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What to wear to a funeral

what to wear to a funeral

Attending a funeral is one of the most emotionally taxing events, a time where you'd think the last thing on your mind would be your appearance. Yet, what to wear to a funeral is a question at the forefront of many people's minds when the time comes to pay your last respects. Guests often fret about dressing appropriately - too formal or not formal enough? Traditional or modern? To wear black or not? A day so difficult shouldn't be made harder due to clothing dilemmas, so read this guide and you'll have one less trouble to shoulder.


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10 tips for deciding what to wear to a funeral

Whether it's the funeral of a family member, friend or neighbour, a formal or informal affair or simply a celebration of life, funerals can be difficult to dress for. Here are our fail-safe funeral attire tips.


1. Find out the dress code

Ask a close aquaintance beforehand about dress code and follow suit if there's a special request to wear something specific, say, something red in a nod to the deceased.


2. Keep things muted if in doubt

Assume dark colours, such a black, navy or grey, otherwise, especially if you think it will be a more formal or traditional funeral. Black clothing tends to be the norm here.


3. Respect different cultures and religious beliefs

Certain religions might expect you to cover certain areas of your body, so be considerate and don't make a big statement about going against the grain on the day if it's not in line with your beliefs.


4. Consider the climate

You might need an extra layer if it's freezing or you may need to wear cool, sun-resistant materials if it's hotter. Plan ahead!


5. Longer is better

Try to stick to longer hemlines and sleeves, and steer away from deep v-necks and plunging necklines.


6. Now is not the time for statement pieces

Avoid bold prints and bright colours unless otherwise specified.


7. Think about your footwear

Wear comfortable shoes because after the funeral service you might be might be expected to walk some length in a procession, to a burial ceremony or to the wake.


8. And what's on your face...

Shun gaudy makeup, keep it subtle and refined


9. Minimise accessories

If you must wear sunglasses, stick to a plain, unassuming design.


10. Don't forget these!

If you wear prescription glasses, remember to pop them in your bag before you go. You're very likely to need them during the funeral service or for travelling.


Funeral outfits 

Looking for a dress, a black suit, a mid-length skirt? Whatever you deem appropriate for the funeral, take inspiration from our selection of outfits.  



When it comes to this type of occasion, the simpler the better. Choose a funeral dress that flatters your body shape while being longer in length. Pair with low heels, a pashmina or a jacket if it's on the chilly side. 

funeral dress outfits

Left: Mid-length black dress, £39.50, Marks and Spencer; Black D frame sunglasses, £15, John Lewis; Silk blend pashmina, £39, House of Fraser.

Right: Bottle green sleeveless dress, £30, Debenhams; Black Angelica heels, £69, Hotter; Black Mimi jacket, £149, Hobbs.


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If comfort is your main concern when it comes to your funeral outfits, or dresses simply aren't your thing, opt for slim-line trousers instead. Couple with a detailed blouse and a suit jacket if you'd like to look really smart. 

funeral trouser outfits

Left: Navy pleated crêpe trousers, £29.99, Yours; Navy half sleeve kimono top, £19.50, Marks and Spencer; Navy pashmina, £9.99, Amazon. 

Right: Black single breasted suit jacket, £50, Debenhams; Black straight leg suit trousers, £35, Debenhams; Black leather slip-on shoes, £45, Clarks.



Keep it conservative - depending on the wishes of the deceased, of course - with a mid-length skirt (pencil is best), a smart tucked-in blouse, and a cropped jacket on top. Again, choose a low heel for maximum comfort.

funeral skirt outfits

Left: Black pencil skirt, £18, Debenhams; Jacquard cuff detail blouse, £32.50, Marks and Spencer; Black kitten heel court shoes, £19.50, Marks and Spencer.

Right: Grey ponte panel skirt, £12, Bonmarché; Woven check top, £12, Matalan. Black flute sleeve cropped jacket, £17.99, House of Fraser.


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Images: Shutterstock