What should a man wear to a funeral? Easy, keep it simple stupid. Is a phrase that works for so many things, including how to dress for a funeral or memorial. Fortunately, I think that attending funerals is something that many of us do not have to do often. But nonetheless it is unfortunate when it does have to happen, when it does happen a man should dress appropriately.
I realize may vary between religions and cultures, so for the purposes of this article I feel only comfortable opining on what is appropriate for funerals of the Christian faith. Although I doubt these guidelines would be too far from correct at any funeral. It is also important to be aware of the fact that at funerals of different faiths you may be asked to abide by their traditions and rules. Such as wearing a Yarmulke at a Jewish funeral or removing your shoes when entering a mosque for a Muslim funeral.
A funeral is a relatively formal event. If there is ever a time that a man should wear a suit, a funeral is perhaps that time. A funeral is also not an occasion to wear your shirt open and sans tie; sorry Richard. Nor is it a time to wear your ‘nice jeans,’ your favorite t-shirt or that pink tie your girlfriend got you for Valentines day.
So what exactly should you wear? A man’s suit should be a solid dark color. Black being the most traditional and formal; followed by charcoal and navy (pictured above). Keep the shirt solid white and the tie dark and preferably solid. Personally, I cannot stand black neckties, but a funeral would be an ideal setting to wear one. For shoes, black is ideal, but dark brown is a suitable alternative. Accessorize sparingly.
It is a simple prescription, and ideally one that is foolproof. A funeral is not a place to show off your personal style, make a fashion statement or grab attention. You are there to pay respect to the deceased and his/her loved ones.
This post is dedicated to Dr. Lynn Iozzo. Dr. Iozzo was one of the most passionate and engaging teachers I ever studied under. She was a middle school Latin teacher at The Shipley School (where I went to school) for 20 years. The positive influence she had on me and countless other Shipley students is immeasurable. She most certainly kept up the good fight. This ensemble was worn to a memorial service in her honor.