Proper Funeral Attire

My friend works in a funeral home and she asked me to write this for her months ago. I haven’t really had inspiration for it until now.

Nobody likes funerals. In fact, they sort of weird me out, especially the part where everyone stands around and mingles and the person who the funeral is for is just laying in the casket at the front of the room.

No matter how much you hate it, we all have to attend one at some point in our lives and when you attend one, there is not only a proper way to act, but also a proper way to dress. Since this is a fashion blog, I will focus on the dress.

We will start with colors: most people believe that the proper way to go is wearing all black. While that is acceptable, it is not necessary. Any dull, dark, or muted color is acceptable.

They ask (and by they, I mean the universe) that you abstain from wearing super bright colors. Red is usually really disrespectful at a funeral. If you wear red, most people will assume that you are happy that person is gone. Remember that scene in “The Sixth Sense” where they are at the funeral and they find out that the step mother poisoned the daughter and then she is wearing red at the funeral because SHE KILLED HER! (If you haven’t seen it, sorry for the spoiler…but you should rent it because it’s awesome.)

They (once again, I mean the universe) also frown upon yellow, orange, and anything that resembles a highlighter.


Stick to black, navy blue, dark green, dark purple, burgundy, brown, gray and any other dark or muted colors you can think of.

Now on to the clothes

For men, it’s easy: Wear a nice suit. Easy, Peasy, Rice and Cheesy.

(Speaking of “Reservoir Dogs”, check out this link

For women, it’s a little more complicated (But not really)

Lets talk about don’ts first:

DON’T wear flip flops

DON’T wear shorts

DON’T wear tee shirts

DON’T wear tennis shoes

And here is my biggest pet peeve and it comes with an anecdote. I was at a funeral last year and as someone was walking up onto the alter, the accidentally flashed their bright red thong. I’m not sure if you know who you are. Maybe that’s why it happened, you genuinely did not know. It doesn’t matter; I still found it to be completely inappropriate so here is my last “Don’ts” for funerals:


DON’T wear low rise pants

DON’T wear ridiculous undergarments that everyone will see.

Now the Do’s

DO wear a pant suit

DO wear a nice skirt

DO wear a blazer

DO wear a nice, clean cut, knee length dress

DO wear nice pants (black jeans don’t count as black pants)

DO wear a nice sweater

Now of course these don’t apply for certain religions. Mourners wear white at Hindu funerals and at both Sikhism and Islamic funerals, the mourners are required to wear headgear however at the Sikhism funerals, everyone wears headgear and at Islamic funerals, the headgear is only worn by the women.

So that’s all I have on this topic. I hope that it will help you get ready for your next funeral.  

Here’s where I got my information:

And as usual, I got my pictures from google.


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4 responses to “Proper Funeral Attire

  1. Angy

    And being the funeral director of said post… May i add, crisp clothing, unwrined posibly pressed by a dry cleaners. Also, white shirts are a great commodity to have on hand. And women, regard yourself with some dignity, if the back of the neckline of your dress is lower than the top of your shoulder blades or your skirt is tight/ less than 1/2 your thigh length, leave it at home.
    While there are certainly acceptions to these rules, but remember, visitations/wakes are slightly more flexible but funerals are like church.

    And as for colors, yes, muted is best. But also consider the person you are going for: if grandma loved sun flowers and the color yellow, then wear a tasteful yellow dress shirt. Or, if your aunt suffered from breast dancer, then baby pink is great!

    Trends now: pinstripes and gray is the new black.

    ALSO::: MEN, just because you have a striped suit DOES NOT mean you should wear striped tie and shirt. Watch your patterns. The best advice that was given to me is hang your total ensemble together on a door, walk very close to it and sort of stare thru it as you walk away from it. If your eyes don’t start to hurt you should be okay. 🙂

    Thanks Kiki 🙂

  2. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  3. Sheryl Lynn Valoff

    I have to disagree with you. You can have a theme for a service. You can most certainly wear the deceased favorite color in a tasteful manor. Stilettos and mini skirts are more distasteful than wearing a deceaseds loved ones favorite color.1

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