Funeral Clothing

What to wear

The funeral tradition is changing as personalized funerals become more common. You can select from all kinds of different clothing options for a non-traditional memorial. One of the most common is the memorial t-shirt - mourners will wear a t-shirt bearing a picture of the deceased and perhaps a brief message. While the personalization of a funeral may change the way you'd typically dress for such an occasion, there are still some common rules for funeral attire in general:

Anyone attending a funeral should be properly dressed in a manner that conveys respect for the deceased and the bereaved. Colorful clothing isn't usually an appropriate choice, but more important is that everything should be clean and well pressed.

For Men

At most funerals, men will generally be most comfortable wearing a suit. A black suit is best, but grey or navy blue are also appropriate. You should also wear a collared white shirt and tie.

For Women

Most often women will wear a dress or skirt and blouse to a funeral. However, it's also appropriate to wear a suit. The rules for the suit will be similar to those for men (minus the tie, of course).

The colors you select need to be conservative and professional. Black is always appropriate, but so too are grey, navy or neutral colors. The point is that your funeral attire needs to be respectful - you don't want to draw attention to your dress when you're honoring the loss of a loved one.

It can be most difficult to dress for summer time funerals. You want to dress appropriately for the event but at the same time you may be dealing with extreme heat. Black is still your best bet, but you can wear it in either a dress or a suit. If you've selected a dress, make sure that your shoulders are covered (this shows respect, especially in a religious house) and you don't look like you're attending a cocktail party. A dark skirt and neutral colored blouse would work as well.


Children should be dressed in a similar fashion to adults, but the rules for kids aren't usually as rigid. Little boys should be in suits and little girls can wear dresses. The colors should be dark or neutral.


The shoes you choose to wear to the funeral should be coordinated to your clothing, and they should also be comfortable. There's a good chance that you'll be spending a significant amount of time either standing or walking, especially if you're attending a graveside memorial after the funeral. Extremely high heels are never recommended. You want to be able to focus on the funeral itself and not on how uncomfortable your feet are!

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