Funeral Etiquette: Part 1 – Dressing Appropriately for a Funeral Service

Funeral etiquette is steeped in tradition and historically reflects a solemn environment of formality and dignity. Choosing what to wear to a funeral is important.

It should respect the ambiance of the service while being practical and accessible to the wearer. Black and other dark muted colors have routinely been the norm for funeral attendees. Today, however, funeral attire varies widely according to the type of service. That navy pant suit you normally would have worn might be replaced by a bright pink outfit for a special celebration of life.

Dressing Appropriately for a Funeral ServiceHere are the top five guidelines to dressing appropriately for a funeral service:

  1. Dress at the level you would to attend church or a job interview. The idea is to be respectful of the situation and not draw attention to yourself by looking out of place with clothing that is too casual.
  2. When all else fails, black is the go-to color and is always appropriate. Other dark and muted colors are generally acceptable, but avoid loud patterns. The color white is acceptable for jewelry, accents, or shirts worn under darker colors like a jacket or sweater.
  3. Leave the flip flops and sneakers at home. The same goes for baseball hats and shorts.
  4. Make sure your clothing is not too revealing. Remember that the focus of the memorial service is on the life and legacy of the one who has passed.
  5. Be considerate of any religious customs such as hats, covered shoulders, etc.

During the summer, consider the location when selecting your attire. If you are going to be outside in the heat for an extended period, choose lightweight clothing and avoid and too many layers. Choose fabrics like cotton and linen and avoid nylon, polyester, or other synthetic fabrics that can trap in heat and sweat. Again, say no to shorts and flip flops, but dressy or nicer strapped sandals are fine. Subdued sunglasses are also acceptable, and take along an umbrella just in case of a sudden summer storm.

For funeral services during winter time, make sure your outerwear follow the same respectful guidelines. For example, if you are honoring someone who was an advocate for animal welfare, skip the fox fur coat. Feel free to wear gloves, scarves and hats for really cold temperatures. Other than outerwear and accessories, follow the other guidelines for general funeral attire.

If you are attending a themed service or celebration of life, you could be asked to wear something that reflects the unique characteristics or favorite color of the departed. From beachwear to sombreros, there is no wrong way to honor the amazing life of someone you’ve lost if that is what they wanted. If you have questions, ask a close friend or family member.

You can also ask the professionals at Bi-State Cremation and Funeral Service about anything related to a St. Louis funeral home service or cremation. We respect your wishes, understand your grief, and work with you to honor your loved one in the best way possible. For more information, please call us today at (314) 831-8868.

Bi-State Cremation & Funeral Service
3387 N Hwy 67, Florissant, MO 63033
Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa,Su all day
Scroll to Top