What to wear to a funeral

Attending a funeral is a difficult and emotional time without having to stress about what you should wear. The most important thing is to stick to the wishes of the bereaved family, they will normally inform you if there is a specific dress code.

What should I wear?

Traditionally British funerals are formal events, therefore the standard dress code is neutral and smart-ish. For a man this would mean a suit, shirt, tie (stick to darker colours) and smart shoes. However if you don’t own a suit you could wear smart trousers (not jeans) with a shirt and blazer, jumper or smart cardigan.

For ladies, we recommend smart dress, trousers or skirt, shirt or blouse and a blazer or formal coat (depending on the time of year). If you plan on wearing high heels, we suggest wearing low heels especially if you are attending a burial. You may be required to walk on grass and do not want to lose a shoe!

Should I wear black?

Not everyone has black clothes, or wants to go buy a specific outfit for a funeral, which is fine, however it is advisable to stick to dark colours, navy blue and grey are acceptable substitutes. Avoid bright colours and loud shirts unless specifically requested by the family.

What not to wear

If you are unsure of what to wear then it is perfectly acceptable to ask a family member or the funeral director for some guidance. A basic list of what not to wear (usually) at a funeral includes: revealing or suggestive clothes, jeans, trainers or flip flops, baseball caps.

Family wishes

The bereaved family may ask you to wear bright colours. This may be down to their cultural traditions, for example if the deceased was of Asian descent you may be asked to wear white, or perhaps they would like to celebrate their loved ones life. Each funeral is different and therefore so are the requests. If you feel uncomfortable about a specific funeral request such a bright colours or fancy dress then speak to the family.

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