What to Wear to a Summer Funeral
Dressing for a funeral or memorial service is always difficult because we attach so much meaning to funeral attire. Should you go with all black, or cast tradition aside and wear white? How formal do your funeral clothes need to be to show the right amount of respect? What if you don’t own anything black and cannot afford to buy something new?
Another consideration that affects many people this time of year is the weather. Funeral clothes tend to be more suited for winter months than summer ones, especially if you err on the side of formality. Dark suits, dark dresses and tights, hats and sweaters—these things can be overbearing in the heat, especially if you will be in direct sunlight or at the gravesite for part of the service.
When dressing for a funeral in the summer, it is okay to put your own comfort first. Here are a few ideas for dressing for the weather while also keeping the heat in mind.
Summer Funeral Clothes for Men
The go-to funeral outfit for men is generally a suit and tie. If you want to avoid wearing so many layers in the heat, however, you can go ahead and skip the jacket. In most cases, shirtsleeves and nice slacks are more than adequate for a funeral, especially if you choose a darker color like grey or blue. You can even opt for a short-sleeved shirt and skip the tie, if you wish.
Lightweight suits (such as those made of linen) or khakis and polos are also acceptable, provided the funeral is not too formal. Avoid loud prints and pastel colors, and opt instead for blues or greys. Hats are also typically off-limits unless you need to wear one for medical reasons or to keep the sun away.
Although you might be tempted to wear shorts, it is best to avoid them. Even dressier shorts tend to be more casual than a funeral calls for. Closed-toe shoes are also ideal.
Summer Funeral Clothes for Women
Women usually have an easier time figuring out summer funeral attire than men. Although you do not want to wear bright florals or loud colored printed, you can typically wear a summery dress that offers light, floating layers. Again, grey or blue is an ideal color for summer funeral wear.
You should avoid any dress that is too revealing, however, since funerals are morelike a visit to church than a trip to the beach. If you are wearing something strapless or with a short skirt, a light sweater or cardigan layered over the top can provide coverage without overheating you.
Sandals are perfectly acceptable for women to wear to funerals in the summer, as are hats that keep off the sun.
Summer Funeral Clothes for Kids
Children can be a little tricky to dress for a funeral in the summer, as they are the most likely to overheat or complain about too many layers when the sun is directly overhead. For this reason, most families are willing to overlook kids who are dressed more for comfort than for formality. Nice shorts, t-shirts in solid colors, and summer dresses all tend to work well for the little ones.
For additional comfort, make sure you drink plenty of water and carry a change of clothes for any kind of event taking place after the funeral. The purpose of dressing formally for a funeral is to show your respect, but not at the cost of your own health—and most families will be understanding.