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Basics For Funeral Appropriate Attire

There was a time when being in mourning meant wearing head to toe black, including gloves, hats and veils. In the modern era, however, the rules as to what is considered acceptable funeral attire have been changed somewhat. Though there are multiple factors that influence one's choice of clothing for the occasion, here are a few basic guidelines.

The traditional dark suit and tie, or little black dress are still safe bets. The styles are now leaning towards the semi-formal. Though the more casual designs are being accepted, they are still expected to be of darker colors such as dark blue and gray.

Men may continue to wear the traditional suit and tie, or they have the option to go with casual slacks paired with a collard shirt and sports coat. Black dress shoes are expected for all options. The primary rule is to keep things conservative, foregoing bold patterns, wearing light colored shirts with dark ties, jackets and pants.

Women may wear office worthy slacks and dresses in dark colors and conservative styles. The primary rule is not to choose something with a low neckline, high hemline, flashy patterns or bare shoulders because one should not draw attention to herself at these events. Heels are still appropriate though if attending a graveside service, flats may be more comfortable.

Children have less strict guidelines to follow. Boys can opt for suits, dress slacks and collared shirts, or even sweater vests while the girls should wear dresses without excessive ruffles or bold, colorful patterns. The youngsters clothing does not have to be black, though it should be of dark or neutral tones with a minimum amount of adornment.

The traditional basics of funeral attire are always a safe guideline though there will be times when this is not the norm. Many religions and cultural groups have their own expectations as to how mourners should dress, and personalized instructions from the deceased may also change the rules. In those situations, the special style requests should be followed as a show of final respects.


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