How to Dress for a Funeral

13/03/13

Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Buddhist it is generally accepted as a rule that you do not dress the same at a funeral as you would a night on the town. It is appropriate to dress modestly. Some ornamentation via jewellery is acceptable, but remember that everyone is here for the passing of your  loved one, not to see you wearing the latest fashions.

In Christianity, the general rule is to wear black, but this may surprise you to find out that this was not always the case. As a matter of fact, white was the colour of mourning (especially for those of the aristocracy in various European courts,) until the 19th century when Queen Victoria shocked the world by wearing a white wedding dress with her favourite lace, causing trends to change.

In Islam, all women must wear a headscarf and all shoes must be removed before entering the prayer hall but also remember to wear socks as being barefoot is deemed inappropriate.

For Jews, men are required to wear a head covering, known as a kippah or yarmulke. Traditional Jewish funerals might also include the Rabbi or relatives of the deceased tearing their clothing as a sign of mourning.

In Buddhism, the grieving family wears white while friends wear darker coloured clothing. But whatever the colour, red must absolutely be avoided in a Buddhist funeral as it is a symbol of joy and entirely inappropriate to the ceremony.

While attire may vary according to culture and region, one thing always remains the same – dress respectably, modestly, and in a way that does not draw attention to yourself. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Do you know of other funeral attire that various cultures or religions wear? Let us know on our Facebook page.