Guidelines for what to wear at a funeral

General tips on clothing:


  • Black is a traditional color, always appropriate
  • Non-black clothing is generally acceptable, as long as it isn’t brightly colored
  • Shirts/dresses should cover up to the neck; no open collars
  • Pants/dresses should cover the knees; no shorts or miniskirts
  • No flip-flops or athletic shoes
  • In a casual setting, t-shirts may be appropriate – but avoid wild prints, logos, etc
  • Keep a formal jacket on hand; this basic addition can help make many outfits passable!


Tips for women:


  • Dark dresses or suits are always appropriate
  • Keep shoulders covered
  • Skirts/dresses should reach the knees
  • Tasteful color accents can be acceptable
  • Avoid bright sun dresses
  • Avoid anything overly revealing
  • Basic funeral outfit ideas:
  • Skirt suit
  • Pant suit
  • Dress
  • Skirt and blouse
  • Skirt and sweater
  • Pants and top with sleeves


Traditional attire for women called for a black suit, conservative dress or skirt and blouse. These days, appropriate options are much more varied. While the clothing should still be respectful and not distracting from the service, it is acceptable to wear bright or light colors, and business casual separates as opposed to a suit. Dresses are common, with color replacing the traditional solid black.



General tips on style:


  • Subdued style and colors; you do not want to attract attention away from the deceased
  • Style should be characterized as tasteful and conservative
  • Dress as you would for church or a job interview
  • Revealing attire is generally not appropriate; many traditions require shoulders and knees covered
  • Be considerate of any religious setting; i.e., some require hats for women and/or men








Tips for your husband, boyfriend or friend


  • Dark suits or buttoned shirts are always appropriate
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, something with a collar
  • Wear a belt and tuck in shirt
  • Wear dress shoes or loafers
  • Avoid sneakers, athletic shoes, flip flops
  • Avoid jeans (though in many settings, dark jeans with tucked in shirt is acceptable)
  • Avoid shorts
  • Avoid baseball caps
  • Basic funeral oufit ideas:
  • Dress suit with tie
  • Slacks, polo shirt, belt
  • Slacks, button down shirt, tie
  • Slacks, button down shirt, vest
  • Slacks, button down shirt, blazer
  • Traditionally, appropriate attire for men attending a funeral has been a black, gray or dark blue suit with a collared shirt and tie. These days, however, it is quite acceptable to wear slacks and a blazer or sport coat instead of a suit, to omit the tie, or to opt for a collared golf shirt in place of a dress shirt or button-down. Colors are still usually subdued, but are no longer limited to black, gray and navy. When in doubt, it’s probably safe to choose more conservative options if you are concerned about being underdressed.