What to Wear to a Funeral: A Guide for mourners

Funerals are difficult! Having to worry about what you're going to wear can be intriguing. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable or stand out negatively. You want to dress appropriately but don't want to stand out or look too somber. This guide will help take the guesswork out of funeral attire and ensure that you look your best when paying your respects.

Here are a few things to run by before selecting the right outfit: 

  • Consider the location of the funeral. If it's taking place in a church, you'll want to dress more formally than if it's outside.
  • Take into account the weather. If it's hot outside, you'll want to avoid layering up than if it's cold.
  • Think about the tone of the funeral. If it's a more traditional funeral, you'll want to dress more conservatively than if it's a more modern celebration of life.
  • Ask someone who is close to the deceased what they would prefer. They may have a specific request for mourners, such as wearing a certain color.


Black is the official color, and you have to stick to it. You can wear other colors, but black is always the safest and most respectful choice. If you're not comfortable in black, consider wearing a dark shade of another color. Navy blue, dark green, and brown are all appropriate choices. Avoid bright colors and patterns. The level of formality will dictate how dressy or casual your outfit can be.


Choose a subtle style and avoid adornments or detailing. A black dress is always a good choice for women. You can wear a skirt or pants, but a dress is usually more appropriate. Consider wearing a black suit, if you're not comfortable in a dress. Make sure your clothing is respectful and modest. Avoid low-cut tops, short skirts, and anything that can be too sexy. A simple dress or skirt and blouse are always appropriate.

If you're wearing a skirt, it should fall below the knee and shouldn't be too tight. Avoid mini skirts or anything that might be considered too revealing. A tasteful pair of slacks or a pantsuit can work, but avoid jeans or anything else that might be too casual. Accessorize your outfit with sober accessories like a hat, a plain scarf, and a small handbag or a statement clutch. Keep your jewelry to a minimum, avoid wearing pencils or high heels, and go for kitten or block heels.


The rules for men are similar to the rules for women. Stick to a dark, subdued color like black, navy blue, or dark green. Avoid wearing anything too bright or patterned. Men have it a little easier when it comes to funeral attire. A dark suit, dress shirt, and tie are always appropriate. If you don't own a Suit, consider renting one. You can also wear a sport coat or blazer with dress slacks and a dress shirt. Avoid jeans, T-shirts, polo necks, or oversized crew neck tee with bold graphics or prints.

A dark suit is always appropriate for men, but you can also wear slacks and a blazer if a full Suit attire is uncomfortable. Avoid jeans or anything else that might be considered too casual. A dress shirt and tie are standard, but you can also wear a sweater or turtleneck. Accessorize your outfit with a hat, a plain scarf, and a small handbag or briefcase. Keep your jewelry to a minimum.

When in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution. You don't want to stand out from the crowd and draw unnecessary attention. A funeral is a ceremonious way of paying homage to a dead person. The way you dress should reflect the sincerity and seriousness of the event.

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