Signature Wardrobe Funeral Outfit

Signature Wardrobe Funeral Outfit
Signature Wardrobe Funeral Outfit
Bush Funeral by S.T. Gill (1818 – 1880) 1864 via State Library Victoria

It seems that just recently, a bunch of people have died. I know people die all the time and we barely think about it, but now and again there’s someone we want to pay our respects to, and that means thinking about a Signature Wardrobe Funeral Outfit.

In the old days, people would maintain one “good” outfit, sometimes for decades, and wear it for all their significant occasions – births, deaths and marriages. Sometimes even their own funerals!

Not that I’m suggesting you do the same, though it would take a lot of the anxiousness out of some events. But let’s think about how we can add items to our wardrobe that will work for funerals as well as everyday life.


This is another of those outfits that need to be suitable for inside or outside, Summer or Winter, rain or shine.

There may be an indoor service, or it might be by the grave. You might be sitting, but there will more than likely be some standing, possibly some kneeling too. Plus there could be a procession, so you’ll be walking (slowly) as well.


You’re attending the funeral as an outward show of respect for the deceased, but you do so to comfort the bereaved. This means that when you put your outfit together, you need to think about how they will feel when they look at you in it.

In general, this means something sombre and respectful; dark colours, more body coverage (high necklines and longer hems) and discreet jewellery. Not necessarily black, you could do navy, brown, green or similar.

Some families might suggest a colour or sports team theme, in which case go with that.


“Good” clothes, not jeans and t-shirts. And I shouldn’t have to say it, but CLEAN clothes. You’ll probably be standing about wearing this outfit for a few hours, so you need to feel comfortable in it.

Like unveilings and cocktail parties, dresses are a good choice because these days people interpret them as formal garments.


I’m going with yes, but it’s up to you.


Your shoes should be sombre and in keeping with your clothes; something like a dark pump. If you’ll be by the graveside, consider a broad lowish heel that will carry you over the grass rather than sink into it. With matching or skin toned hosiery.


Still thinking sombre and respectful, try to keep them dark and discreet.

A small bag that you are unlikely to injure people with. And if you are a hat wearer, something dark and smallish (though in proportion to your overall outfit).

You can follow the lead of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, with black stoned jewellery like jet or onyx, or black enamelling.


Still thinking about the bereaved, discrete makeup, and hair that’s clean, neat and under control (and doesn’t interfere with your hat).

Wrap Up

So to make a long story short, you’re looking for something plain and dark. That could be a wool-blend work dress or suit, or something more like a cocktail dress in a luxurious fabric.

This particular Funeral Outfit is more appropriate for Western Christian style funerals because that’s where I live. Many religions and cultures similarly expect sombre and discreet, though the colour expectations may vary. You can always ask the family or funeral director if you need more information.

And while we’re on the subject, it can be hard to get back to “normal” with deceased. If you haven’t spoken to them since the death, make sure you do so now because the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. All you need to say is

“I was sorry to hear about X’s death (or passing). If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”

They will have good days and bad days, so don’t make it worse by disappearing along with the deceased.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.