Most of us will be faced with the decision about what to wear to a funeral at some point. You may also find yourself trying to dress for a funeral wearing what you already have in your closet. Funeral attire for women should be dressy, dark and somber. It should be seasonally appropriate, modest and tasteful. Keep in mind that your presence is more important than your attire at any funeral, regardless of your ability to be perfectly dressed.
A Close Family Funeral
Choose your attire more carefully when you are part of the grieving family. Even during this time of sadness, eyes will be on you. Consider a traditional black shift dress and coordinating sweater or blazer. A dark, minimally printed skirt and blouse or skirt and sweater are also acceptable, as is a dark-toned suit. In warm weather, consider a basic short-sleeved fitted dress. Choose shoes that are appropriate for the weather if you will be attending a graveside service. Black, charcoal, navy or dark brown are ideal choices.
Friend and Family Funerals
Opt for gray, navy blue, brown or violet for a family funeral. Head-to-toe black is not necessary. A skirt or dress slacks are acceptable, and you should choose an outfit you can move easily in, especially if you will also be cooking for a wake or reception after. Subtle prints and small, tasteful accessories can help you look polished on this sad occasion. Add a jacket or cardigan for warmth and to cover your shoulders if needed.
An Unexpected Funeral
Dress in a practical and tasteful outfit for funerals in which you are simply there to pay your respects. If you are not a part of the immediate family, you can choose a conservative outfit you already own. Attire you would wear to a meeting or church is typically appropriate. Do avoid wearing very light or bright colors to the funeral; however, a light or white blouse with a dark skirt or slacks is fine. Low necklines and short skirts are also best avoided. Dress slacks are acceptable for women to wear to a funeral, as are pantsuits.