Knowing this, I’m still surprised at some of the things people wear. It was freezing last night and yet young children were wearing shorts and sandals at the mall. It's common to see jeans and sweatshirts at church and synagogue, shorts at a fine restaurant on a Saturday night, and flip flops for all occasions. But when it comes to funerals, most of us sense that there are some rules of protocol that should be followed.
A friend recently shared that she attended a funeral and was surprised that a teenage family member wore casual clothing and flip flops. I was shocked myself when attending a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery to see the thirty-year old daughter of the deceased wearing a red low-cut dress that showed her cleavage. So it’s no wonder that those of us attending funerals might think, what should we wear?
It's possible the bereaved family might set the tone for dress. A friends's mother died of breast cancer and they asked all funeral attendees to wear pink. If there are no directives from the family, it’s safe to err on the conservative side and avoid bright colors, bright prints, and anything flashy or glittery. Stay away from the casual and opt for something on the dressier side. You don’t have to stick to black but choose darker or muted colors, such as, grays, dark blues, or browns. Women can wear pants, skirts, blouses, jackets, sweaters, or dresses, opting for a pulled together look. No sneakers, flip flops or too casual shoes. Men can wear slacks, sport jackets, or suits, and appropriate footwear. The look you want is non obtrusive.
Funerals are not a time to be conspicuous; it’s a time to blend in with the other mourners.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now at a reduced price for e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.