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Ass For A Hat
01-12-2005, 02:49 PM
It's been quite a while since I've been to a funeral and am wondering on proper attire. Both the funeral and the visitation are at a Catholic church.

I figure a suit would be appropriate for the funeral. I have a standard dark blue suit that would probably be fine. It's kinda cheap and I don't really like it though. I have a newer brownish/olive suit that I like a lot better. It's one of those four button jackets that are kinda popular now. Would the slightly trendier brown suit be out of place?

Lastly, will I be over-dressed in a suit at the visitation? It seems like that would be less formal.

Thanks for any guidance.

swampbear
01-12-2005, 02:53 PM
Typically attire for a funeral is dark (preferably black) clothing, but I don't think it'd be bad if you wore your newer suit particularly if it looks better and fits better. For the visitation I'd go with nice slacks (dark) and button up shirt with dress shoes.

Mr. Babbington
01-12-2005, 02:58 PM
I'm sorry for your loss.

My grandfather had one suit. He wore it to weddings and funerals. That being said, I think that if anyone quibbles with your choice of attire at a funeral or visitation, for that matter, they are being incredibly petty and probably have other issues to worry about. Don't stress out over it, but don't go looking like a bum.

muldoonthief
01-12-2005, 03:02 PM
Whatever you do, don't where a white leather miniskirt that barely covers your crotch and a sheer black top so you look like a 50 year old hooker. My cousin did that at my mother's funeral last year. My father still wants to strangle her.

Seriously though, any nice suit is fine for a funeral, as long as it isn't white.

I'm not sure what you mean by the visitation, but if you mean the viewing - where you go to see the deceased and offer condolences to the family - a suit isn't necessary, just dress nicely - no jeans or sneakers.

BobT
01-12-2005, 03:05 PM
I'm sorry for your loss.

Yes, you don't have to wear black. Just wear nice clothes that are of a fairly subdued color.

I did not wear black to either of my parents' funerals or my grandmother's and they were all Catholic funerals.

Silver Fire
01-12-2005, 03:13 PM
I always just wear whatever I wore around the person when they were still alive. For example:

Family friend when I was 12ish: Black jeans, white turtleneck under this super colorful sweater.

Friend when I was 14: actually, I don't remember...

Best friend when I was 16: Blue jeans, Budweiser pullover

Friend's mom in December: Black pants (not jeans), dark blue t-shirt with light blue sparkly dragon on it, dark blue zip-up hoodie

Not too long ago I went to a Catholic service for my son's father's uncle, who I'd never met. (Never again either, btw. I guess I'm allergic to the incense or something. I thought my head would explode from trying to mute the sneezing.) Because I had no previous experience with this man on which to base my outfit, I wore black pants (not jeans) and this really nice, fuzzy turtleneck-like blue sweater. Either way I would have "fit in" because the outfit was just enough "dress" without being too much.

Visitations are usually more laid back than the service itself, so maybe pants and a nice shirt rather than a full suit would be okay there. The whole thing really depends on your relationship with the deceased's family, but I suggest you go with what's comfortable (the brown suit instead of the blue, for one) for you. Of course, I don't really get why people stress about what to wear to funerals anyway.

My sympathies for your loss.

Ass For A Hat
01-12-2005, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I also appreciate the sympathies that have been expressed, though they are certainly not necessary under the circumstances.

Silver Fire
01-12-2005, 04:34 PM
Well now I'm just curious...

Ass For A Hat
01-12-2005, 05:02 PM
Well now I'm just curious...
This was a cancer death that was drawn out over many years. The deaceased left behind two young children and as you can imagine, it has been difficult on the family. I'm not a family member and I guess I was feeling a little guilty accepting sympathies that are probably best directed toward them. They're the ones that have suffered all these years. All I really wanted was fashion advice.

To lighten things up a bit...

My grandfather had one suit. He wore it to weddings and funerals.
My wife's uncle also owns only one suit that he still wears to weddings and funerals. To give you an idea about the age of this suit, he inherited it from his father after his death! I can't remember if he wore it to that funeral. Regardless of my choice in attire tomorrow, I promise you all that I will be substantially more dapper than Uncle John.

Mr. Goob
01-12-2005, 05:16 PM
A friend of mine in his 40's died after a short illness. He was a farmer and a dump truck driver. They had him laid out in the coffin in jeans, denim shirt, work boots and a baseball hat. I thought that was cool as hell after having to go through the details of what to provide to the funeral home for each of my parents two funerals.

For the viewing I mentioned I went right after work in steel toe boots and everything else I normally wore then. I did however wear a nice suit to the funeral. (With the subtle Mickey Mouce tie I wear to all funerals.)

Mr. Goob
01-12-2005, 05:20 PM
A friend of mine in his 40's died after a short illness. He was a farmer and a dump truck driver. They had him laid out in the coffin in jeans, denim shirt, work boots and a baseball hat. I thought that was cool as hell after having to go through the details of what to provide to the funeral home for each of my parents two funerals.

For the viewing I mentioned I went right after work in steel toe boots and everything else I normally wore then. I did however wear a nice suit to the funeral. (With the subtle Mickey Mouce tie I wear to all funerals.)

Wear what you are comfortable with consideration of modicum of respect for the family. For the wake with my Uncle's uptight family I wore nice slacks and a button down shirt.

Cunctator
01-12-2005, 05:40 PM
Whenever I have to go to a funeral, I always wear the same thing - a plain black suit and tie. It's easy and it saves having to make any fashion decisions.

Scarlett67
01-12-2005, 05:45 PM
Whenever I have to go to a funeral, I always wear the same thing - a plain black suit and tie. It's easy and it saves having to make any fashion decisions.
I also have a "funeral dress" that I wear to funerals. (I also wear it for "everyday" occasionally.) Not that anyone would probably notice, but I think it's time to buy another one, since this one has made the full rounds of family branches, friend groups, etc.

Bear_Nenno
01-12-2005, 06:37 PM
I, too, have an outfit (http://myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=6086975&imageID=42624028&Mytoken=20050112153954) that I wear to every funeral.

But seriously. Dark slacks and a nice dark solid shirt are more than adequate.

As far as being "overdressed"- Nah, You won't be overdressed in a suit. An evening suit, sure, but I can't think of many places where a business suit is too nice or too formal. People should feel comfortable in a decent suit, not out of place.

lizardling
01-12-2005, 06:46 PM
Whatever you do, don't where a white leather miniskirt that barely covers your crotch and a sheer black top so you look like a 50 year old hooker. My cousin did that at my mother's funeral last year. My father still wants to strangle her.

Seriously though, any nice suit is fine for a funeral, as long as it isn't white.

I'm not sure what you mean by the visitation, but if you mean the viewing - where you go to see the deceased and offer condolences to the family - a suit isn't necessary, just dress nicely - no jeans or sneakers.

Good Og. I can't believe your cousin did that. :eek:

Seriously, though, I'd modify that to read: a nice sober suit, preferably in the appropriate mourning colors.

In the Western world, black's the mourning color, but in a good few Asian cultures, white is the mourning color. Although IIRC that's changing as people in Asian cultures become more Westernized. Frex: When my maternal Opa died a while back, most everyone (the ones from the US or from Australia) wore black, but my Chinese-acculturated aunt wore white.

muldoonthief
01-12-2005, 11:23 PM
Good Og. I can't believe your cousin did that. :eek:



The worst part was - she was giving a reading during the funeral Mass, so everyone there watched as she walked up to the podium, read her piece, then walked back to her pew. My father was so furious he was shaking. Just what he needed the day he was burying his wife of 51 years.

Zsofia
01-13-2005, 02:42 PM
I think you're pretty much on the mark with your dress code. Black is no longer required for funerals at all for guests (although depending on the religion, traditions, etc, it may be expected of family members). Men should always wear suits to the service. For the other assorted funereal duties, either a visitation at home or at the funeral home, one should dress "nicely" - for a man, a button down shirt (er, with pants of course) and for a woman a skirt, dress, or nice pants. (And a shirt, duh.) Of course, at the home of the bereaved things may be more casual depending.

For the edification of all, at a traditional black funeral (at least in the South) dress one level higher than you'd meant to. Trust me. I almost felt under-dressed even when I did step it up a notch - felt I maybe should have bought a hat or something.

Mehitabel
01-13-2005, 06:31 PM
Speaking as a Catholic, a nicely tailored lighter suit is preferable to a particularly shabby darker one, but unless the navy is really hanging off you or in really bad shape I would go with it, it'll blend in more. If you want, you can wear the lighter one to the wake; wakes are less formal but dressing up slightly shows respect to the deceased and especially to the family; it says "I thought enough of you to make this little effort".

Don't worry, nobody will be looking at you during the Mass checking if you kneel, stand, etc. Just follow the flow. If you're not Christian or just don't feel comfortable kneeling, it's perfectly acceptable to stand or sit with head bowed during the Eucharistic prayers. Just be polite and scoot over on the bench enough for Catholics to exit for Communion--nobody will worry about you not going up at a funeral open to all sorts of people.

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