Help! What Do I Wear to a Funeral?

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, June 6, 2022

You’re not alone if you’re wondering what to wear to a funeral at a funeral home in Fulton, IL. Use this ultimate guide to funeral attire as inspiration for your funeral or memorial outfits!  

To begin, different kinds of services have different attire requirements. For example, wakes, viewings, or visitations are muted, somber events and therefore require muted, somber clothing. Expectations for attire can range from highly formal to dressy-casual, so be sure to check the invitation or dress according to what you know about the family. Similarly, it’s important to dress respectfully and conservatively at a funeral to honor the deceased and the bereaved. Stick to tradition, avoid bright colors, and, when in doubt, dress like you would for a job interview.  

Memorials are more informal events than funerals, but they still require somewhat subdued formal clothing. When in doubt, err on the side of more formal and more traditional with dark colors and conservative cuts. Celebrations of life are unique services in that they are more casual and upbeat. As such, they have fewer expectations and requirements for dress. Celebrations of life can range from lighthearted memorials to parties with dancing, so be sure to check the invitation for guidance on attire. However, it’s safe to assume that a smart-but-casual outfit will be acceptable. 

When dressing for a funeral or memorial, you should be aware of some common attire guidelines. For instance, avoid revealing pieces. Shirts and dresses should always cover up to the neck and pants and dresses should go down to the knees. Many traditions also require shoulders and knees covered as well as headwear such as hats for the men and headscarves for the women. As for footwear, avoid athletic shoes like sneakers as well as casual shoes like flip-flops. More causal services may allow t-shirts and other informal wear, but always avoid loud prints or big logos and keep a formal jacket on hand just in case. A general rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a job interview or a church service: conservative, clean, and put-together.  

The traditional colors worn to funerals are an important aspect of funeral attire. Though not every service calls for dark hues, you will almost always blend in and be appropriately dressed if you stick to the tradition of wearing a black, dark grey, or deep blue. Brown shades, lighter grays, and other earthy colors are acceptable for most funeral services. Be sure to avoid bright colors including yellow, red, pink, orange, and white. You can wear white if it’s part of an accessory or worn underneath dark colors, like a white shirt with a dark jacket. 

Funeral, memorial, and other service attire can be a minefield of differing traditions and opinions, often leaving guests completely unsure of what to wear. However, you don’t have to be unsure anymore. We are here to help if you want more guidance on Fulton, IL funeral home or what to wear to death-related events. Please call or visit us today.  

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