified a preference in his or her funeral plan.

Someone with a hearty sense of humor, for example, might have requested that everyone dress in green at their funeral or memorial service.


Dress too casual: While you'll almost certainly be able to choose from a variety of outfits, you'll be far better off if you're a little overdressed rather than underdressed. Put away the flip-flops!

Forget about why you are there: A funeral is a time for everyone to grieve. It's not the moment to show off. You will be just fine if you select something that is respectful.

Get tensed up: Chances are that you have something that will work. The most important thing is that you attend your loved one's burial. No one is likely to notice what you're wearing unless your outfit is over-the-top or completely inappropriate.


What To Wear To A Funeral: Women's Funeral Attire


A woman raising her hands in a funeral

  • A dark, solid color suit is a safe option. Unless the culture's customs demand it, you don't have to wear black.
  • Skirts that are too short or too long may be distracting, depending on their styles. A blouse or a sweater is usually appropriate.

  • Your safest bet for shoes are flat sandals or dress shoes. Open-toed shoes or sandals might be appropriate depending on the location and season.

  • A headdress is sometimes worn, depending on the culture.

  • Jeans are generally considered too casual unless there are exceptions.

    What To Wear To A Funeral: Men's Funeral Attire


    A pastor giving a sermon at a funeral

    • A dress shirt and tie or slacks with dress pants are smart options. Although dark, muted hues are typically the best option, you aren't limited to wearing black.
    • Shoes are fine, as long as they aren't athletic or sneakers. Flip flops and sandals aren't likely to be acceptable.

    • Jeans (unless the climate or terrain demands them), short-sleeved shirts, and sneakers should be avoided. Baseball caps are rarely appropriate.

      What To Wear To A Funeral: Tips For Teens And Children


      Funeral attendants paying last respects

      • For teens and children, it is best to ask a parent or guardian. You want to be respectful without being too somber.
      • As a general rule, clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free.

      • Ensure that children's clothing is comfy, as they will be expected to sit still and be attentive during the sermon.

      • T-shirts with slogans, shorts, and athletic shoes are usually not appropriate.

      • Again, dark colors are typically the best choice.

      • A collared shirt and tie or slacks with dress pants are best for boys. For girls, a skirt or slacks with a blouse are appropriate.



      A veteran's funeral


      In certain circumstances, the basic regulations (above) will not apply. It is permissible to wear a military uniform at a veteran's funeral. If your religion or the deceased's religion requires you to dress in a certain way, do so.

      For example, some families may want attendees to wear attire in memory of the lost loved one's favorite sports team or a superhero or television icon.


      Specific Roles In The Ceremony


      A bouquet of cemetery flowers

      Receiving Line Participant

      If you'll be in the receiving line greeting visitors to the funeral and offering them your sympathies, you may be standing for a long time.

      Consider this when selecting footwear. Some people attending the service might want to bring a more comfortable pair of shoes for this part of the service.


      If you're going to be a pallbearer, keep in mind that the weight of a coffin can be very difficult to handle. If you have back or knee problems, consider wearing a brace beneath your shirt or pants if you don't want to stoop over too much. Keep some change of clothing or a shirt in the car as a back.




      A gravesite with headstones 

      A funeral is a time to show respect for the deceased and their family. It's best to err on the side of caution when deciding what to wear. Dark, muted colors are typically the best choice. Clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free. Jeans, shorts, and athletic shoes are usually not appropriate. 

      Remember, the most important thing is that you attend the funeral and support the grieving family members during this difficult time. The outfit you choose to wear is secondary.

      Need help with what to say and do during a funeral service? Check out our article on proper funeral etiquette.

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