what to wear to a funeral (3)

What to Wear to a Funeral?

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    It is important that you know what to wear to a funeral if you are going to be attending one in the near future. We have no doubt that this is a question that a lot of people pose to themselves or to the people they care about when they are looking for advice on what kind of attire is appropriate.

    You do not want to be the person who shows up inappropriately dressed and thereby disrupts the service by drawing attention away from those who are grieving and honouring the deceased with an elaborate outfit. You do not want to be that person.

    The question of what to wear to a funeral is a predicament you never want to find yourself in when it comes to choosing an outfit.

    Therefore, when you find yourself in that specific position, it can feel quite overwhelming.

    When you are dealing with the emotional experience of preparing to attend a funeral, whether it is for a loved one, an immediate family member, a friend, a mentor, or a co-worker who has passed away, deciding what to wear is the last thing on your mind. You may be attending the funeral of a loved one, an immediate family member, a friend, a mentor, or a co-worker.

    The goal of this guide is to make the process as uncomplicated and stress-free as is humanly possible.

    It's possible that you won't have time to go shopping for something new to wear on the day of the funeral, especially if it came as a complete surprise. Besides, you probably won't want to be shopping when you're feeling this emotional anyway.

    Therefore, an excellent place to begin would be with your existing wardrobe. When sorting through your closet's hangers, look for an outfit that pays respect to those who have passed away while also allowing you to feel like yourself and maintaining your comfort level.

    Whether or not the event is a religious ceremony dictates some of the general guidelines and specific suggestions that should be followed.

    Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs and your budget.

    Hopefully, these tips will help get you into gear so that your attendance isn't distracting in any way.

    Funeral FAQs

    Funeral procession order


    The officiant will usually lead the procession and pallbearers carrying the coffin tend to follow. Immediate family and close friends will often walk behind the coffin, followed by other guests.

    Funeral etiquette dictates you shouldn't applaud unless prompted to do so by the person holding the service or following the lead of the grieving family.

    At the funeral, the front rows of seating are reserved for family and pallbearers. The closest family should sit in the front, with additional close family members behind them, such as cousins or grandchildren.

    The water used to wash the corpse before placement in the coffin was traditionally kept to be thrown in front of the hooves of the horse drawing the funeral carriage. Later, this developed into the symbolic act of neighbors and family throwing buckets of water as a mark of respect for the dead.

    The practice of leaving flowers at graves began thousands of years ago when the ancient Greeks would honor fallen warriors. They believed that if the flowers rooted into the ground and grew from the gravesite, it was a sign that the fallen had found peace.

    What Is Appropriate to Wear to a Funeral?

    The dress code for the majority of funerals is black attire only, and many mourners choose to wear something thoughtful and dignified in their choice of attire.

    It is also inappropriate to turn up a mini LBD or sheer top at a funeral; therefore, hemlines should be kept below the knee, and spaghetti straps are typically not appropriate.

    Instead, go for a dress with no sleeves, long sleeves, or shoulder-length sleeves; alternatively, wear a turtleneck with a pair of flared black trousers.

    Proper Colors to Wear to a Funeral

    • At a funeral, black is the best choice; whether you want to dress traditionally, formally, or casually, you will never look out of place wearing black.
    • A colour palette that includes dark greys and deep blues is also highly recommended, particularly for accents and accessories.
    • For the majority of funeral services, it is appropriate to wear shades of brown, lighter shades of grey, and other earthy colours.
    • It's best to steer clear of bright colours like pink, yellow, orange, and red.
    • White is acceptable to be worn as an undertone for jewellery, accents, and shirts when worn over darker colours (i.e. a white dress shirt with suit and tie)

    What to Wear at a Funeral: Women

    Essential Tips for Women

    • Dressing in dark colours such as suits or dresses is always acceptable.
    • Maintain a covering for your shoulders.
    • Dresses and skirts ought to go down to the knees.
    • Accents of colour that are used tastefully are sometimes acceptable.
    • Try to avoid wearing anything too flashy.
    • Stay away from anything that is too revealing.

    Basic Funeral Outfit Ideas for Women

    • Skirt suit
    • Pantsuit
    • Dress
    • Skirt and blouse
    • a skirt paired with a sweater
    • a pair of pants and a top that has sleeves.

    For as long as anyone can remember, the expected mode of attire for women who are attending funerals is either a sombre black dress or a black business suit.

    However, as a result of the progression of time, it is now appropriate to wear clothing that is not as strictly formal when attending a funeral.

    You should dress respectfully and not in a way that draws undue attention to yourself, but you can get away with wearing anything from a conservative selection of brighter or lighter colours to business-casual options, modest dresses, and variations of skirts, blouses, and pants. You will be fine.

    If you are unsure of what to do, especially if you are not familiar with the family or the location of the service, you should always go with the options that are more traditional and conservative.

    It is preferable to arrive at a funeral overdressed rather than underdressed because a funeral is one of the most solemn occasions in life.

    What to Wear at a Funeral: Men

    what to wear to a funeral

    Essential Tips for Men

    • Attire that consists of dark suits or buttoned shirts is acceptable at all times.
    • Shirts with long sleeves and collars of some kind are required.
    • a belt and a shirt that is tucked in
    • Dress shoes, loafers, or oxfords
    • Avoid wearing athletic shoes, flip-flops, and sneakers.
    • Consider avoiding: jeans (although in many situations, dark jeans and a shirt that is tucked in are acceptable to wear)
    • Avoid wearing shorts.
    • Avoid: baseball caps

    Basic Funeral Outfit Ideas for Men

    • Dress attire including a tie
    • slacks, a belt, and a polo shirt
    • Shirt with buttons down the front, tie, slacks, and a belt.
    • Shirt with buttons down the front, vest, dark pants (or plays), and belt.
    • Any of the aforementioned options with a blazer

    A suit in a darker colour (black, grey, or dark blue) along with the traditional collared dress shirt and tie is the standard attire for men to wear to a funeral. This dress code has been in place for quite some time.

    The fact that times have changed, however, means that wearing this traditional garb is no longer an absolute necessity. On the other hand, it is appropriate to dress in a manner that is sometimes referred to as "business casual" or "Sunday best."

    It is important to use your best judgement, but in most situations, it is appropriate to wear collared shirts with slacks of any colour.

    This can be a golf or polo shirt, an untied dress shirt, or even a dress shirt without the tie. Maintain a subdued colour palette, but appropriate funeral attire is no longer restricted to only the darkest shades of clothing.

    If you are unsure or if you are not as familiar with the family or the location as you would like to be, you should err on the side of caution and choose the more conservative options.

    Instead of showing up at the funeral underdressed, it is preferable to dress in more traditional funeral attire.

    Things to Consider

    It is always a good idea to bring a jacket with you as it can often get cold at the venue, and you can use pockets to keep tissues at the ready without digging into your handbag and missing part of the service. It is also a good idea to bring a blanket with you as it can often be cold at the venue.

    Because there will likely be some walking involved throughout the day, be sure to wear a pair of shoes that are both visible and comfortable. This does not mean your favourite pair of sneakers or a pair of cute sandals with straps; rather, your best bet is a pair of heels with a round or pointed toe, or even a pair of stylish flats. And if you think there's a chance you'll be walking on grass, you should probably leave your stilettos at home. Grieving the loss of a loved one? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers cremation services for those who wish to have their loved ones remains disposed in a respectful and dignified manner.

    Hats or headbands could be a nice touch if the funeral is very traditional; however, you should make sure to keep the proportions on a smaller scale; nobody wants a big hat in front of them while they are attending the service.

    Things to Avoid

    You should avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or too casual, such as ripped jeans, sheer tops, or pieces with inappropriate cut-out details. In general, you should avoid wearing clothes with bright colours and loud prints (unless otherwise requested), but other things you should avoid include bright colours and loud prints.

    In terms of accessories, keep things as simple as possible. This is not the time to bring out your favourite large tote bag; instead, try going with a clutch or a handbag that is a bit more compact.

    The same rule applies to your jewellery; make sure that it is timeless and understated. Look through your collection of jewellery for some silver and gold pieces that will never go out of style, such as a simple chain or a pair of hoops.

    Sunglasses are one accessory that people are typically very forgiving of others for wearing at funerals. Put a pair of glasses in the pocket of your bag or the inside of your jacket just in case; grief can manifest itself in surprising ways, and if things suddenly become too much for you, or if you don't want to feel watched, you can pull out your glasses and put them on.

    What Women Should Not Wear to a Funeral

    Miniskirts, low-cut blouses or dresses, and spandex are all things you should steer clear of. It is not in your best interest to be the centre of attention. Women can choose to clothe themselves in skirts and blouses, dresses, or pantsuits that do not draw attention to their curves, cleavage, or excessive amounts of leg.

    Keep your accessories simple. It is possible that you will be walking in grass or on uneven ground; therefore, you should not wear your stilettos but instead wear shoes that are more practical, such as flats or low-heeled shoes. Do not put on a large, floppy hat like the kind you would wear to the beach.

    If you choose to wear a hat, you should take care that it does not draw attention to you or obstruct the view of the officiant for anyone else. Leave your clanking bangle bracelets and sparkling necklaces at home; jewellery should be understated and not draw attention to itself.

    What Men Should Not Wear to a Funeral

    It is inappropriate for men to wear baseball caps or anything else with writing on it. Put away your graphic and printed T-shirts and go for something that is understated and conventional rather than something like that.

    If there isn't a specific reason to do otherwise, you shouldn't wear a tie that has a vivid print on it. The majority of funerals call for conservative attire, such as a suit or pants and blazer that have been tailored to the individual.


    There are some notable exceptions to the aforementioned. At the funeral of a veteran, it is appropriate to dress in a military uniform if you served in the armed forces.

    If your religion or the religion of the person who passed away requires a particular mode of dress, you should adhere to the rules.

    A funeral, to many people's minds, is more of a joyous occasion to celebrate a life than it is to mourn the passing of a loved one. In the event that this is the case, the family of the deceased may request that people dress in a more upbeat manner.

    Listen to what they have to say. Don't be afraid to ask for advice if you're unsure what to wear to an event. That is preferable to showing up dressed in a manner that is not appropriate.

    Be Conservative

    Since a funeral is a sombre event, it is appropriate to wear colours and styles that are considered more traditional. It is not required that you dress in all black, but doing so is not frowned upon.

    Unless specifically requested by the family of the deceased, you should probably steer clear of wearing anything flashy or bright, such as a floral print dress, wild print, or neon necktie. It is also impolite to expose an excessive amount of skin, so avoid wearing clothes with low-cut necklines or hemlines that are too short.

    When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is funeral arrangements. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a diverse religious and traditional funeral services that will accommodate your needs and reflect the life of your loved one.

    More Things to Consider When Dressing for a Funeral

    As you choose something to wear to a funeral, there are several things you need to take into account:

    • It is neither appropriate nor appropriate to show off your sexiest outfit at this time or place.
    • Steer clear of low-cut pants and cropped tops.
    • You should avoid wearing anything that draws attention to your outfit or that requires you to adjust it frequently.
    • Keep the design of your jewellery understated and uncomplicated.
    • If the funeral service is going to be held in the sanctuary of the church, be sure to adhere to the dress code for the church.
    • If you are unsure how to dress, try to imagine what you would wear to a job interview in an office setting, and then dress the same way.
    • A tailored jacket, sweater, or shawl can be worn on top of a sleeveless dress if the lady chooses to wear one.
    • It is now appropriate to wear a coat and dress pants to funerals. Pantsuits are also acceptable.
    • You are not required to go out and purchase a new ensemble. Check out the pieces you already have in your closet and put together an outfit that is suitable for the occasion. Keep in mind that putting on a nice jacket can finish off your look and get you ready for the funeral.
    • Wear nothing that could potentially make a noise. The clanking sound that is made by stacked bangle bracelets is not only annoying but also demonstrates a lack of respect for the event.
    • Put on some shoes with closed toes. It is acceptable to wear either flats or heels in this situation. Stilettos are not.
    • You are free to dress in bright colours if the survivors want you to wear more festive clothing. Despite this, you should not expose an excessive amount of skin or wear anything else that will draw an excessive amount of attention to yourself.
    • Keep your makeup to a minimum. Make sure your mascara is waterproof if you know you're going to be crying a lot at the funeral.
    • Cover any tattoos that might cause offence to other people if you have them.
    • Funerals that are held outside require the wear of sunglasses. The ones without any flashy embellishment would be the ones you should wear the most. The more straightforward it is, the better.
    • Maintain a look that is as natural and uncomplicated as you can with your hairstyle.
    • You shouldn't wear scented body lotions or perfumes because some people have extremely severe allergies, and you don't want to make other people sneeze and cough while the services are going on.

    Dressing for the Seasons

    what to wear to a funeral (2)

    What to Wear at a Funeral in Summer

    When deciding whether or not to attend a funeral during the summer, the location should come first. If you will be attending a service that is held outside, it is highly recommended that you come prepared for the sun and the heat.

    Bring sunglasses and an umbrella. The glasses, rather than having a cheery "summer fun" style, should preferably be straightforward and black in colour. The umbrella will most likely be black, but if that is not possible, then it should be acceptable in most cases to have it in any style or design.

    Try to limit the number of layers you wear, and dress in lightweight, breathable fabrics. Cotton and linen are two examples of lighter and airier fabrics that you should consider using.

    Steer clear of wearing clothes made of synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, or any other type that will cause you to overheat and sweat. Additionally, avoid wearing shorts and flip-flops; however, dressier sandals or sandals with nicer straps are acceptable.

    Dresses that are lightweight and comfortable are ideal for women, as are knee-length skirts paired with airy blouses.

    It is appropriate to wear tops with short sleeves; however, you should avoid wearing tops that expose an excessive amount of your shoulders or chest.

    Miniskirts, clothing that is too tight, and spaghetti straps should all be avoided. If at all possible, you should dress in black, grey, or dark blue; however, most modern funerals are more relaxed about dress code and allow a wider variety of colours as long as they are not too flashy.

    Shorts and denim are inappropriate attire for men to wear. Instead, you should wear dress pants or slacks that are lightweight. Wear it with a shirt that has a collar, like a button-up or a polo shirt, for a polished look. Avoid wearing shirts with Hawaiian prints or other bright colours.

    Although it is acceptable to wear lighter colours, such as khaki slacks, it is recommended that you wear a darker dress or polo shirt instead because this helps keep the tone of the outfit serious and may help hide any sweat that may be caused by the heat.

    Dress shoes, loafers, or dark sneakers are all good options; however, dark socks are required to go with any of these shoe options.

    When it comes to children, they should almost always take their cues from their parents. Shorts are appropriate attire, particularly when the weather will be warm or sunny; however, you should avoid wearing sandals with them and instead opt for nicer shoes.

    What to Wear at a Funeral in Winter

    Be sure to wear appropriate outerwear if the funeral is scheduled to take place during the cold winter months. The same rules for appropriate attire must be followed when attending a funeral during the winter, with the addition of outerwear and cold-weather accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves. When going to events held outside, bring a black umbrella with you.

    When it comes to outerwear for women, you can never go wrong with a timeless wool coat in a dark or subdued colour.

    It is also appropriate to wear your outerwear in colours and patterns such as wintergreen, dark blue, brown, and plaid.

    If the burial or funeral is going to take place outside, you should wear good rain boots. Even if you're going to be inside, you shouldn't wear sandals or shoes with open toes of any kind.

    Accessories may consist of things like hats, scarves, and warm gloves, as well as other kinds of head coverings. Follow these general guidelines for the clothing that women should wear to a funeral, with the exception of outerwear and accessories.

    Because of this, it is essential for men to have a high-quality black wool coat; additionally, they should accessorise with a dark scarf and warm gloves.

    Put on some dark wool socks that are thick. A beanie in black or grey is fine, but the more traditional look of a fedora is much better.

    If the funeral is going to be held outside, you should wear rain boots, but if it's going to be inside, you should wear your regular winter footwear.

    The rest of the advice for men's funeral attire should be followed, with the exception of the section on outerwear and accessories.

    When it comes to the children, it is important to once again take your cues from the parents. Coats for the winter in a variety of colours, as well as rain boots in a variety of styles, are appropriate attire.

    If you can help it, try to steer clear of bright colours when it comes to your accessories; however, the vast majority of people will understand if you are unable to buy your children an entirely new winter wardrobe.

    Traditional and Non-Traditional Services

    A memorial service honours the deceased when the body of the deceased person is not present, whereas the more traditional term for a service in which the body is present is a funeral.

    Either term may be used in certain circumstances when the deceased person was cremated.

    A committal service is the traditional name given to the service that one attends when they are present at a literal burial. In any case, it is also possible to refer to it as a graveside ceremony, graveside service, burial service, or just a "burial." As a result of the fact that this event takes place almost always immediately after a funeral service, the appropriate attire for both of these occasions is the same.

    In recent years, the phrase "celebration of life" has become increasingly popular. The concept behind this trend is to commemorate the life of the departed individual rather than lament their passing away.

    If this term is used, expect the service to be more casual with perhaps unique, creative, and alternative ceremonies and celebrations happening. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide religious and traditional funeral services.

    What to Wear to a Funeral

    When going to a funeral, it is important to dress respectfully in order to honour not only the deceased person, whose body may be present, but also the family members who are grieving.

    Because the deceased person's body will be cremated or buried at some point after the service, the service itself will need to take place as soon as possible after the death. This indicates that the pain that family and friends are experiencing will be fresh and raw.

    Therefore, there is even more of a compelling case for selecting funeral attire in accordance with the more conventional, formal, and conservative guidelines outlined earlier. You can show your respect to the family of the departed person by participating in this activity.

    What to Wear to a Wake, Viewing, or Visitation

    Awake is sometimes referred to as "just a viewing," as it does not involve an open casket like traditional viewings do.

    To be more precise, a wake is traditionally a ceremony that is observed by Catholics; however, in recent years, the term has been used in a more general sense.

    A visitation is an event that is very similar to a wake, but the body of the deceased is not present.

    A wake, viewing, or visitation is a gathering for close friends and family to come together and express their condolences, share their grief, and be with one another after a loss. It is a tremendous honour to even be considered for an invitation to one of these events.

    When attending, be sure to abide by the same rules as outlined in the section above regarding funerals. The level of dress formality expected can range anywhere from extremely formal to dressy casual.

    If you are already acquainted with the family, you will be aware of their fashion and how they feel about certain things; therefore, you should dress appropriately.

    On the other hand, if you do not know the family very well, it is always best to err on the side of caution and dress in more formal attire. Dresses and suits in shades of black or grey are appropriate at all times.

    What to Wear to a Memorial Service

    In most cases, the body of the deceased is not present during a memorial service.

    It is possible for this to occur for a number of different reasons; however, in most cases, the memorial service will take place several weeks or even months after the person has passed away.

    As a consequence of this, a memorial service typically has a more casual atmosphere than a funeral does.

    The same standards for appropriate attire are typically adhered to at a funeral, but a memorial service may allow attendees to adopt an attitude that is somewhat more laid back and relaxed.

    You should at the very least wear nice clothes, colours that are on the drab side, and follow the dressy-casual outfits that are worn to job interviews and places of worship.

    If you are unsure of what to do, err on the side of being more formal and traditional.

    What to Wear to a Celebration of Life

    When you see the phrase "celebration of life" and there is no complete absence of funeral, memorial service, committal, or any other similar event, then it is highly likely that you will be attending a less formal gathering.

    These can take the form of anything from a solemn memorial service to an all-out party complete with bands, dancing, drinking, and other activities of that nature.

    You should still dress respectfully and appropriately, and you should still keep in mind the culture and values of the family, but it is probably safe to assume that a well-put-together but still casual outfit will be acceptable.

    Considering your options for funeral arrangements? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers pre-paid funerals as a more affordable and convenient option. We’ll help you make all the necessary arrangements in advance, so that your loved ones won't have to worry about anything when the time comes.

    Do You Always Have to Wear Black at a Funeral?

    At funerals, people traditionally dress in black, so selecting that colour to wear is always a good choice to make.

    Dress in darker tones (like deep brown, navy, or dark green) and avoid anything "over the top" to avoid offending other mourners. If, on the other hand, you are usually a flamboyant dresser and wouldn't feel like yourself in an all-black look, make sure to dress in darker tones (like deep brown, navy, or dark green).

    On extremely rare occasions, some families might ask you to wear colour to celebrate the life of the deceased person. This can make an otherwise solemn day and the dress code a little bit more flexible.

    Clothing to Wear to a Funeral That Is Not Black

    There are a lot of funerals and memorial services out there, and many of them do not require attendees to wear black. You are free to continue to wear black to those events (unless it is a "celebration of life" or similar event where you are specifically asked not to wear black).

    Even if you do not plan to wear black to the funeral, it is appropriate to stick with darker colours, especially those that are earth-based.

    Visit Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals to know more about our prepaid funeral service and find the best funeral option for your unique situation.

    Gray in nearly all shades and dark blues are highly appropriate. Aside from these mainstay colours. 

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