Not sure how to dress for a funeral?
Black clothing is traditional, yet dark or muted colours are also considered appropriate when mourning.
Whilst the dress code for a funeral in the UK is generally quite formal, the most important thing to do when deciding what to wear is to respect the wishes of the bereaved family.
Before they passed away, the deceased may have stated that they want a low-key ceremony or the congregation to dress in bright colours to reflect their life.
For those who are unsure whether there is a dress or colour code, here our funeral directors have rounded up a few basics to remember when dressing as respectful and comfortable as possible…
Men’s funeral attire
Unless there is a specified dress code, men are expected to wear:
- Black or dark coloured suit
- White long-sleeved shirt with a collar
- Plain black tie
- Black shoes
Your suit should be well dressed, your shirt ironed, and shoes polished.
It’s worth noting that you may be standing or walking a lot. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable, so choose a comfortable pair of black dress shoes.
Depending on the time of year, you may opt to bring a formal jacket as well. Not only will this keep you warm in the church and after the ceremony, but it’ll also give you pockets for tissues.
In the summer, a suit is still traditionally worn – only you can remove your jacket to prevent you from overheating. Sunglasses are generally accepted for outside too.
Women’s funeral attire
For the ladies, traditional funeral attire consists of:
- Trousers or a skirt or dress
- Plain blouse or shirt
- Cardigan or blazer
- Smart shoes
Black clothing is not compulsory for funerals, but most females wear a dark coloured skirt, dress, or pair of trousers. If you opt for a dress or skirt, make sure it is not revealing and of an appropriate length.
Try and keep jewellery and accessories to a minimum. No oversized bags or sparkly diamond jewels. And if you’re attending a graveside service, you’ll want sensible footwear – think black boots or flat dolly shoes.
Children’s funeral attire
Much like the grown-ups, children are expected to dress smart for funerals – with dark and subdued colours preferred.
Typically, boys should wear a shirt and tie with a pair of black trousers and shoes whilst girls wear a smart black dress.
What not to wear to a funeral
Sometimes, the deceased or their loved ones may request that mourners choose bold clothing or brightly coloured garments, as opposed to black or dark hues.
As it’s their wish, you should stick to this dress code – even if it means wearing all-black with a coloured cardigan, shirt, or badge.
If you’re attending a religious ceremony, it’s worth checking the etiquette and customs which are followed by that faith and dress accordingly.
Unless you’re told otherwise, avoid wearing any of the following to a funeral service:
- Trainers or flip flops
- Printed or slogan t-shirts
- Baseball caps
- Coloured or patterned ties
- Revealing or suggestive clothing
If you’re ever in doubt, go for something smart and neutral. And if you don’t want to trouble the family at what can only be described as an emotional time, be sure to reach out to the funeral directors for advice and guidance.
Want to know more?
If you’d like further advice on what to expect at a funeral or you need a hand arranging the service for a loved one, get in touch with Brunel Funeral Directors.
As independent funeral directors in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, we are here to help you every step of the way – reducing the burden of arranging a funeral.
You can either give us a call on 0117 374 2002, email email@example.com or come and visit us at our comfortable funeral home. Here we can discuss your needs over a nice cup of tea and help you to give the deceased the send-off they would have wanted.