This is a common question that often doesn’t get addressed until the last minute.
Like death itself, planning on what to wear for a funeral is generally avoided until it can't be ignored. While there is no longer a hard and fast rule about funeral attire, this article will give you some excellent guidelines so that you can feel confident and focus on the one thing that really matters - your relationship with the deceased and their family.
1. Color - The most traditional color to wear when attending funeral or memorial ceremonies is black, but that is not required. Today, it's not uncommon to see people opting for charcoal, grey, navy blue, or dark brown, so if black isn't your style, feel free to choose from the aforementioned list of shades. Sometimes, families may even ask that attendees incorporate a certain color into their ensemble to recognize the deceased's favorite color, or a tribute to the fight against a disease they suffered from.
2. Business Casual - A good self check when evaluating your funeral attire is to ask yourself if the outfit would fall into the category of office appropriate. For men, think blazers, sharp shirt and/ or tie and pressed pants. For ladies, pencil skirts and conservative dresses. For both men and women, a suit is always a safe bet. Depending on the season, one can chose appropriate attire as a guide for a visitation time, however, if you are a casket bearer, a jacket or suit is always appreciated for the funeral.
3. Fit - Because most people don't attend funerals too frequently, they are often caught off guard when they need to put together their outfit. This can mean pulling out garments that you haven seen since your last funeral experience. If you're like most people, that was probably several years and several sizes ago. If you have to ask if it's too tight, too short or conversely, too loose - it probably is.
4. Cleanliness - This is another topic that relates to the fact that most people don't attend funerals regularly. Always check your garments and make sure that they are cleaned and pressed. Also, be mindful of any scents or colognes that you may apply. Remember that you will be in close contact with many people and your favorite smell may aggravate their already irritated eyes and nose.
5. Acknowledgement - This next tip needs to be evaluated considering the family of the deceased and the atmosphere surrounding the funeral or memorial ceremony, but can be touching if incorporated appropriately. Try to wear something that your friend or family member loved. For example, if you know that the deceased was an avid sports fan, you might decide to wear a tie bearing the team logo, or a special piece of jewelry that you were given by the person who died. Any personal touch that can be added acknowledging the things and activities the deceased treasured is usually appreciated.
All in all, the best thing to remember is to wear something that you feel comfortable wearing so you can devote your attention to celebrating and remembering the life of a meaningful person in yours. For more information about funeral and cremation services, please visit www.beinhauer.com.
Written by: Kelly Keddie L.F.D., Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes