Attending a funeral service is all about showing your sympathy toward the family in mourning. While kind words and offers of assistance are effective ways to convey this message, don't discount the importance of dressing appropriately. Etiquette rules concerning funeral attire have softened in recent decades; in most cultures, you're no longer expected to dress in black from head to foot. However, a funeral service isn't a time to dress in a way that gets you noticed. While all-black attire might not be necessary, it's best to dress on the conservative side. Here are some tips to ensure your outfit conveys respect.
No one will fault you for dressing in black, but you can often wear other colors and still dress appropriately. In general, darker-hued colors are best, so choose an outfit in colors such as gray, navy blue, green or burgundy. The specific nature of your outfit depends on your tastes; a dress, suit pants and suit jacket or a skirt and blouse combination are all appropriate to wear. Jewelry isn't a no-no, but it shouldn't draw excess attention. Keep your earrings, bracelets and necklace understated and quiet -- jewelry that jingles excessively can be disruptive at the service. Flats are high-heeled shoes are equally suitable, but the former is often a better choice if you expect to be standing for a long stretch of time.
You can't go wrong with a black suit. However, suits in colors such as blue, brown, charcoal and tan are also suitable for most funerals. If you're not the type of person who wears a suit, dress slacks and a sport coat are acceptable. Tie color restrictions have softened over the years; you won't get any dirty looks if your tie isn't black, but it's best to keep your tie's color and pattern understated. While khakis and a polo shirt might be tempting during a summer funeral, it's best to keep your outfit a little more formal, if possible. Lace-up dress shoes or slip-on loafers are best and you won't regret opting for a pair that is comfortable.
The general rule for dressing your kids for a funeral service is to have their attire roughly match their parents. Young children don't need to dress formally, but older children and teenagers should wear the same style of clothing that their parents have chosen. The chief difference is footwear -- if you expect that dress shoes will be uncomfortable for your child and lead to complaining, opt for comfortable shoes in a muted color that matches the outfit.
For more ideas, you might call up a funeral home like Taylor Funeral Home and ask for advice.