Deciding what is appropriate funeral wear can be tricky. Traditionally, black is the colour of choice for Western culture. Yet in China, traditional mourning wear is white, while in Thailand the the colour is purple. But not everyone grieves according to tradition.
Modern Mourning Ditches Traditions
Many families opt for a less formal service and choose to call it a ‘celebration of life’ instead. On these occasions adding a hint of color is acceptable. Some families will even request service attendees wear a specific color to honor their departed loved one.
When there is no dress code stipulated, etiquette experts agree that wearing subdued tones like black, grey or navy is the safest choice. The point is your clothing choices express mourning and show respect to the newly departed and their family. Wearing look-at-me colors and clothing risks conveying a message of disrespect.
What to Avoid
Just as look-at-me colors and clothing are out, activewear is definitely not acceptable funeral attire either. Etiquette experts also rule out low-cut dresses, super short skirts, and spaghetti straps. Some even add shiny metal fabrics to that list.
And for the steadfast jeans wearer? If you must, pair jeans with a collared shirt and smart jacket.
One rule of thumb is if you ask “Is this too…?” about your funeral outfit the chances are it is.
Is it too short, too casual, too see-through, too colorful or too revealing? Ask a friend or family member. You’re sure to get an honest response.
Dress with respect for a funeral.