It has been a tradition, and a sign of respect, to wear black to a funeral, but while some may wear a black dress, others may opt for a two-piece suit, or a skirt and blouse.
We know funerals are about showing a sign of respect to lost loved ones, and the families of those grieving, so for those looking to follow the right dress code etiquette, we can lend a helping hand by helping you find the perfect black dress for a funeral.
Do you have to wear black to a funeral?
It is a common tradition in the UK to wear black to a funeral, however, you don't have to follow this. Dark colours, including navy blue, or dark grey, are also deemed acceptable, while bright colours or prints are said to be distracting from the event at hand.
However, it is to the discretion of the lost loved one's family, and the guests, as on some occasions families encourage guests to wear bright colours as a celebration of the person’s life. Each case is unique, but we've stuck to dresses for this edit.
How we chose funeral-appropriate black dresses
- Colour: Ok, this might be an obvious one. We filtered our search to black. Navy is also acceptable but we kept it traditional for this edit.
- Modesty: We looked for dresses that were deemed respectable - no cut-out dresses or backless dresses in this edit.
- Speedy delivery: In times of grief you might have a million and one things to do before the funeral and finding a dress might be a last minute chore. To make things easier all these dresses have speedy delivery options.
Why you should trust me
"I haven't tried any of these dresses on, but I know what styles to show you, and I know from first-hand experience how overwhelming a funeral of a loved one can be. When my mum passed away in February 2021 my whole world fell apart. I remember my two sisters and I discussed what we'd wear to the funeral and I intended to wear a very plain black dress, but the night before I decided I wanted to go for something a bit more glamorous. I felt like my mum would want me to sparkle in some way, and as I was reading her eulogy I felt even more pressure. I ended up choosing a dress from my wardrobe that I had once worn to Magic Mike Live! (yes, really) but it was a velvet shift dress with long sleeves and it featured three sparkly rhinestone buttons at the neckline. It's a lovely dress but I'm not sure I can wear it again. It's worth bearing that in mind when you're choosing your outfit.
"It was a chilly day in early March so I wore the knee-length dress with black tights, black boots and a black cape coat. The service was being recorded for family and friends that couldn't attend due to restrictions so I wore a black bow in my hair as I thought it would look nice on camera. I did feel nice on the day and "dressing up" put me in the mindset of the funeral being a celebration of my mum's life, but everyone grieves differently and ultimately it's about making it through the day in the best way you can. I hope you like my edit below. Sending love to you all."
Do you have to wear a hat to a funeral?
Similar to the colour scheme, this option is totally dependent on your preference.
Wearing a hat, veil, or fascinator, is typically deemed a sign of respect, but it is not essential.
The general rule of thumb is subtlety is key so as not to distract from the funeral.
What should you avoid wearing to a funeral?
Funerals are a time you must show your respect, which is why casualwear is deemed inappropriate.
We recommend avoiding short skirts, or dresses, as well as low-cut and revealing garments if possible. Some may also avoid sleeveless, off-the-shoulder dresses, or designs with spaghetti straps, in favour of covering their shoulders in a place of worship.
T-shirts, vest tops, tracksuits, sandals or flip-flops are an absolute no-go.
Some may choose to wear black thick leggings instead of tights under a dress, or jeans instead of trousers, and that is a decision only you can make.