As I headed off to a funeral today, I was thinking about the outfits that women wear to funerals. I've seen some strange things that people thought were appropriate, and I thought this might be a good day to spread some unsolicited advice. :-)

It's a good idea to have one funeral appropriate outfit at all times; you shouldn't need to go shopping for something special, unlike, say, a wedding. You can use some wardrobe staples. If you have a dark coloured suit; great! But it's not necessary.

If you google "funeral outfit" you'll get all kinds of weird and wonderful crap that celebrities have worn to funerals, or scenes from tv shows. Don't use them as examples. Go the boring route.

First of all; just because it's black, doesn't mean it's appropriate.

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This is not appropriate. A dress to wear to a party or a club is not funeral wear, even if it is black, and I have seen (usually very young women) wearing this type of thing, probably because they think they should wear something black and dressy.

Unless of course, you are the mistress of this guy, and then you're good.

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Funeral clothes don't have to be black; they can be charcoal, navy, dark brown; think job interview, think sober; dark colours are generally advised as a base, and they shouldn't be too short, if it's a dress or skirt, or too tight. Knee length hem is good, the neckline shouldn't skim the nipples and pants should not show camel toe.

A good base would be black pants or skirt with a dark coloured blouse or sweater, although a white shirt is always ok. You can top it with a matching jacket if you have it, but it's not necessary. C'mon; you've got a dark pair of pants and a blouse! You've got a funeral appropriate outfit.

Something else that's a good idea is a dark coloured scarf. Easier to come by than a hat. Some religions, Russian Orthodox for example, require that a woman's head be covered while in church, so you can pull the scarf from around your neck, and put it on your head.

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This would be good;

Or this;

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Or even this;

The key is that the colours should be subdued, and you shouldn't show a lot of skin.

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ETA: one commenter mentioned that in honour of her grandmother's love of flowers and bright colours, she wore a floral print dress. There are exceptions!