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Funeral Attire For Men: The Right and Wrong Ways To Dress

22 Nov 2023

Funeral attire for men is an emotive topic, and asking others what to wear can feel uncomfortable and inappropriate. A funeral isn’t a fashion parade, but for those attending, wearing suitable clothing is essential when paying your respects.

If you’re unsure what to wear to a funeral, we’ve put together an informative guide to men’s funeral attire and must-have pieces that will guarantee you’ll look both presentable and respectable on the day.

What to Wear to a Funeral for Men

Dressing appropriately at a funeral is of utmost importance. It’s an outward display of empathy for the grieving family and a mark of respect for the deceased. But do you have to wear a black suit? Should you always wear a tie?

Funerals aren’t generally the right time to let your personality shine, they’re about being dignified and respectful. However, not everyone’s funeral wishes are the same. While some want a traditional funeral, others prefer a celebration of life with bright clothing to match. So, be mindful to adhere to any family requests and the style of funeral you’re attending.

While there’s a variety of essential clothing items that will never let you down at a funeral like a dark suit, there are other garments that should be avoided at all costs. Get it wrong, and you may as well take a phone call during the memorial service itself. To help you make the right choices, here are some simple rules to follow when dressing for a funeral:

1. Wear Dark, Conservative Clothing

Dark, conservative, funeral attire will reflect your understanding of the sombre occasion and your support for the grieving family. Therefore, a traditional funeral mostly requires men to wear a black suit which perfectly occupies that space between stylish and respectable. However, the rules for appropriate funeral attire for men have somewhat relaxed in modern times, and other types of suit designs and colours such as navy, grey, and brown suits can also be acceptable.

If there’s no specific dress code, you should always assume traditional, formal, funeral attire is the order of the day. A single-breasted navy or black suit paired with a crisp, white shirt and suitable accessories is an ideal combination for a funeral outfit for men.

2. Follow the Dress Code

It sounds obvious, but you should always respect the dress code at a funeral. It’s not an occasion for making a big fashion statement. However, not everyone’s funeral wishes are the same either, or the focus may be on a celebration of life rather than a traditional service.

For example, families could ask for a break from the norm where conventional funeral attire is disregarded, and attendees wear something different such as patterned shirts or a favourite football club’s colours. In these cases, you must always observe the rules and respect the wishes of the deceased’s family which is always of utmost importance.

3. Check the Weather

You should always check the weather before setting off for a funeral. You don’t want to be caught in a deluge and have to spend the funeral service dripping wet. Similarly, the last thing you need is to feel too hot and uncomfortable because you’re wearing too many layers.

Therefore, if it looks like rain is on the way, take a stylish coat that will keep your suit dry and carry an umbrella. You could wear an overcoat over a funeral suit or even a smart, roll-neck jumper if deemed appropriate. Likewise, if the funeral you’re attending is taking place in winter, a classic three-piece suit will keep you warm and you may require additional items like scarves and gloves too. In the summertime, you may want to wear a suit made from lighter material such as linen to help you stay cool. If the funeral is taking place on a particularly hot day, it may be even acceptable to wear a pair of smart trousers with a short-sleeve shirt.

4. Pay Attention to Accessories

The type of footwear you wear to a funeral is an often-overlooked detail that shouldn’t be neglected. Turning up in a dark suit with a pair of dirty, beaten-up brogues doesn’t portray the right image on such a solemn occasion. Therefore, polished and well-maintained black or brown dress shoes are an ideal choice of funeral footwear to wear with a formal suit.

The rest of your accessories should always be understated. Darkly-coloured dress socks are the order of the day along with a simple belt and a plain black tie to complete your funeral outfit.

Finally, it’s important to pay attention to the fine details by making sure your funeral clothes are clean, pressed, and without any obvious rips. After that, always shine your shoes, tuck in your shirt, and wear your tie at the appropriate length with the tip touching your belt buckle or waistband.

Funeral Attire for Men – What to Avoid

The rules around funeral attire for men may not be as strict as they once were. For instance, there are times when the family will ask attendees to wear garments in the deceased’s favourite colour as a mark of respect. However, there are certain items of clothing that have no place at a funeral and should always be avoided. Any kind of casual wear including jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and trainers are generally unacceptable as funeral attire for men.

Similarly, keep all accessories understated and avoid loud bright colours, unless specifically requested by the funeral party. You should avoid baseball caps, flashy jewellery, and statement accessories that may detract from the sombre atmosphere.

What to Avoid Checklist:

  • Trainers and flip flops: As much as you love your new Air Max and want to show them off, they have no place at a funeral. Nor, for that matter, do flip flops. Nobody wants to see your bare feet and have to listen to that annoying, slappy noise when you arrive. Stick to formal shoes and you’ll be fine.
  • T-shirts: Smart, simple, and stylish are the three basic rules of sensitive funeral attire for men. This pretty much rules out t-shirts altogether, so don’t even think about it.
  • Jeans: Always dress smartly for a funeral unless told otherwise. This means a strict no jeans policy for everyone attending the memorial service. Formal suits and trousers are the order of the day.
  • Casual wear: There’s plenty of designer fashion that looks rather scruffy or casual. It may be en vogue, but jogging bottoms and gym gear have no place at a funeral.

Are You Looking for Men’s Funeral Attire Ideas?

At House of Cavani, we stock a wide range of men’s formal suits, jackets, trousers, and accessories that are appropriate dress for a funeral. Check out our collection today.

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