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What Do I Wear to a Funeral?

Published: April 10, 2019

One of the toughest questions for those who haven’t been to a visitation or funeral ever or at least for many years is do I wear my full suit? Can I wear my jeans and tee shirt that I’m leaving work in? What if someone says something about how I’m dressed? The questions are endless and can be quite daunting. Hopefully with this article we’ll be able to take the stress away at least a little bit.


So, do you need to wear your full suit or best dark dress to the visitation or funeral? To be perfectly honest, it just depends.


Traditionally, funeral services and visitations have been very formal events where guests would come dressed up like they were going to church. More recently though, more and more people have opted for a more casual approach to these services.


At our home, for example, we have seen all sorts of outfits. Full suits, tee shirts and jeans, pajama pants and hoodies, and even construction workers who just arrived from the job site. While some of these may not be the most appropriate for the occasion, you’ll just need to be mindful of those around you attending. Most families we work with haven’t minded seeing friends arrive in a tee and jeans; they mostly just cared that they were there at all.


In death, it’s those who surround us that mean the most, not necessarily what we were wearing. Informal attire has become more acceptable as people lead busier lives and can’t make it home to change. One of the most memorable unorthodox outfits we’ve seen was an entire baseball team come in dressed in uniform to pay their respects to their coach whose dad had passed away. It meant the world that they were there, regardless of grass stains and baseball caps. As with all things at a time of loss though, err on the side of caution about other’s feelings.


For a quick summary:

  • You can’t go wrong dressing up. Funerals and visitations are traditionally formal events so you will definitely blend right in.
  • Your informal attire is probably going to be okay. It won’t hurt though to give a polite apology that you aren’t dressed as formal.
  • Sweatpants, pajamas, and so on might not be the best choice. Just be mindful of those who will also be attending the services that might feel upset over these outfits.
  • Outfits relating to your affiliation with the family, such as baseball uniforms, military dress, etc., are all generally understandable outfits, especially if coming from a game or other event that required it of you.


If you ever need any more pointers or help feel free to give us a call (330)-633-3350

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