Where/How to Buy Funeral Clothes
Although there is no rule that says you have to go out and buy all black clothes for a funeral, many people find that nothing in their closet seems to fit the overall tone of a funeral—the somber atmosphere, the desire to be respectful, the fact that you’ll be seeing friends and relatives for the first time in years.
Most people can get away with church attire or the same clothes they might wear to a job interview, but if these aren’t readily available, you may have to go shopping. Here are a few suggestions for buying funeral clothes quickly and without spending too much money.
- Shop in Your Closet First: Chances are there is at least one piece in your closet you can already wear. A nice pair of slacks, a knee-length skirt, a white button-up shirt, a suit jacket—any and all of these are acceptable to wear to a funeral. To avoid paying for an entirely new outfit, try to find items that are business casual and fit fairly well. From there, you can complement the existing clothes with something new.
- Shop at a Friend’s House: Because funerals tend to be such rare events, you may not want to buy all new clothes. If you have a friend or relative who is roughly the same size as you, ask to borrow a few items for the day. You might also find that the additional support of someone you love is helpful in dealing with your grief.
- Department Stores: Your best option for buying inexpensive, quality items to wear to a funeral is a department store. Because they stock such a wide range of items, you should be able to find everything you need in one location. Ideally, you should look for clothes that you can re-use at a future date (and not necessarily for funerals). If you’re required to dress well for work, find pieces that can also work in your career wardrobe. If you enjoy dressing up for evenings out, consider a nicer dress that can be toned down for the funeral with a cardigan.
- Thrift Stores: If you don’t want to spend too much money on funeral clothes—or if you find the idea of wearing those clothes again distasteful—you may want to shop secondhand. Although it will take more time to find quality pieces, many upscale secondhand boutiques and consignment stores specialize in the type of formal-casual wear that’s ideal for funerals.
Shopping Online: Shopping for funeral clothes online is an option, but be sure to bear in mind how long it may take for items to arrive by mail. There is also a chance that items may not fit the way you want them to, so you’ll end up having to shop locally anyway.
Above all else, try not to stress too much about what to wear to a funeral. Although it’s a good idea to dress with care and strive not to draw too much attention to yourself by your clothes, what you wear is less important than the fact that you’re there at all.
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