Modesty and respect are the keys in how one dresses for a funeral. The clothes you wear say a lot about your respect and your condolence for the family and the deceased. Our culture leans towards extravagance and loudness in the way we dress, yet there are moments in life when simplicity is key. While how to dress during a trying period in your life may be the last thing on your mind, these simple tips and tricks should make the process of figuring out what to wear a lot easier!
What To Wear:
Most women tend to wear casual or fancy dresses to funerals. For women, even an office wear business suit will do the trick. Make sure your dress has a minimum cap sleeve as exposing shoulders is considered in poor taste. If you are going to go sleeveless then you might want to consider wearing a shawl or oversized scarf. Pair your dress with black tights and NO LEGGINGS! Dress simple, dress smart and dress appropriately.
As with men, black is pretty standard. A dark purple, navy or grey is also more than acceptable. Look below for tips when attending a personalized funeral or a religious funeral service.
Makeup should be kept simple. Foundation, a bit of blush and black eyeliner should suffice. Avoid bright lipstick, if any at all. As with clothing, you’re makeup should not make you stand out. Jewelry is fine as long as it is kept to a minimum! A nice necklace or a few rings of any color should be fine.
Shoes are difficult as it will all depend on location, time of year and situation. Typically you can get away with simple flats. High heels are to be avoided but mid-level heels are fine. Your shoes should be black but anything dark that matches your clothing will be good. Make sure to give your shoes a good shine before you leave the house!
Religious Attire & Personalized Funerals:
Chances are you will have to attend a funeral for someone who is not a part of your faith community or cultural background. In these cases, it is probably a good idea to Google proper attire for these funerals. Jewish funeral services will require women to cover their heads with a scarf and sit in a different section than men. Some synagogues and funeral homes may provide complimentary ones at the entrance. Some Muslim funeral services may require you to remove your shoes before entering. Buddhist funeral services may have no dress code whatsoever. Many religious funeral services require women to dress very modestly and to cover bare skin.
A final note on personalized funerals. In recent years, many people have opted to have “fun” funerals or hold parties instead of traditional services. If this is the case, please contact the family to ask what is appropriate or use your best judgement and dress accordingly. You may not want to wear a black dress and fancy shoes, however you can always dress up with the intention of dressing down.