This is not the most happiest of subjects to write about but when I recently unexpectedly had to attend the funeral of a close relative, I realised that this is an important topic that needs to be addressed on this site.

Although dress codes for funerals have become a lot more casual in the last years, I still feel it is important to dress in a respectful manner at a funeral. I was in The Netherlands at the time and upon enquiring found that just about anything goes at a funeral there these days. That definitely turned out to be the case as people were wearing all kinds of clothes. Even sneakers and jeans and brightly colored clothes.

I have to admit I personally feel that this is not appropriate. I feel that you need to make an effort to dress respectfully, in a sober manner and appropriately dressy. But I would love to have your opinion on this as well.

Here are some of my guidelines on what I believe you should wear to a funeral

  • Dress in muted colors. Black is always a good option but any other hues in dark muted colors are also good.
  • You don’t have to go all black. A suit with a white or light shirt will look very appropriate.
  • It’s ok to wear prints but keep them demure and preferably in dark muted colors.
  • Don’t dress too fashionable. You are there to pay your respects not to show yourself off.
  • Both dresses, skirts and pants can look equally good.
  • Dress for elegance.
  • Do not show too much skin and keep your outfit modest.
  • You can add a personal touch of flair, depending on the person for whom the funeral is for.
  • If you wear a dark overcoat, you can add a scarf in a different color or print to soften the black.

I realise that these guidelines are quite general and especially aimed at western culture, so I would love to have your input.

What is appropriate funeral attire for your country and / or culture?

Do you feel that there should be dress code for funerals or do you feel that anything goes?

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