FUNERALS : dress code

Hi all,
I would like to get your (name removed by moderator)ut on this topic. In Ireland, in recent years, it seems that many people have abandoned the traditional “black” dress code when attending a funeral.
Now, many may be seen dressed up to the nines as though going to some function or party.
I am saddened by this development and see it as crass and disrespectful.
What is the custom as practised in your part of the globe?
Many thanks.
God Bless,

In our part of the USA, east coast near Baltimore, Md… Men wear a suit or coat and tie… Women usually wear a nice dress or shirt & blouse… Dark colors are still preferred but not always the case… A black suit for a man would be first choice. A black dress for the ladies…

I have seen some come to a funeral mass dressed very casually… Jeans and a shirt on the men… Dress pants and a shirt for the ladies… I don’t agree with this, but it goes on.

Black or other dark color(s) for adults and older children, white for children under 10.


I have seen everything from shorts and tee shirts, to jeans, to conservative suits, ties and dresses.

To me, it seems that the people who are attending the funerals dress in a way that reflects their individual relationship with the deceased .

In other words, if the person who passed away, was a mechanic, many of his work buddies will show up in jeans etc. Clean and neat, but in jeans.

If the person was a banker, then most people seem to dress in suits and dresses.

My father was in heavy construction, and when he passed away, we saw many many people come in their work clothes.

When my grandmother passed away, most everyone who came was in a suit and tie, or modest dress. My grandmother was the wife of a Presbyterian minister.

In both cases, we were simply appreciative of their attendance.

As much as I hate to say it, I would rather see people in their work clothes attend a funeral, than to have no one show up because of a dress code. I’ve been to too many funerals where the Church is virtually empty. It is sad.

here most funerals are in the morning on a weekday so most who attend where whatever they are wearing to work. In general as dress for church in general becomes more informal so does dress for a funeral. People come to the rosary or wake at night dressed in anything from standard business attire to beach wear. Just general societal lack of respect for each other and oneself, and lack of sense of occasion.

Eight years ago I attended the funeral of a friend and was shocked to see his wife in jeans and a pullover. Since then I’ve attended many funerals in this town and often the pallbearers are the only ones dressed up – and even that is not a given, sometimes the only ‘dressed up’ folk are the two undertakers.

I firmly believe that most men don’t own a suit, particularly those who may not need them for work, either because they wear a uniform or casual clothes are de rigueur for their work site. DH certainly didn’t until DD got married.

I wear black to a funeral, either black slacks or skirt and a nice blouse and sometimes a blazer too, depending on the time of year. My husband wears a dark suit and tie. The kids dress properly for a funeral as well, dark slacks and shirt and tie or nice polo for the boys or a dark skirt or slacks and blouse for my girl.

Sometimes I also dress to try to honor the deceased. I went to a wake this spring for someone who had battled breast cancer. She loved flowers and the colors pink and purple. So, I wore a black skirt; a black, white, pink and purple flowered blouse; and beautiful purple blazer to her wake. That way I wore the color of mourning, as well as the colors that she loved. I wore a black skirt, white blouse and black blazer to her funeral.

Here the older people tend to dress in proper funeral attire whilst the younger people in my age group (20’s - 30’s) tend to select slightly more casual attire with colours. But I attend a “traditionalist” parish so this may not be representative of society in general.

What is the custom as practised in your part of the globe?

The same as for Sundays.

Pick the clothes that you wore yesterday either out of the hamper or off the floor, put them back on, grab your baseball cap, put in on backwards, and you’re all set! Oh! Don’t forget your flip-flops. :thumbsup:

Just something respectful, modest, and not over-the-top. People tend to avoid bright colors, loud patterns, and they just cover themselves up. I would normally wear a pair of nice slacks and a modest black blouse and some ballet flats.


My husband always wears a black suit, black shirt, and a black tie with purple. I wear a black skirt suit with white blouse.


Hi all,
I want to thank everyone for their contributions so far.
I have always felt that a funeral demands a certain decorum and that should be reflected in our dress.
I understand that the world we live in is a coarsened one. However, I do believe that to signal certain stages of life (the famous “hatch, match and dispatch”) we ought to show solemn respect with our dress code.
And is it simply alright, as one poster pointed out, to see the numbers rather than the clothes? I mean, how much effort does it take to don a black tie or top or jacket. Or even, God help us, the once familiar black armband?
Another poster quite rightly stated that we should respect the occasion. I agree. A funeral is an occasion of reflection. We give of ourselves in reflection regardless whether the deceased was a prince or a pauper. We give of ourselves in respect.
God Bless,

Hi Lormar,
Would I be right in assuming that you are being facetious?
If not, would you like to expand on why you would take such a casual approach?
God Bless,

I didn’t know that people stopped wearing black to funerals until a while ago. I mentioned something about wanting a black dress for a funeral and my dad said, “Why? No one wears black to funerals anymore.”


I think that people should wear black to funerals…** including priests.**

I agree!! It is one of the things I love about the Traditional Latin Mass, our priests wear black vestments for funeral Masses in the EF at our parish, and also for Good Friday.


I have never seen black vestments in real life :frowning: I hope to see them someday!

I know it’s not in person, but this is our beautiful parish and our holy priests on Good Friday: Assumption Grotto


Oh my goodness… that is a beautiful parish. You are very blessed :slight_smile: Thank you for the photos.

What about if the deceased specifically requested that people NOT wear black?

I know one lady who would be horrified if anyone turns up to her funeral in black or anything close to it. My mother disliked it too (I wore a sober suit for her funeral but I didn’t go the whole hog on the black). My father, on the other hand, would probably want black at his funeral because he’s quite “old school” about these sorts of things.

I think one shouldn’t forget the wishes of the deceased.

I think dark navy or a deep forest green, deep purple, or deep brown would be okay, too… if you can’t have black.