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What do you wear to a funeral? In movies everyone is always in some over-the-top black outfit from head-to-toe that usually has a big hat, veil, and gloves, or something similar. That looks pretty tacky and also that would draw too much attention to you, which defeats the purpose of a funeral. It is a time for honoring a loved one who has died so you don’t want to wear something crazy or something that is distracting because that could be seen as disrespectful.

You don’t have to wear all black. In fact, you don’t have to wear anything black if you don’t feel like it. Any color is fine, if you feel that bright colors are too loud for the event, stick to neutrals then such as beige or grey. Just avoid casual clothes such as jeans or a tee shirt. Go with a basic conservative outfit you might would wear to work. Black dress pants, tweed pants, khakis, etc. Wear a shirt that isn’t too low cut. Make sure if you wear a pencil skirt or any kind of skirt for that matter that it is not too short or too tight. If it is short, you could wear leggings. Bring a sweater because churches tend to be chilly. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and you might not want to wear heels because the grass out in graveyards makes high heels sink into the Earth, which could pull off your shoe or make you trip, etc. (Trust me, it is annoying!) Guys should wear a suit. If you don’t have a suit, at least wear a nice collared shirt, or an oxford with a blazer, dress pants, and dress shoes.

Don’t wear too much makeup. Keep it simple. Just your usual foundation, eyeliner, lip gloss, and maybe mascara. No bright pink eye shadow or anything that looks like you’re about to go out for a night on the town. Jewelry is fine, just make sure it isn’t too much for your outfit.

Bring a smaller sized purse. You never know who you might have to sit with during the ceremony, it could be crowded and you don’t want your purse to be in the way. You also don’t want to have to lug around a heavy bag. Just carry the essentials, like chap stick, lip color, gum, powder compact, extra make up in case your’s smears or comes off, and of course a pack of tissues.