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Home » Outfits » Simple Dos and Don’ts of What to Wear to A Summer Funeral

Simple Dos and Don’ts of What to Wear to A Summer Funeral

Preparing for a funeral is never easy, be it of a family, close friends, a distant relative, or even a colleague. And the weather can sometimes make this emotionally draining process particularly difficult, especially in the summer.

We recently covered what to wear to a funeral, but what about dressing for a funeral in warmer weather?

While no one wants to think about picking out a funeral outfit, this daunting task does need some attention, too. Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your  choices for a summer service.

So, let’s explore how you can dress appropriately for a summer funeral and show your respect to the deceased and their family.

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The Do’s and Don’ts 

To begin with, it’s important to remember that a funeral is not the time to flaunt any fashion pieces. Classic pieces with a twist of your style personality work best. And while the summer heat offers some leeway for your clothing choices, there are still some etiquette rules to follow for this somber occasion.

This list of do’s and don’ts can help you get started. And while these rules apply to both men and women, a few points may seem to be more inclined to one than the other. 

Don’t Wear:

  • Tight clothing can cause discomfort, making you sweaty in the summer heat.
  • Athletic clothes may be tempting, especially on a hot summer day, but they are simply not appropriate for a funeral.
  • Revealing, casual clothes like tank tops, shorts, or sundresses are an absolute no-no, as well as too short skirts.
  • Bright or bold colors, loud prints and flashy jewelry. You should not seem to be attention-grabbing as it may come off as disrespectful or insensitive.
  • Flip flops, sandals, or running shoes. While such footwear may be comfortable during the summer months, they are not appropriate for a funeral.
  • Dresses or skirts that fall too far above the knee. The same applies to pants and shorts. 
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Do’s:

  • Choose clothing that covers your shoulders and come to the knees. 
  • Skip dresses with long sleeves, and when wearing short sleeves,  keep them modest. 
  • During summers, funerals or not, it’s advisable to wear cool, breathable fabrics — think linen and cotton. These fabrics are a better choice for hot weather.
  • While black is a traditional funeral color, you can skip it during the summer months. Stick to darker neutrals, like dark gray, navy, or brown. That said, pay attention to the cultural expectations concerning funeral colors that the mourning family may have.
  • If it’s an outdoor funeral or memorial service, or graveside service, consider wearing a hat to protect yourself from the harsh sun. In fact, some religions even require a head covering for funeral services. Although be sure to go with a simple and appropriate-looking hat. Skip baseball caps.
  • Keep jewelry and accessories minimal. 

Funeral Clothing: Cultural Color Preferences

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the essential do’s and don’ts of dressing for a funeral in summer, let’s delve into the nuances of different cultural preferences when it comes to clothing color. 

While black is typically the go-to color for funerals in Western cultures, other cultures have their own traditional preferences.

In many Asian cultures, white is the preferred color for funerals, as it symbolizes a period of mourning and purity. For example, Chinese, Sikh, Hindu, and some Muslim funeral services have white as their funeral color. 

In places like Thailand and Brazil, purple is a predominant color worn at funerals.

In some African cultures, red or bright colors or black-and-white outfits may be worn to celebrate the life of the deceased. 

Across cultures of the world, mourning colors range from pale black to sky blue and even yellow. It’s thus important to be aware of the mourning family’s culture and tradition when dressing for a funeral. 

To that end, don’t hesitate to ask the family of the deceased if you’re not sure what you’d have to wear. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the family directly, reach out to another friend or family who’s attending. You can also try contacting the funeral service provider to inquire about appropriate dress for the occasion.

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What Can Women Wear to a Funeral in the Summer?

Considering the tips above, here are some clothing options that women can consider wearing to a funeral:

  • A knee-length dress with appropriate sleeves and a high neckline. 
  • Maxi dresses are acceptable as long as they don’t have loud, garish prints.
  • A knee-length or longer skirt paired with a blouse.
  • Absolutely do not wear off-shoulder dresses or tops or ones with spaghetti straps.
  • Dress pants or slacks paired with a blouse.
  • A pantsuit or skirt suit in a dark or muted color (depending on the mourning family’s culture).
  • Closed-toe shoes like dress shoes, flats, or low heels. Open-toed shoes may be acceptable if they are a simple sandal that’s not too strappy or sexy. Keep them simple but not overly casual. A sandal for a funeral should be a dress sandal with a little heel. 
  • Simple and understated jewelry, like pearl earrings or a pendant necklace. Sunglasses are also okay but keep them understated — no bold, flashy colors or designs. 
  • Carry a small, discreet bag or clutch that complements your outfit. Avoid large or brightly colored bags.
  • Sleeveless outfits- a sleeveless dress or sleeveless top with skirt or pants can be appropriate if the neckline is modest and the colors are subdued.

It’s also a good idea to bring a light jacket or cardigan in case the venue gets chilly during the service. Most funerals are held in a place of worship or funeral home. You can remove your jacket or cardigan for the outside burial service. And of course, keep your makeup understated. 

Can Women Wear Pants For A Funeral?

Wearing pants to a funeral is generally acceptable and can be a practical choice in every weather. In summer, you may opt for loose, tailored pants that allow more airflow. 

Dress pants/slacks in dark colors like black, navy blue, or gray are a good choice for funerals. Pair them with a tops in lighter colors that are a neutral color and lightweight fabric.

However, while formal pants are fine, you should avoid wearing jeans or casual pants like capris or shorts since it can come across as disrespectful.

Outfit Ideas for Women to Wear To A Summer Funeral

Midi Dress + Sunhat

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This 100% cotton midi dress will keep you cool but modest. For a graveside service, add the sunhat for some sun protection. Choose a Mary Jane pump for a closed to shoe option, or a simple slingback sandal with a block heel for walking on grass. Keep the jewelry simple with stud earrings and a simple necklace.

Blouse and Pants

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As long as your outfit is respectful and subdued, it doesn’t have to be black. Try pairing navy dress pants with a lightweight olive blouse. Finish with brown heels and a brown belt. Choose simple pearl earrings for jewelry.

Skirt Suit in Light Grey

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Lighter colors can make you feel cooler. When you have to attend a summer funeral, opt for a light grey skirt suit with three quarter sleeves. You don’t have to sacrifice style to dress respectful. Add some interest to a plain suit with cute bow heels and accessories. Just don’t be flashy with the accessories.

What Can Men Wear to a Summer Funeral?

Men also have a few options for summer funeral attire. A traditional black suit will always be a preferred choice, but even if you opt for other clothing, it’s about wearing conservative and respectful clothing. For men, these typically include:

  • A suit in dark colors like black, navy blue, or gray. Pick suit in a lightweight fabric, not a heavy wool suit. Pair your suit with a conservative, solid-colored tie in a darker shade than your shirt.
  • Dress pants in similar colors (above) paired with a dress shirt. A white shirt might be a good option for keeping cool.
  • A collared dress shirt with a tie and dress pants. Select a crisp, collared, button-down shirt in a light color such as white or pale blue.
  • Plain trousers with a plain button-down shirt. 
  • Polished dress shoes in black or dark brown. Pair them with dark socks.

Final Thoughts on Dressing for a Summer Funeral

Dressing appropriately for a funeral in the summer can be challenging. However, it’s important to remember that the occasion is a solemn one that requires respectful and conservative attire. Dressing appropriately is a sign of respect. 

Make sure you dress in accordance with the cultural and religious customs of the deceased and their family, as well as the specific location and time of the service. Keep in mind that traditional funeral attire varies with different cultures. Follow the tips we’ve outlined for what to wear to a summer funeral to ensure that you’re dressed appropriately and respectfully for the occasion.

Funeral appropriate options from Amazon:

What to Wear To A Summer FuneralPin
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