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What to Wear to a Casual Funeral

When attending a funeral, it is important to dress respectfully in order to show your support for the grieving family. However, what exactly constitutes respectful funeral attire can vary depending on the type of funeral service you are attending. For example, a traditional religious funeral service will typically require more formal attire than a more casual memorial service. If the family has stated the funeral will be a casual funeral, here is some guidance on what outfits are appropriate to wear.

What is a casual funeral?

A casual funeral is a funeral that is less formal than a traditional funeral. The dress code for a casual funeral is typically more relaxed, and mourners may wear clothing that is comfortable and appropriate for the occasion. Oftentimes, the family will outline a set of clothing or request specific pieces of clothing they'd like attendees to wear in honor of the deceased. This can sometimes feel unusual for the attendees (jeans, to a funeral?), but if the family requests it, try your best to honor their requests in memory of the person who passed away.

What do you wear to a casual funeral if the family simply says it's "Casual"?

If the family has not specified what they would like attendees to wear, a good rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a nice dinner out. This might mean slacks and a blazer for men, or a sundress for women.

You want to look put-together, but comfortable at the same time. The only thing to be concerned about is showing up looking too casual to an otherwise serious affair. This means you'll want to avoid items of clothing that are tattered, torn, stained, or heavily distressed. Additionally, consider avoiding some of the following items of clothing, unless they're specifically requested:

  • Crop tops
  • Flip flops
  • Booty shorts
  • Athleisure
  • Camo wear
  • Sportswear

Can you wear jeans to a funeral?

You can wear jeans to a funeral if the family has requested casual attire, but you should make sure they're well-fitting and in good condition. Avoid ripped, distressed, or baggy jeans, as these can look too casual for a funeral setting. Consider pairing your jeans with a dressier top, like a blouse or sweater, to balance out the look.

If you're unsure what to wear to a casual funeral, it's always best to err on the side of caution and dress on the more formal side.

Can you wear white to a funeral?

While there is no definitive answer, it is generally advised against wearing white to a funeral unless it's specifically requested by the family. If you're unsure what color to wear to a casual funeral, check the memorial website or funeral information card for more information before landing on an outfit. This is often where the family will make specific requests on attire or specific colors they'd like attendees to wear. If there's no guidance, consider black, navy, or another dark neutral color.

Do you have to wear a tie to a funeral?

No, you do not have to wear a tie to a funeral unless the family has requested it. If you're unsure what to wear, check the memorial website or funeral information card for more information on what the family has requested. If you're attending a casual funeral, it's definitely not necessary for you to wear a tie (though you are welcome to if you feel more comfortable).

Casual funeral attire examples

If you're more of a visual learner, here are some funeral outfit images of casual funeral attire that can help you plan out an outfit that you feel comfortable in.

This sundress offers a bit of a casual vibe while still maintaining darker colors. The sunglasses and clutch also add a nice bit of flair that’s still respectful. Source.

Here’s a great example of how to incorporate lightly distressed jeans into a casual funeral outfit. Source.

Pairing a darker color blouse with black pants and statement shoes is a great casual funeral attire choice. Source.

For men, a cardigan paired with jeans and a nice pair of shoes is a great choice for a casual funeral. Source.

A black shirt paired with khakis and a clean pair of shoes is an everyday smart casual look you can wear at a funeral. Source.

For a darker ensemble, consider pairing a dark grey jacket, black jeans, and dark boots. Source.

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Last updated July 29, 2022
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