What To Wear To A Funeral: General Dress Code

Otto Hodytskyi
Dec 02, 2019   •  266 views

Unfortunately, we cannot cope with everything in the world, and one day we have to face a horrible reality: the death of a loved one, one of the relatives or friends. Such moments bring a feeling of loss, inexorable grief and can wreak havoc on a person. Nonetheless, we have to spend a lot of time organizing a funeral. Thus, we have neither the time nor strength to think about the right outfit. However, this is a very sensitive issue. Putting on the mourning clothes, we thereby pay tribute to the deceased person and show our sorrow. Of course, everyone understands that for ethical and moral reasons, we need to dress in a strict outfit when we are going to escort the adored person to their final resting place. However, in the modern world, not everyone adheres to these rules, dressing in the first T-shirt that one can find in the wardrobe and ripped jeans and looks as if they are going on a date with one of those young single girls. However, there are generally accepted norms of outfits for both men and women.


What You Shouldn’t Wear to a Funeral?

Studying the question of how it is customary to dress up for the burial process, you should consider that conservative formal clothing should be a priority. Nonetheless, it should not be very gloomy. The funeral ceremony provides for things of dark colors, which are mournful and sad. As an alternative to a black dress or suit, you can wear something of dark blue or gray colors. You should avoid such shades as light green, yellow, lilac and all the bright colors. Besides, you shouldn’t put on low-neckline clothes as well as one where the back will be exposed. Talking about outfits that are temporarily forbidden, it is necessary to mention a short skirt, a cocktail dress, a blouse with a deep neckline, a long skirt with a side cut along the entire line of the thigh, outfits with frills, ruffles and rhinestones, a sundress and chiffon blouses. If you don’t have suitable black clothes in your wardrobe, then choose an outfit of muted shades.

What to Wear to a Funeral Depending on the Weather?

How to choose an outfit at different times of the year? Choosing what to wear to a funeral or a requiem, you should bear in mind the weather conditions. The summer season is characterized by high temperature so, you need to put on comfortable, loose, light things to a funeral. As you know, black things warm up much faster. So, if you don’t want to get heatstroke during the ceremony, you need to choose things from natural materials (silk, cotton, linen). Women can choose a skirt or dress made of these fabrics. Don’t forget that all outfits should be below the knee, without decorations, layering or mesh. You can wear court shoes, flat shoes or shoes with a small heel. Talking about men, they will have to wear a suit even in summer. If the deceased is a distant relative or acquaintance, it is permissible to choose lightweight cotton trousers and a dark-colored shirt. It is considered bad taste to wear shorts, a T-shirt, mules, white sneakers to a funeral. You should better put on light closed shoes or moccasins. Nonetheless, if it is extremely hot outside, then men can take off their suit jackets while being on the street, and they should put it on again when going inside.

If the funeral takes place in winter, then you should bear in mind that you may have to stand outside for a long time. Therefore, you should get dressed better. Nevertheless, the clothes must comply with the dress code described above. Outerwear should not be bright, so choose clothes in dark colors. Flat shoes are desirable. Avoid heels, jackboots, UGG boots. Modesty, restraint, and calmness are three basic rules that must be observed when planning to go to a funeral.


What to Wear to a Funeral Depending on Religion?

Every religion has its own rules for wearing outfits to a funeral. For example, Muslim women use the whole palette of colors. Black shades are not considered mournful for them. Such stereotypes, in their opinion, have come from Europe. No one has the right to prohibit the use of the wonderful gift of Allah, so they decide for themselves what to wear. The clothes are diverse and in different colors, but usually, they don’t put on black clothes. A Muslim man can put on light robes, he can also come in green, blue, gray, beige, cream clothes. Everything should be loose, long, closed. A woman covers her head with a headband, and a man comes bareheaded. Look for additional information on https://www.bustle.com/.

Kazakh girls are not allowed to the cemetery, they must be in the yurt, where their relative died, and farewell occurs at the entrance of it. Talking about the clothes of the Kazakhs, it is not completely black, but bright colors are not allowed because this is a lamentable event. Tatars also do not have mourning robes. They choose what they want, mainly they prefer dark shades, that is, blue, green, gray.

The traditions of the Jews are not very different from the Christian ones, the only rule is that women are required to come in black hats without catchy decorations.

In Buddhism, the color of the mourning dress depends on how close you were to the deceased. Family members wear exclusively black, all the rest wear white, all clothing should be closed and strict. All the people wear a white headband.

Even Christian traditions are slightly different. Women who are living in Europe and the United States (Catholics and Protestants) prefer not to wear a scarf on their heads in contrast to orthodox Christians, but they wear a veil that partially or completely covers their faces.

Talking about orthodox Christians, before the funeral, many women are curious whether they must wear a shawl. It is believed that a shawl protects against evil dark forces. And basically, it is considered a tradition among orthodox Christians, wearing it, you honor the memory of the deceased relative.

Traditionally, female relatives should wear black ribbons on their heads before and after the funeral for forty days. Thereby paying tribute to the deceased person. It also shows the bitterness of loss that a woman feels.


What to Wear to a Funeral if You Are a Woman?

The burial ceremonies imply strict, modest, completely closed clothing. On such a day, it is forbidden to put on skimpy and candid outfits. You shouldn’t do excessive makeup, so don’t use bright lipstick or lip smackers, don’t put on sparkly eye make-up as well as do fancy hairstyles. So, if you are going to honor the memory of the deceased person and go to the funeral, then what should you put on? You can wear a formal dress with long sleeves, a long skirt and a classical blouse, a pantsuit, a black dress with a brown jacket, or a sweater in a combination with wide trousers.

When you are choosing something from your wardrobe, you should pay attention to the muted shades. It is appropriate to come to the cemetery, wearing a classic black, dark blue or brown clothes.

Regarding shoes, this element should be as restrained and comfortable as possible (in the cold season, you can choose boots, and in summer, it can be something with a closed toe or flat shoes). As has already been mentioned, it is strictly forbidden to wear bright shoes that draw attention.

In the summer season, you can put on a skirt or a dress made of cotton, linen, and other light fabrics. It should cover the knees and doesn’t have any accessories.

Well, talking about accessories, if you are interested in wearing them, it is necessary to mention that any jewelry except for a wedding ring is not suitable. You should better refuse them altogether. You can wear only a wedding ring and chains with pendants in the form of religious symbols. This is a sad, mournful moment in life, and the accessories are more suitable for holiday events. Well, if you want to use additional jewelry, it is recommended to choose something with black semiprecious stones.


What to Wear to a Funeral if You Are a Man?

For a man, a classic option is a modest formal suit. It is considered quite solemn and is appropriate attire for such events. Such an image is suitable to express your respect for a deceased relative or friend. What are the main criteria when choosing the right suit? You should give preference to dark suits and choose an appropriate tie.

Drawings on the tie should be either absent or be relevant and modest. If there is no requiem in the temple, you can combine dark pants with a jacket or a sweater with trousers. An important condition is the complete absence of various inscriptions on them. Besides, you shouldn’t wear anything with short sleeves. So, the best outfit for a man is a dark suit, and if there is a jacket, the shirt can be dark-blue, gray, dark green, the main thing is not very bright and without a pattern. In warmer weather, you can wear a dark shirt with long sleeves. Talking about shoes, it is better to choose comfortable black shoes depending on weather conditions.

How to Get Kids Dressed? 

Considering the mourning traditions, kids are dressed as adults. A male child wears a standard dark suit. Besides, it can be dark jeans, trousers with a black, brown or dark-blue shirt. Adults should choose shoes for a kid basing on the season and weather. The image itself depends directly on the age of the child. But this does not mean that you can use bright colors, and clothes with images of cartoon characters, faces, and more.

Usually, a female child wears a dark dress, tights and flat shoes. If it’s windy outside, it’s better to take a dark jacket. It is considered a bad taste to do a magnificent hairstyle using holiday hairpins, get a kid dressed in a white blouse with rhinestones, sparkles as well as bright shoes and sandals.


Is It so Necessary to Wear Black Clothes to a Funeral?

What color should you choose? Black is optional, and you can use any others if only they have neutral, darkened shades. Each religion, nationality has its traditions. For example, in India, it is customary to attend funeral processes in white suits, that is, they wear a white shirt, trousers, hats.

If there are no black clothes in your wardrobe, then you can choose brown, dark-blue, khaki, green colors, the main thing is not to have bright outfits.

Choosing what to put on to a funeral, you shouldn’t forget about the feelings of those around you, so try to neither break with the traditions nor draw attention with candid clothes or those that need constant adjusting. This is neither the time nor place to demonstrate your best or sexiest outfit. Besides, if you have tattoos that can probably offend other people in some way, then it is better to cover up them. Don't use perfume or anything else that has a strong smell as well.

In general, it is very important to dress appropriately for such an occasion. Doing that you show respect and meet certain long-established requirements that help prevent excessive embarrassment and awkward situations.

 What to Do with Clothes After a Funeral?

There is a superstition according to which all clothes, shoes, and jewelry should be washed immediately after the funeral. It is believed that the energy of death, which was present at the cemetery, as if penetrates things, and as a result, failures, and diseases can come into a person’s life. Water can wash away all evil. If you are not a superstitious person, then deal with mourning clothes in the same way as with any other.