When it comes to dressing for a funeral, it is hard to say what is the most appropriate. Gone are the days of floor-length black dresses for women and three-piece suits for men. What is more, it is not uncommon for people of all ages to attend a wake or funeral service, from young children to elderly grandparents. What may be appropriate for a toddler will not be the same for an adult. Here, you can find some tips for dressing all ages for such an occasion.
Do I need to wear black?
While black is the traditional color for a funeral, it is not necessarily required by all guests. Black or a darker color, such as navy, continue to be the easiest and best option for most. However, this does not mean that other color cannot be worn. It is still appropriate to wear a subtle color dress shirt for men, or a simple printed cardigan for women. Far more important than what you are wearing is that you are there to show your support.
How formal should I dress?
Think more business-casual and less black-tie affair. There is a time and place for your floor length black gown, but a funeral probably is not it. Instead, opt for a more subtle, conservative dress, or slacks and a simple sweater. For men, a dark suit with a solid plain colored shirt and subdued tie is best. The same goes for younger attendees. Younger boys in slacks and a pressed solid colored shirt and younger girls in a simple dress will do the trick.
What if the family requests something specific?
If the family requests guests wear a specific color or style to represent the deceased, by all means, do! As this request came directly from the family, it does not show disrespect to stray from the norm. In fact, it is likely to bring some joy and smiles to their faces, seeing everyone honor their loved one in such a way.
What should young children wear?
As mentioned above, similar guidelines can be followed for young children when it comes to choosing an outfit to attend a funeral in. The most important thing to remember is keep them comfortable. Funerals can be difficult and emotional for adults, and likely children feel this tenfold. A simple outfit that is comfortable for the child and does not draw too much attention is best.
Overall, the best rule of thumb for a funeral is to keep it simple. Wear conservative, business-casual clothing in darker or muted colors. Be respectful of the time and place and mostly importantly, remember that you are there to pay your respects and support the family through this time.