Ask Belle: Funeral Blues
Oct 19, 2010
I’m sorry to write to you with a rather morbid question, but do you have any advice for appropriate attire to wear when attending a funeral? I think I’ll have to attend one soon and I’ve been thinking about what I’ll wear. Is anything other than all black or all gray straying from the solemnity of the occasion? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I’m sorry if the funeral you may have to attend is for someone close to you. As for style advice, it strikes me as a bit morbid, but I can understand why you would want to be appropriately attired for a funeral. Here are some tips:
Back in Black. In my opinion, black is your only option. Unless, of course, you belong to a culture that doesn’t wear black to funerals or the family has asked you to wear something else. For example, my Mother has already expressed her preference that no one be permitted to wear black to her funeral and that we “have a party” celebrating her life not a wake.
So if there is a special circumstance, you can wear another color. Otherwise, it’s all black all the time.
Wear It and Toss It. Never wear something to a funeral that you may want to wear again.
In 2001, I bought a black dress with adorable little pleats all over it. Being my only black dress, I made the mistake of wearing it to my Great Grandmother’s funeral. I could never wear it again without being sad.
So either have a dress/suit just for funerals (which you probably don’t need), or buy a cheapie at H&M and then donate to Goodwill.
The Eyes Have It. Since most people cry at funerals, do yourself a favor and don’t wear eye makeup. Just cover the dark circles, throw on one coat of waterproof mascara, toss your Benefit EyeBright in your purse for touch ups and call it good. Whatever you put on is just coming off anyway.
Also, I’m kind of a private person, so I always wear sunglasses to funerals. But this is a personal preference, and they are by no means required.
In closing, funerals pretty much suck (profound I know) and there’s usually so much happening that you don’t care what you look like. This is perfectly acceptable. Not even I care what you wear to the funeral.
Unless, of course, you pull a Corey Feldman and show up dressed like the decedent. In which case, you deserve to be mocked mercilessly. This is a somber occasion not a Halloween costume contest.