What To Wear To A Funeral: The Complete Guide

funeral outfits

What to wear to a funeral
What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?
What to wear to a summer funeral
What to wear to a winter funeral
What to wear to a funeral for men
What to wear to a funeral for women
What not to wear to a funeral

What to wear to a funeral

When attending a funeral, it is important to ensure you are dressed in accordance with the bereaved family's wishes. Respectful attire such as dark or muted colours - particularly black - will show your sympathy and understanding for their loss.

When attending the funeral of a loved one, it is important to choose funeral attire with care and respect. Consider consulting those closest to you or even your local funeral director if you are unsure as to what would be fitting for such an occasion. Additionally, families may request that guests conform to specific standards - these can often be found in prior wishes expressed by the deceased themselves.

What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?

Funerals are a solemn occasion and they traditionally call for conservative, dignified black attire. Black or darker colours such as dark blue are the order of the day as the choice of funeral outfits.

The expected dress code for a funeral in the UK is typically quite formal. Grieving friends and family members generally adhere to conservative attire, such as a black suit or respectable dresses/skirts along with collared shirts or blouses. Formal coats and jackets are also considered appropriate while polished black shoes are the right choice.

Additionally, weather can be an important factor in deciding what you choose to wear depending on where the service is taking place - so make sure you take that into consideration before choosing your outfit.

What is the dress code for a funeral in the UK?

The dress code for a funeral in the UK is typically quite formal and the funeral clothing often includes:

  • Dark coloured suit, smart dress or dark coloured skirt

  • Long sleeved shirt or long sleeved blouse

  • Formal coat or jacket

  • Smart black shoes

What Women Should Wear To A Funeral: Funeral Attire For women

Funerals require a certain level of respect for the deceased and their families, so funeral wear for women should always be appropriate. Whenever someone attends a funeral, it's important to be mindful of what funeral attire for women is generally acceptable for the event.

Generally speaking, conservative clothes in muted colours such as black, grey, navy blue or other dark colours are preferred when it comes to funeral wear. This can include a black dress or dark coloured skirt along with a modest blouse and coat. Shorts, jeans and bright colours should be avoided when it comes to deciding what to wear to a funeral for women. Doing your best to honour the deceased with respectful funeral clothing will make the mourning process easier.

Dark or neutral colours work well in mourning, particularly for skirts and dresses, and most women have a black dress or two in their wardrobe that would work. Jewellery can help you express your style but are best to be kept minimal, whereas wearing a hat is commonplace. Footwear will need special consideration: make sure it's suited to an environment such as a graveyard out of respect towards those present around you.

The usual etiquette of women was based largely on black clothing or dresses. When you are in doub, stay in a conservative and traditionally traditional position and wear formal attire at funerals.

What Men Should Wear To A Funeral: Funeral attire for men

Funeral wear for men is an important part of funeral etiquette and should be chosen with care. If a funeral has a dress code, it is important for the funeral attendees to follow guidelines specifically given.

The funeral clothing selected should be dignified and respectful, typically in shades of black, grey or navy blue. Dark suits with plain ties, white collared shirt and smart shoes, or even dress shoes, are appropriate funeral wear for men, depending on the temperature and situation. Generally speaking, funeral clothing for men means wearing black to show respect for the deceased and their loved ones. A black suit is often chosen as the cornerstone for men's funeral attire.

What Children Should Wear To A Funeral: Funeral attire for kids

There is flexibility when it comes to what children should wear to a funeral, so for example short sleeved shirts rather than long sleeved shirts can be worn. Smart, age appropriate clothes are the preferred option on what kids should wear to a funeral. If possible, parents should look to dress their children in dark coloured trousers, with a smart black plain top or jumper, but children can get away with wearing dark blues for example.

What to wear to a funeral in the summer

For ladies attending summer funerals, a stylish option is to don a lightweight dark skirt worn with an elegantly simple blouse or dress. Men too can handle the hot weather at a summer funeral by choosing linen suits for their outfit of choice; alternatively they may go for smart trousers and a smart shirt, plus of course smart shoes. It is OK to bring sunglasses to most funeral services during the summer, especially if it is an uncomfortably hot day.

what to wear to a funeral

What to wear to a funeral in the winter

Dressing appropriately at a winter funeral is essential, and as always wearing black clothing would be sesnsible. Dark colours should be your first choice when choosing an outfit, as this is a time of honouring and paying respect to the deceased so it is still best to wear black if you can. Layers are also important if it' colder weather so do choose to wear warm clothing. It will be appropriate to wear something comfortable yet respectful as it may be cold, so for example men could cover up and wear a jumper and a smart coat whilst ladies may consider wearing a knee length dress paired with a long coat or maybe even an all-black jumpsuit, thus ensuring you maintain both style and elegance throughout the ceremony. Finally, don't forget to add personal touches such as understated jewellery.

What to wear to a funeral that is not black?

In western culture the dress code for funeral services is normally black. However, not everybody considers black the right colour to celebrate a funeral, and brighter colours are becoming more common, and in fact are being specified.

Celebrating life by wearing vibrant colours to a funeral is becoming more widespread across the UK. People are now opting for colourful funerals to reflect the deceased's spirit, with guests requested to don vibrant hues.

If this is the case, do check with a family member as to what they consider appropriate. At all times be respectful.

What do you wear to a funeral if you don't have a suit?

When dressing for a funeral without a suit, men should keep a smart and sophisticated look in mind. Dress like you would as if you were wearing a jacket. You don't have to stick to a white dress shirt though. Look to wear trousers of a darker shade with either a classic white or more edgy shades such as grey or black dress shirt and accessorise accordingly with a coordinating tie colour. It is still best to wear black if you can.

What to wear to a Memorial Service

When the service takes place without the remains of dead people the term "memorial service" is often used. This usually occurs several weeks after someone passes away, although it is still a mourning period. Because this is an event commemorated, expect it to be far less formal than regular funerals. However, for ladies knee length skirt or knee length dress in subdued colours would be a good choice.

Religious funeral dress code

Attending a religious funeral can involve learning, understanding and adhering to particular customs of the faith. Being aware of such practices is an important part of showing respect for both the deceased and their beliefs. If stuck with what to wear to a funeral with a different religion to yours, then choose traditional funeral attire.

What not to wear to a funeral

Show respect and compassion at a funeral by choosing your funeral outfit carefully. As before, opt for something smart and neutral with subdued colours rather than bright colours or bold fashion statements, so that the focus remains on honouring the deceased - unless of course their family has expressed alternative wishes.

Do not wear jeans or any of the following to a funeral:

  • Revealing or ripped clothing

  • Spaghetti straps

  • Mini skirts

  • Trainers, flip flops or athletic shoes

  • Printed t-shirts

  • Open toed shoes

  • Baseball caps

  • Excessive amounts of jewellery

These are the top items of what you shouldn't wear to a funeral, but the key is to be respectful with your funeral attire.

Other points to consider

If you are unsure about what to wear to a funeral, it is fine to ask an immediate family member or the funeral director for advice and guidance on funeral outfit ideas. It has been said before, for most funerals it is apprropriate to dress as if you're going to a job interview. If it's a winter funeral, do wear warm clothing. Although traditional funeral attire is black or subdued colours, sometimes the traditional dress code is not appropriate and vibrant colours may be perfectly acceptable. The immediate family may have requested a certain specific dress code too.

When attending a funeral, it's important to show the utmost respect for the bereaved. Wearing dark or muted colours is typically considered most appropriate; black clothing remains synonymous with funerary attire in Britain, though you may also choose darker shades of blue and grey as an alternative.


All in all, dressing for a funeral is important so as to be respectful and to show your respect support for the grieving family. Dressing conservatively and neutrally is the best way to go. Showing individual style should only be done if you feel the outfit is appropriate given the sombre nature of a funeral, you can rarely go wrong if you wear black, and as a rule do wear shoes that are black too. As you select what to wear to a funeral service, remember that paying your respects involves more than just attending the event wearing an appropriate outfit will also reflect how much you care about honouring the deceased and their loved ones.

Need to know more?
If you have any other questions about funeral wear please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

Recent Reviews