Unfortunately, we are all likely to attend a swathe of funerals and wakes in our lifetimes. Although it is not something to look forward to by any means, it is best to be prepared for the eventuality that you will be required to dress appropriately for the occasion.
Today, we’re exploring some different options for funeral-appropriate outfit ideas.
The little black dress or LBD may be an essential piece of every woman’s wardrobe, but that does not by any means make them the black dress you want to have at hand for a funeral service. Instead, opt for a dress that goes to the knee as a minimum. Floor-length dresses can be suitable for funerals, but you want to ensure that your dress doesn’t lean too far into ‘gown’ territory, as this is a bit too over-the-top for such a sombre occasion. Another must is that your shoulders are covered. Aside from any religious beliefs, it is simply respectful to wear a dress that isn’t strapless or too low cut.
Tailored, well-fitting dresses are a smart choice that will leave you appropriately dressed without raising any eyebrows. Add accessories like vintage jewellery and perhaps a pair of dark gloves to your attire if you feel your outfit looks a little bare. Pearl jewellery seems especially well-suited to formal events like funerals, bringing some much-needed brightness and lustre to an otherwise solemn day. Using vintage jewellery is particularly appealing for such an event because it somewhat transcends time, connecting the various generations present at the service. Even more compelling as an accessory is vintage jewellery that has been inherited from a family member, since funerals are usually a time for feeling close to one’s family members, both living and deceased.
If you aren’t the type of person who feels comfortable in a dress, you shouldn’t wear one to a funeral just because you think it is the done thing. Representing your true self is important, even at a funeral, and so if you would be happier in trousers, a suit is the choice for you. Many women’s suits are marketed as being more colourful and often more playful than their male counterparts, but it is possible to find smart, black suits that are fitting for the occasion. The main choices to make if you decide to wear a suit are deciding what shoes to wear and what type of shirt to wear.
A blouse is usually a better choice than a button-down shirt when attending a funeral, as the button-down is closer to workwear, and may read as more ‘professional’ than personal, which the occasion may require. The colour of the blouse is up to you and how well you know the deceased, as many people specifically request that attendees of their funerals wear some colour in their outfit. If the service you attend has this requirement, your blouse is the perfect way of incorporating said colour. You can also add a brooch to further the pop of colour, and even use your shoes to co-ordinate. The decision to wear heels or flats is largely down to your personal preference. If you know other attendees will be dressed in a more subdued way, consider formal flat shoes. Wingtip style shoes or women’s oxfords are perfect for looking smart in flats without looking frumpy or drab.
Nobody is excited to attend a funeral, but the reality of the situation is that you get the opportunity to catch up with family and friends who have perhaps drifted over the years, and you all come together to remember someone who was likely very special to most of the people attending. Make sure you look your best to show you respect and love for all those present the next time you are called upon to attend a funeral.
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*This is a collaborative article