What to Wear to a Funeral in 2023

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
October 11, 2022

What to Wear to a Funeral


Whether a death was expected or not, we don’t often think about what we would wear to a funeral. So we’ve put together some dos and donts to help make it easy for you to consider.

 What to Avoid at a Funeral

·       You don’t have to buy anything new, the key is you want to be comfortable

·       Traditionally women would be expected to wear tights and closed shoes, so flip flops was not seen as a mark of respect.

·       You don’t have to wear black.  Nowadays navy or grey is acceptable as a funeral attire sombre colour code

·       Don’t wear bright colours – unless of course the family have asked

·       Don’t forget to take a handkerchief or tissues with you, and in certain cases you might want to take a face mask too if you would prefer to wear one

·       If the family have suggested to wear bright colours, that doesn’t mean you have to dress from head to toe in bright pink or yellow – unless you want to, so opt for a tie or a scarf if your wardrobe doesn’t have bright colours

·       Revealing outfits, jeans, shorts, trainers, and baseball caps are all best to be avoided

·       Wearing an excessive amount of jewellery is not seen as respectful

·       Colourful ties unless requested by the family

What to Consider at a Funeral

·       Ask the family if there is a colour code

·       For outdoor funerals such as burials or woodland natural funerals, it’s a good idea to take a coat with you, as it can be cold – and an umbrella! Dont forget sensible shoes or wellington boots as it can be muddy and slippery under foot.

·       Dark, navy or grey are still the acceptable colours for the majority of funerals

·       Opt for a white or dark coloured shirt

·       For ties, black or dark coloured with no slogans on them

·       Shoes ideally are enclosed and good idea they are clean and polished, avoid trainers

·       Either a suit, or jacket or blazer and if you don’t have those a dark cardigan is acceptable

Getting it right what you wear, carries importance of the occasion, so whether it’s an intimate and sombre to a flamboyant celebration of life event, what we wear sets and compliments the intended tone and style

And for Children

The younger generation is perfectly acceptable for them to wear something comfortable and smart, again the key is for them to feel comfortable. They might want to choose their own clothes for that day, or a favourite piece of clothes that the person who died liked to see them in.

Tradition dictates that men should wear a black suit, white shirt with a black tie and women wear a black dress or skirt and jacket with a dark blouse. I

What to Wear to a Traditional Funeral

Tradition is men wear black suit,white shirt and black tie. Women wear a black dress or skirt with jacket and blouse with tights and enclosed shoes.

Nowadays its acceptable to wear black, navy or grey. For men who don’t own a suit, then trousers with a shirt and dark tie will still look smart. For women who don’t own a dress and jacket,then a smart skirt, formal top and cardigan will look smart.

Dressing for the occasion is always the right way to think. You’re not trying to draw attention to yourself, but to honour the person who has died.

Religious Dress Code for Funerals

If you’re attending a religious funeral, then you may want to consider the customs of that faith.  Our best advice though is to ask the family as the format may not be formal, however here is a summary of different faiths and attire:-

·        Catholic, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim funerals- most cases wear dark, smart and modest clothing. At a Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh funeral then mourners wear dark clothing although the family traditionally wear white or cover themselves with a white cloth.

Dressing for a Themed Funeral

Its not unusual to have a hobby or favourite sports to even a Star Wars themed funeral. Always be guided by the family here! Again, you don’t have to dress head to toe in the theme, it could be something as simple as copying a hair style of that theme.

Popular themes have recently seen have been Harry Potter where mourners came with their wands and scarfs, and those who wanted to remember a particular sports club, came dressed in their club’s ties.

BBC News Darth Vader leads funeral procession

What Do You Want Your Funeral Director to Wear?

Funeral Director’s attire hasnt changed much since the Victorian days, and many people recognise the top hat, cane and dress coat worn.

At Amanda-Louise Funeral Services, Amanda-Louise took time to consider her traditional dress attire. Given many of her fellow funeral directors are men, the majority of clothing is designed around a man’s shape. So, with the help of a Lynn Oaks Funeral Tailors, Amanda-Louise was measured and commissioned a handmade traditional funeral tailcoat with matching waistcoat, skirt in a navy colour – so traditional in look but adapted to suit the female shape.

As a modern funeral director there isn’t always the demand to wear the traditional attire, and on more informal funeral’s families prefer Amanda-Louise to wear a smart dress and jacket. 

Summary What to Wear to a Funeral

Opting to wear something smart you wont go wrong, after all, we wouldn’t often go to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt!  Having said that t-shirts are okay in our modern world, but would refrain from having large slogans on them.  For the men, ties are still considered appropriate to wear, but they don’t have to be black, many opt for a dark colour.

The rule to thumb, even if the funeral is relaxed is to avoid revealing clothing, and elements of black, navy or grey will always be a good staple. Funerals can be long in time and can be cold (most churches and crematoria’s can be chilly) so dress in something comfortable and warm – layers are ideal with a jacket or coat. Remember footwear too, if its outside and its wet then high heels wont be practical, so keep them for later.

If there isn’t any instructions from the family about clothing, then stick to smart and dark colours. Oh and don’t forget – tissues and umbrella

Here at Amanda-Louise Funeral Services, we offer a personalised funeral directors service to support everyone. If you have any questions about funeral attire or would like to speak to us, lets chat.

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors 3 Blenheim Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5PY (by appointment only)
‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst is intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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