Losing someone close to you and preparing for a funeral is a difficult situation to be in at the best of times. But then the stress of knowing what to wear to the funeral itself adds a whole new level of difficulty. It’s never easy knowing what’s the right or wrong thing to wear for such an occasion, as each funeral can be so different depending on the person. So, we thought we’d help you out by putting together a few dos and don’ts of what to wear next time you’re in this situation.

Do consider the circumstances and culture

If the funeral is a formal church service, then chances are you need to be dressing quite smart. However, if it’s a memorial service taking place elsewhere; at the person’s home or a public space for example, the dress code is likely to be a little more casual. Also, consider the kind of dress sense that the person who died had, as this can often reflect what the funeral-goers should wear. Don’t over-dress or under-dress for what you perceive to be the circumstances of the day.

Don’t feel like you have to wear black

Formal, black clothing is what we all consider to be traditional funeral attire, but this isn’t always the case anymore. If you don’t have black, then grey, navy, bottle green or any other darker shades are more than acceptable. Also, the person who’s passed away may have specified that they don’t want any dark colours at their funeral and, instead, it should be a brightly coloured celebration of life.

Do ask for advice

If you’re really unsure of what to wear, don’t be afraid to ask someone’s opinion on what would or wouldn’t be appropriate. Maybe there’s a close friend or family member you can speak to? If not, there’s no reason why you can’t call up the local funeral directors and ask them what the tone of the day is set to be.

Don’t draw attention to yourself

Funerals are about celebrating the life and mourning the loss of a loved one; they’re not about your statement coat, hat or shoes. Stick with the theme that everyone else is going with and save the inappropriate shoes or accessories for a night out on the town. Tasteful jewellery is more than fine to wear with your outfit, but nobody needs to see any bling at a funeral.

Do be respectful

Just remember that the point of a funeral is to show your respect to the deceased person, as well as their close family and friends. You, therefore, should make sure that whatever you choose to wear is respectful too. Ensure that everything you wear is clean, smart and neatly ironed. Avoid things such as trainers, t-shirts with slogans, football shirt, open shirts, short skirts, revealing tops and anything that looks untidy.

Ultimately, the key to dressing for a funeral is to not worry. Chances are you’re going to have something in your wardrobe that’s suitable. Just use your common sense and dress to blend in.