What to Wear to a Funeral

For most funerals, darker dress outfits like a button-up suit or a black dress will always be appropriate, but you may be going to a celebration of life memorial, so you will have more leeway when it comes to what to wear.

Different cultures have different customs for funeral attire but if you are still unsure of what will honour your recently deceased’s memory, the expert funeral directors at Newhaven Funerals have provided some tips to make sure you don’t have a wardrobe malfunction on the important day.

Please feel free to ask our funeral directors if you need some experienced advice.

General Tips

  • In Western culture, black is traditional and always appropriate.
  • Non-black clothing is generally acceptable; stick to subtle, understated colours and styles as not to detract from the ceremony.
  • Nothing revealing; cover up to the shoulders, neck and cover the knees. No mini-skirts or shorts.
  • Dress shoes are a must; no flip flops, sandals or sports shoes. Black, navy or brown is generally considered appropriate.
  • For more traditional settings, hats may be required.
  • For more casual occasions, T-shirts may be acceptable but keep it toned down and considerate. No crazy prints or logos.
  • If you are unsure, check with your Brisbane funeral directors for advice.

Tips for Women

  • Dark or muted dresses are traditional and don’t take attention away from the service.
  • Shoulders should be covered in most cases.
  • Skirts and dresses should reach the knee.
  • Suits are also considered respectful and appropriate.
  • Some funerals may require a hat.
  • Brighter colours may be worn on advice from the family but avoid sundresses or mini-skirts.

General outfit ideas for women:

  • Skirt suit
  • Pant suit
  • Dresses
  • Skirts/trousers with a blouse
  • Skirt/trousers with a jersey or cardigan
  • Hats
  • Dark-coloured heels or flat shoes.

Tips for Men:

  • Buttoned white or light-coloured shirt.
  • Dark-coloured suit jackets.
  • Dark dress trousers.
  • Brown or black shoes, preferably leather dress shoes.
  • Muted necktie, no bold patterns or bright colours.
  • Long sleeved, collared shirt; no open collars.
  • Dark jeans may be acceptable in some circumstances.

General outfit ideas for men:

  • Dress suit, shirt and tie.
  • Polo shirt, dark trousers and belt.
  • Dress trousers, dress shirt and waistcoat.
  • Blazer, dress shirt and dark-coloured trousers.

Commemorating the life of a loved one can take many forms, so checking with those organising the funeral is the best course of action.

Every life is colourful and vibrant but in death, respects are best paid by not detracting from those whose memory you’re there to honour and celebrate.

If you are still unsure, your funeral directors Newhaven Funerals will be able to expertly guide you on how to dress when attending a memorial service.


Visit www.newhavenfunerals.com.au for more information or call us on 1300 375 913  for more advice.

You might also find our previous post How to Plan a Funeral Service of assistance to you.