Knowing what to wear to a funeral isn’t always easy. In a multicultural society like Australia, there are many religious and cultural traditions that come into play. Sometimes, funerals are intended to be more of a celebration, rather than a sad occasion, and the dress code reflects this. However, in the absence of specific instructions, dressing for a funeral can be difficult. In this post, we’ll give you some guidelines to follow that will be appropriate at most funerals. And remember, it is always acceptable to call the funeral director looking after the arrangements to check whether there are any religious or cultural dress requirements.

Black Is Still The Standard

Even though attitudes towards death and funerals are changing, dark colours are still the standard. It’s not unusual to see bright colours or funerals with themes in 2018 (superheroes and leopard print for example), but if no dress code has been specified, stick to black, navy or dark grey, and you can’t go wrong. Avoid colour combinations and stick to single tones where possible.

Do I Have To Dress Formally?

Again, if no dress code has been specified, conservative clothing is best.

For men:

  • Dark suit (black, navy or grey)
  • White shirt
  • Dark dress shoes (clean and polished)
  • Tailored Coat if cold
  • Black umbrella if raining

For women:

  • Formal dress, skirt or trousers
  • Keep skirts below the knee and tops should have sleeves (or wear a jacket over the top)
  • Avoid clingy or revealing clothes
  • Dark, closed toe shoes are best
  • Keep jewellery to a minimum
  • If you do wear a hat or headwear, make sure it isn’t too elaborate
  • Formal coat
  • Black umbrella if raining

What Do Children Wear To Funerals?

If your children are attending a funeral, they should dress in line with the adults. In other words, if the adults are wearing dark colours, so should the children. If there is a theme, or mourners have been asked to wear a specific colour, try and incorporate the request into your children’s outfit. Younger children aren’t expected to dress as formally as adults; dark, plain clothes will be suitable. If in doubt, speak to the funeral director (or the family if you feel it is appropriate).

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and your relationship with the deceased and their family, religion and culture all come into play at a funeral. And remember, when in doubt, speak to your funeral director. If you need help arranging a funeral in Sydney, Family Funeral Services are here to help. Care, compassion and personalised service in your time of need are only a phone call away.