What to wear to a funeral

October 13, 2017

Traditionally in the UK Christian funerals were a solemn affair and mourners were expected to wear black or dark clothing, matching the sombre tone of the services. However, in recent years funerals have, broadly speaking, become much more relaxed and as such the etiquette for clothing has also changed with it.

Typically with traditional funerals the expected dress code would have meant a black suit, white shirt and black tie, and for women a black dress or skirt and top. However even for the more formal of funerals today some variation normally takes place with brighter, but still quite muted, colours such as greys or navy blues.

As funerals have become more relaxed in their nature, many families today choose to have a more laid back attitude to the attire of funeral goers. They believe that by introducing colour it can make the funeral less sombre and more of a celebration of the person’s life. This could mean bright neon colours, the colour of the deceased favourite sports team or simply a dash of colour in an otherwise traditional outfit such as with a coloured tie or scarf.

Regardless of the chosen dress code, clothes are expected to be washed and pressed and shoes to be as clean as possible. Bear in mind that the venue for the funeral may be quite cold and therefore you may want to wear a coat, however where possible your coat should be in keeping with the rest of your outfit – i.e. more of a formal coat than a sports coat or jacket.

In most cases what you will need to wear will have been decided either by the family or by the deceased themselves prior to the funeral. If information has not been communicated to you to wear otherwise, then you should plan for traditional funeral attire.

This etiquette for funerals is related to a typical Christian or non-religious funeral; however funerals for other faiths may differ. For example, at Hindu funerals white clothing is normally expected and at some Jewish funerals men may be expected to wear a kippah.  If you are unsure as to what to wear to a funeral then you should consult with the family or the funeral director in charge of the ceremony for advice on the correct attire for the day.

For help and advice on organising a funeral, please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here.