At a memorial or burial service there is certain funeral dress etiquette that defines the proper attire for men, women, and children. Typically people attending a funeral will choose to wear conservative clothing. Men and women tend to wear black and darker colors in reverence for the one who died. These darker colors reflect the conservative attitude of the wearer, and it has been the tradition to wear these colors in respect of the grieving family.
The solemnity of the event should reflect in the manner of clothing, and a simple dress or suit would be enough to extend the mourning spirit and thus, extend sympathy for the family. For children, on the other hand, comfortable, dark clothing without logos or faddish ensembles would perfectly suit the event. Funeral dress etiquette calls for a more traditional style that captures the mourning spirit and extends the condolences of the wearer.
However, there are certain families that would encourage more upbeat, brighter colors instead of the traditional funeral dress etiquette. Those who are young, and young at heart, can deviate from the traditional style to more fashionable and bright clothing. They can go for lighter colors and women may wear dresses that are knee-length and do not reflect the traditionally conservative occasion. However, even if the family encourages attendees not to wear black or dress in casual attire, it is always recommended to be somewhat conservative. Do not wear t-shirts, clothes with loud patterns or logos, or any other clothes that would not be appropriate for a funeral.
It is always appropriate with funeral dress etiquette, especially for women and children, to cover the shoulders and have a degree of conservativeness. Certain families will prefer long dresses that are ankle-length, and those who prefer long-sleeved dark clothing. Thus, to be able to dress suitably to a funeral, it is most preferable to evaluate what type of family they are, or to ask the grieving family about the type of clothing that they should wear. It is not unseemly to ask, especially since funerals are special occasions that call for suitable attire. If there is no time to ask, then choose attire that is respectful and conservative. It is not necessary to wear all black, but wearing some black or darker colors is a good idea.
Updated: May 21, 2013