What am I supposed to wear to a funeral?

What am I supposed to wear to a funeral?

Black is still traditional (Picture: Getty)

Funerals are hard enough without worrying what youre supposed to be wearing.

However, funerals – much like weddings – are often difficult to dress for, as the formality of the occasion pushes people out of their comfort zone.

If you live in jeans and a tee shirt in your everyday life, its perfectly normal to feel unsure of what to wear in more formal situations.

However, youll be going through a lot of emotions on the day so its important that your clothing doesnt add unnecessary stress.

Weve answered some questions you may be having about an upcoming funeral service, to help alleviate any concerns.

Do I have to wear black?

Unless otherwise stated, its assumed you should be wearing dark colours.

Black is still the usual colour of mourning but it is not essential to wear unbroken black, says etiquette specialists Debretts.



A dark colour, such as grey or navy blue, is acceptable.

Is it still traditional for mourners to dress formally?

Tradition dictates that attendees should wear formal clothing.

Traditional attire for men is a dark suit, dark tie, white shirt and dark shoes.

Women are expected to wear a formal dress, skirt or suit – Debretts advises that skirts are still considered more correct than trousers.

Of course, the deceaseds family will inform you if theyd prefer you wore more casual attire.

What am I supposed to wear to a funeral?

Factor in that you may be walking or standing a lot (Picture: Getty)

What shoes should I wear?

Dress shoes should be worn, unless the family request otherwise. Shoes should be clean and polished.

Its important to take into account that there may be a lot of standing and walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Remember that if youre attending a graveside burial, verges may be soft which could make wearing stiletto heels difficult.

Do I need to wear a hat?

Hats can be worn, but theyre not essential.

Any headwear shouldnt be too attention-grabbing or elaborate – keep it simple.

More: Fashion

What if its cold? Does it matter what coat I wear?

Yes – if your outfit is formal, it will be expected that your outerwear is too.

Both men and women should wear a tailored coat. If rain is forecast, make sure to take a (black) umbrella rather than an anorak.

Is it okay to make myself look attractive?

While its perfectly acceptable to make an effort with your appearance, its frowned upon to wear tight or revealing clothing, so save the off-the-shoulder minidress for another time.

Dressing modestly will show respect for the dead.

What should children wear?

According to Debretts, children should be neat and tidy, with boys in jackets or school blazers, and girls in jackets and dresses.



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