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What to Wear to a Funeral in the Summer

Summer funerals can be difficult to attend when considering the appropriate type of clothing to wear combined with the heat and sun. You don’t want to show up in inappropriate clothing, but you also want to feel comfortable. Here are some tips on what to wear to a funeral or viewing in the summer.

Summer funeral attire

So, what should you wear to a funeral in the summer? First and foremost, it's important to remember that you are attending a funeral. This is not a time to show off your fashion sense or make a statement. You should dress in clothing that is respectful and modest.

If you are unsure of what to wear, it is always best to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively. That being said, you don't want to be so covered up that you are uncomfortable in the heat. A good rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a job interview.

In general, dark colors are always appropriate for a funeral unless the family has requested a different type of attire. Black is the most common color worn to funerals, but if you are not comfortable in black, you can also wear dark blue or gray.

What should women wear to a summer funeral?

Though outdoor funerals may increase the heat and sun exposure, that doesn't mean your outfit should be something you’d wear on any random hot summer day. You should still aim for something conservative and appropriate.

  • Wear darker colors like blue, black, gray, or brown.
  • Choose dress pants, a skirt that ideally goes below the knees (or right above them), or a nice dress.
  • Modest sleeveless tops with an appropriate neckline.
  • Wear clean dress shoes, high heels or flats that aren't too flashy.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum or to simple pieces.

If you'll be exposed to the sun and it's hot outside, consider bringing a dress hat or formal hat to wear to prevent yourself from overheating.

What should men wear to a summer funeral?

For those who are going to be outdoors instead of at a funeral home (or other indoor location), men should consider wearing something that's comfortable in the heat. Funerals typically last for 30 minutes to an hour, so you shouldn't be standing in the heat for too long, but it could be long enough to sweat.

  • Wear darker colors such as blue, black, gray, or a darker brown.
  • Avoid wearing shorts and choose dress pants or slacks for a respectful look.
  • Avoid dressing too formally with too many layers if you expect it to be extremely hot outside. For example, if you were originally going to wear a suit, jacket, and tie, consider ditching some of these layers for presentable but comfortable attire.
  • Wear clean dress shoes or a nice pair of loafers.

What to avoid in a summer funeral outfit

Anyone attending a funeral in the summer should avoid wearing the following items, unless they're specifically requested by the family or organizer of the funeral:

  • Strapless dresses or shirts
  • Crop tops
  • Flashy or extremely distracting colors
  • Shorts
  • Flip flops
  • Baseball caps
  • Jeans
  • T-shirts
  • Sneakers

Remember, you are attending a funeral, not a casual get-together. An exception to these rules if you are attending a celebration of life or a very casual ceremony. With these events, a more casual attire is acceptable (the family may even request informal attire specifically) but it'd still be considered inappropriate to show up in your most casual attire, especially if it wasn't specifically requested by the event organizer.

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Last updated July 14, 2022
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