When someone you love and know has passed, the last thing you want to stress over is what to wear. Trying to keep in mind the traditions and customs of funeral attire can be overwhelming and at the same time feel limiting on what is appropriate to wear, but it doesn’t have to be. Funerals are not the runway to the afterlife, but it is possible to be chic whilst saying your final good-byes.
There are a few fashion cardinal rules for funerals in the Western culture. The closer you are to the deceased the more room you have to accessorize and put into your dress. If you are paying your respects to a person you are not close to, you should be modest in your outfit choice. Exposing too much skin, dressing too casual, or wearing bold and loud colors are funeral no-no’s. Services can be emotional for everyone, so make sure that you use waterproof mascara and smudge-proof lipstick so you can look the same coming out of the memorial as you did going in. And lastly, dress weather appropriate. Many burials take place outdoors at a cemetery, so if it’s raining, bring an umbrella; leave the stilettos and wear flats or wedges that won’t sink in the grass; and wear a coat, if necessary, that fits the occasion.
Here are 10 suggestions that can ease your funeral fashion woes:
- Don’t be afraid of color. Black is traditional for immediate family members, but plum, navy blue, brown, maroon, and hunter green are also appropriate. Stay away from garish patterns, and loud bold colors.
- Modest accessories and jewelry such as pearls and a classic head-band can dress up any “little black dress.”
- Dark shades serve as a dual purpose, to hide the sun and watery eyes.
- A chic touch to a simple dress is solid stockings with simple heels.
- Black laced-gloves are an elegant touch.
- A small to medium sized fedora.
- Boleros or a laced jacket for sleeveless dresses
- A small handbag or a wristlet will keep your hands free to help others who are grief-stricken.
- A classic patterned handkerchief can add color to your ensemble.
- It would be appropriate and commemorative to wear any gifts the person who has passed may have given you.
In the above photo Kelly Osbourne mourned close friend Amy Winehouse wearing a simple and elegant black fitted dress. She added a splash of color, modestly wearing pink lipstick. And in her last respects, Kelly gave ode to the 'Winehouse Beehive' accessorizing it with a classic bow headband and vintage black cat eye sunglasses. Osbourne demonstrates a classic chic approach to funeral fashion.