Traditionally, the color black has been associated with mourning, and mourning attire has been the custom in many countries for those attending a funeral. Even while standards are less rigorous these days, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the general funeral etiquette guidelines.
Here’s a list of funeral etiquette fundamentals to get you started:
What to Wear at a Funeral – Funeral Etiquette 101
The wearing of appropriate clothing can demonstrate respect and concern for the departed, their family, and other people.
In general, an outfit to wear to a funeral should be on the conservative side, similar to what you would wear to a business meeting, a job interview, or religious service or synagogue, for example.
The use of black or somber colors remains the most appropriate choice, particularly for immediate family members of the deceased.
However, while those attending the service, particularly visitors, now have more options, the requirements still require that they dress in largely modest, conservative apparel that is respectful of the event. Clothes should be clean, well-pressed, and free of stains.
In terms of attire, the most commonly observed funeral etiquette practices for males include: a black suit, with a white or simple solid colored shirt and a muted tie; a darker jacket, with dark slacks, and a collared, button-down shirt, with a tie and belt; and dark dress shoes. The bare minimum for younger men is to dress in a well-ironed solid-colored shirt, pants, and dress shoes, if at all possible.
A dark or black skirt suit or pantsuit; a skirt or slacks of a suitable length; a top with sleeves, such as a shirt, or a sweater; and flats or pumps are among the most prevalent funeral etiquette norms for women. Some cultures and faiths require women to wear hats to funerals, and this is true in some cases.
In some societies, wearing exclusively black clothing is still considered quite customary and expected. For example, if the event is held in the context of a specific religion, there may be additional restrictions for attire, such as head coverings for both men and women, or full-length skirts and tops for female participants.