Appropriate Funeral Attire: Ask the Audience

girlHeather says:

I will be attending the funeral of a friend on Monday.  Due to being pregnant or nursing for the past five years, I have nothing I can just pull out of the closet.  My church clothes are all light in color (think khaki, camel, and white).   I would highly appreciate any fairly specific suggestions.  This should serve as a reminder to everyone to have at least one sober garment that fits at all times.

Thank you Home Eccers.



24 Comments

  1. Ruth on May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Since it's getting toward summer and you'd be using a navy blazer, I'd say that's acceptable. It's also not YOUR grandmother. That'd be different. Pink pants should be kind of pale, not a happy or excited pink…

  2. Ruth on May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Since it's getting toward summer and you'd be using a navy blazer, I'd say that's acceptable. It's also not YOUR grandmother. That'd be different. Pink pants should be kind of pale, not a happy or excited pink…

  3. Shauna on May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Seeing as how this is your best friend's loved one who died, I would do your best to adhere to standard funeral attire as possible. Light and bright typically isn't preferred. Light may be okay, especially since you're wearing a darker blazer on top. But remember that you're there for support to your friend and if you show up and you feel uncomfortable with your attire, you won't be able to focus on the situation at hand. Make yourself as comfortable and appropriate as possible to relieve any awkward uncomfortable feelings when you arrive. It's always awkward to show up to an event and feel like you're standing out because of your attire.

  4. Shauna on May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Seeing as how this is your best friend's loved one who died, I would do your best to adhere to standard funeral attire as possible. Light and bright typically isn't preferred. Light may be okay, especially since you're wearing a darker blazer on top. But remember that you're there for support to your friend and if you show up and you feel uncomfortable with your attire, you won't be able to focus on the situation at hand. Make yourself as comfortable and appropriate as possible to relieve any awkward uncomfortable feelings when you arrive. It's always awkward to show up to an event and feel like you're standing out because of your attire.

  5. francis on May 7, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Hi, I’m 22 yrs old and I have nothing formal to wear to my best friends grandmother funeral.. I have a lot of light bright clothing and I haven’t ben to a funeral in years. I anted to know if it would be okay if I wore navy blazer with a white button down shirt with light pink pants? Please respond ASAP. Thanks

  6. Timothy Totten on January 22, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I realize this comes after the funeral you were attending, so this advice is for everyone else.
    As a funeral professional, I’ve seen all kinds of funeral atire, from super-formal tuxes to shorts and flipflops.
    Black is a simple funeral color, mostly because of the historical use of black for funerals. However, less formal colors can be worn, depending upon the person being commemorated. My grandmother wore blue to her husband’s funeral because it was his favorite color on her.
    At the very least, make sure that no matter the color clothing, you wear an outfit that shows the proper respect for the deceased. If light colors do that, go for it. Just stay away from cutoffs and sandals.

  7. Fawn on January 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Heather – just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you today. I hope you managed to find something you feel comfortable wearing.

  8. Nina on January 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Between myself and my husband, we’ve had 4 grandparents pass away in the last 2 years, and each time I wore a dark skirt or pants and a white button down blouse…it doesn’t have to be black anymore. Lots of stores are having winter clearances right now…Kohl’s is usually where I go first.

  9. Hilary on January 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    I always have a backlog of soft black jackets and cardigans. Even if one doesn’t fit well, you can wear it open, over a nice outfit with lighter colors. Khakis and a white shirt, for example.

  10. Pam on January 19, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    My prayers will be with you on Monday…just being there to lend support, love and prayers to her family will be the perfect “outfit” to have on Pam, South Bend

  11. Anna on January 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    My sympathies on your loss.

    You can never go wrong owning a good pair of black pants. They can be dressed up or down for many occasions. For a funeral, pair it with a simple sweater or button down blouse in a dark or neutral shade.

    When you find a nice one on sale somewhere, a charcoal or dark grey blazer is a great piece to have on hand to pair with the black pants for such occasions in the future. It’s a good wardrobe builder that can be mixed and matched with many things. I even wear mine with jeans when I need to look a bit more presentable on errand days.

  12. Carol on January 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I think if you pick up a basic pair of black pants or skirt, or a dark brown bottoeom to go with your nicer shirts you will be fine.

  13. Jasi on January 19, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Target, Old Navy, or Gap Outlet should have inexpensive black pants that fit nicely without costing much. Having good black dress pants is a good investment anyway. Pair with that a dark navy button down, chocolate knit, plain black sweater. Wear little or no jewelry and very subdued makeup. Especially if it’s a Jewish funeral as vanity is inappropriate. I think.

    Very sorry for your loss.

  14. Angela on January 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Where I was raised in LDS community and in Houston, it never felt like you had to wear black. Sure you might not wear hot pink but at the same time you didn’t have to wear black.

    I think its about taking into consideration the feelings of the mourning family and if this funeral is being pictured as a horrible, dreadful event or if rather its sad but a celebration of life. Does that make any sense?

    Anyway I’m so frugal that the idea of buying an outfit for one occasion when I’m at an odd size, that I won’t be at long, hopefully, kills me. Go with the khaki or the camel and don’t stress. Just pay your respects.

    My thought, would just be to wear something you have, that is muted in tone. You can add dark accessories if needed.

  15. Meredith from Merchant Ships on January 19, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I think white/light clothes are perfectly appropriate here in the South. Just not dark shoes!

    Add pearls to pull it all together.

  16. JimK on January 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I popped in to also say “thrift store,” but I see that angle has been covered. When my granddad-in-law passed, I was caught with nothing but a black tux in the closet. The pants were simple, plain black wool, so I went to a thrift store and found a black sportcoat, put them together and it ended up costing only 20 dollars. Still have it, in fact.

  17. Freeda on January 19, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Funeral’s not till Monday, so you have two days to shop. Go get yourself something nice and appropriate.. There’s always something — a wedding, a funeral, a meeting or recital — and you need to be able to get dressed up a little no matter HOW pregnant you are. You won’t regret spending the money, because you’ll be prepared from now on.

    I’d go with something pretty simple and then you can change it up with accessories so it doesn’t look the same at every event.

  18. Christy on January 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I vote for going to Target and buying one of their dark-colored wrap dresses. They always seem to have a few.

  19. Rachel on January 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I second the thrift store recommendation. I got a great black jacket at one for <$1, spent another couple of bucks getting the sleeves taken in, and it was perfect.

  20. Margaret on January 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I’m sorry you have a funeral to go to and on top of that, have to worry about your wardrobe. If you have camel dress pants or skirts (not cotton – maybe rayon or polyester blends so they drape – NOT cotton khakis) and you combine that if a dress top and nicely styled hair/makeup and don’t wear any flashy accessories, I think that’s perfectly fine. I don’t think you have to wear black to a funeral, per se, just not flashy clothes.
    Now, here’s a longer commentary on how I handle this dilemma 🙂 Feel free to read or not.

    My nursing and maternity clothes are heavy on black because it goes with everything and can easily be dressed up or down. I guess you don’t have much time to go shopping, but I have a great pair of black polyester pants with a flat elastic waist that’s not really gathered (sounds horrible, I know), but they are big without being baggy and they hang nicely because they don’t wrinkle. They’re also machine washable, of course.
    In non-nursing or pregnant life, I have a black pantsuit with a zip-up blazer. I can wear the pieces separately or together. It’s basic, but I don’t feel matronly in it because the jacket doesn’t have lapels and buttons. Best of all, I got it on sale at a department store for about $50. It was the backbone of my professional wardrobe, but now as a SAHM, it’s great for church, funerals, conferences, etc. I also like black because I have big feet and black dress shoes are easy to find and don’t draw attention to my feet. My mom always taught me to match my hose and shoes to my hemline, so I avoid light colored bottoms and never wear light hose, consequently. My khaki bottoms are pants, so I wear trouser socks and brown loafers.

  21. Fawn on January 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I was also thinking a shawl might help – you could wear something khaki coloured with a darker shawl and I’m sure that would be fine. I’m sure the family would be glad to have you there in support and solidarity regardless of what you’re wearing.

    My condolences to you for losing a friend.

  22. hsgbdmama on January 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    A white shirt with dark pants or a dark jumper would be appropriate.

  23. Christopher on January 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Do you live near any good thrift stores? They’re usually a great way to get a more formal jacket which you could probably pair with something you’ve got.

  24. Kendra on January 19, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Your chocolate dress with a weather appropriate shawl or cover would be fine.

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