Black Neckties & Proper Funeral Clothes
The traditional color for funeral wear is black. Depending on your relationship to the deceased there are acceptable options today. Normally men would wear a black suit with a white shirt and a subdued colored tie. Women would wear either black dresses or black pant suits. Color is currently considered proper for wear at a funeral, especially for funerals that are more of a celebration of life than a mourning for the dead. Today any black attire is acceptable as long as it is not skimpy and shoes are close-toed.
Many families do not follow the tradition of wearing black to funerals. They believe that color is a part of the celebration of life, even amongst the dead. Neon yellow or lime green is not appropriate in any circumstance.
If attending a religious service at a funeral home, church or graveside wear clothing that is tasteful and conservative. Good colors for conservative dress are black, navy and grey. Suggestive clothing, even if black, is never appropriate. Shoulders should be covered by clothing or accessories such as shawls or wraps.
In some cases the family of the deceased may request the wearing of the color black. In this case, comply closely to their wishes. For men this would mean wearing a black suit with black shirt, tie, shoes and socks. For women this means black dress or suit with all black accessories. If in doubt, check with the party doing the funeral preparations as to appropriate dress for the occasion.
Footwear worn to a funeral should be sensible and appropriate. Sport shoes, sandals, flip flops and Sorels would be considered inappropriate for funeral wear. As a guideline, wear what you would to a conservative church or an important business job interview. Dresses are fine to wear for funerals. However, never wear a sun dress, flashy, revealing or patterned dress to a funeral.
Appropriate dress should also be worn by children attending a funeral. Like their father, little boys should wear a black suit. Little girls should be dressed in a subdued manner in straight, plain dresses with no sequins or beading. Choose comfortable footwear for children. Boys may wear black loafers or sneaker while girls may choose ballerina flats or Mary Jane styles.
Weather should be taken into consideration when choosing funeral wear. Dress appropriate to the weather. Men should keep their jackets on for indoor services but may remove jackets if outdoors. The same is true for women. If acting as a pall-bearer you should wear at the very least, a dark sports coat with a tie. If you are coming from out of town you may want to bring multiple outfits to dress for the weather.
How you dress at a funeral is a reflection of your feelings for the deceased. Dress appropriately to show your respect.