Dressing for a funeral

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Dressing for a funeral
Dressing for a funeral

A funeral is a formal occasion where the wearing of appropriate attire is a sign of respect. This article is about Christian burials. It varies per country and per culture what appropriate clothing is during mourning occasions.


In Western cultures, people traditionally wear black clothes at a funeral, but today there are other acceptable options, depending on how well you know the person.

Method 1 of 4: Men

Dress For a Funeral Step 1

Step 1. Wear a black suit and white shirt

You can wear a neutral tie with this. Don't wear too much jewelry or gel in your hair.

  • There are always exceptions to the rules. A blue suit with a black turtleneck, black shirt with red tie, black shirt (without tie; top button unbuttoned), or a black T-shirt (clean and silky) could also work, depending on the family.
  • If you are a coffin bearer, you are expected to wear a suit, or at the very least a dark jacket and tie.

Method 2 of 4: Women

Dress For a Funeral Step 2

Step 1. Women should choose classic black clothing during a funeral

A black dress with sleeves, a dark suit with a jacket or a dark blouse with trousers or a skirt. You can also wear a not too brightly colored dress under a black jacket.

You can wear some colored accessories, but keep your jewelry simple

Method 3 of 4: Kids

Step 1. Children should also dress appropriately

Boys should wear a black suit, which matches Daddy's suit if possible. Girls should wear a dress that runs straight down from the shoulders, without frills. look at www.petra-kinderrouwkleding.nl

Also pay attention to the shoes. Girls can wear ballet flats or simple black sneakers and boys can wear smart black shoes, loafers (like Dad's) or simple black sneakers

Method 4 of 4: General rules for everyone

Step 1. Wear something tasteful and conservative

This is especially important if it is a religious funeral in a church, funeral home, or grave. Black, dark blue, gray or other dark colors are always more conservative. Clothes that are too naked are not appropriate; some churches prefer shoulders and knees to be covered.

Dress For a Funeral Step 5

Step 2. Also think about your shoes

Leave your slippers, Timberlands and sports shoes at home and go for neat and appropriate shoes.

Note: shoes must be polished. Don't wear worn-out shoes to a funeral

Dress For a Funeral Step 6

Step 3. It is best to dress as you would go to church

If you never go to church, think about what you would wear to a job interview. Don't wear summer dresses (unless it's a wrap dress or a young child), busy prints on shirts (like martini glasses or animal prints) or too flashy (like sequins, or very minimal). Gentlemen must wear a jacket or suit.

Dress For a Funeral Step 7

Step 4. When choosing clothing, take the temperature into account

Men can take off their jackets outside, but they must be worn inside during the service.

Dress For a Funeral Step 8

Step 5. For funerals further away, it may be useful to bring several outfits for different days

Dress For a Funeral Step 9

Step 6. There are those who believe that funeral attire does not necessarily have to be black

While the person's death is mourned, it also seems appropriate to celebrate the person's life with some color. Don't wear clothes that are too brightly colored, such as lime green, bright yellow or purple, but maybe red or soft blue.


  • When in doubt, ask the family what the dress code is, or ask someone else if your dress choice is appropriate.
  • It's smart to have tissues with you in case you, or someone close to you, need them.
  • If it's a young person's funeral, you may be asked to wear bright, happy colors.
  • In some cases black is a requirement. This includes a black dress, skirt, leggings, black suit, shirt, black tie, socks and shoes. Agree this in advance with the family.
  • If you received a gift from this person that would be appropriate, the rules are a bit more relaxed. A football shirt or Hawaiian shirt is never appropriate, but if this person gave you jewelry or a tie, in most cases it is an appropriate way to commemorate them.
  • If warm or rainy weather is forecast on the day of the funeral, bring an umbrella to protect you from the elements. It is very polite to offer it to an elderly person present, or to offer to hold the umbrella for that person.
  • If you are in the military, it may be appropriate to wear your uniform. Keep in mind that if you do this, the uniform should look a lot better than what the civilians in attendance are wearing. The uniform must be ironed, polished and in tip-top condition, otherwise it is not appropriate for the funeral. Especially if the deceased was also in the army himself.
  • What to wear when you go to the condolence, the funeral and the funeral service: to the condolence you should mainly wear black, but a little color is allowed. Children can wear the same, but teens and adults should wear something different for both occasions. A little color is allowed, such as shades of blue, but avoid loud colors.
  • The family may choose to wear more festive attire. If this is the case and you are not related, don't be afraid to ask what appropriate clothing would be.
  • When dressing for the funeral, consider the personality and interests of the deceased. For example, if the person liked basketball, a man might wear a tie with basketballs and a woman might wear jewelry with basketballs. Or if the person often wore floral dresses, army-print clothes, or if she really liked red heels, the dress code might reflect this too.
  • For teens, adolescents, children, and sometimes even women and men, if the family or church is not very conservative, it's fine to go to the funeral in dark (or black) jeans and a black T-shirt. The idea behind this is that after the church and funeral service, most large families have an informal meeting or a drink in a rather formal restaurant. If you expect to play with nieces and nephews or do a lot of walking back and forth to talk to different people, it may be fine to do this.
  • At a very conservative funeral, some women may want to wear a simple, formal hat.
  • Immediate family should always dress a little more conservatively.
  • Avoid garish and flashy jewelry and accessories, cufflinks and large necklaces.
  • If you go to the wake or condolence the night before, bring several outfits. If you are a guest there, the clothing for this can be a bit more informal.


  • It is recommended to wear waterproof mascara and little eyeshadow/eyeliner.
  • Always be respectful.
  • Offer your place or your umbrella to older people or women with young children.
  • Do not wear T-shirts with potentially offensive texts. In general, T-shirts should be avoided altogether, but texts with abusive language, nudity or images or names of a certain brand are strongly discouraged (unless this was the explicit wish of the deceased, as stated in his/her will; agree this with the family in advance). In other words, if you feel you can wear a T-shirt, it is better to wear a plain T-shirt (the quality, fit and condition of the shirt also matter).
  • High heels are difficult in swampy ground, especially if it has been raining.
  • If you drink water from a bottle you have in your bag, be discreet.

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