When attending a memorial service, you want to dress appropriately while showing support. While there aren’t any specific rules on what to wear to a memorial service, it’s best to err on caution. Depending on the type of memorial service and relationship with the deceased, you might feel more comfortable dressing up than dressing down. Again, there are no right or wrong answers regarding what to wear, but your outfit must reflect your respect for the service and the guest of honor.
Each set will differ depending on where you live and who has passed away, so check with the host beforehand. Also, read ahead for helpful information about what color, casual, or formal clothes to wear if you plan on attending a memorial service soon.
Black: Attending an Evening Memorial Service
For an evening memorial service, black is the appropriate color choice for almost all occasions. Most people wear black to funerals in general, but it’s essential to wear black to a memorial service held in the evening. Depending on the host’s preference, you might wear black dress pants and a button-down shirt with a black tie (for men) or a black dress with a blazer and black heels (for women). You can wear a black dress if you prefer, but make sure it’s not too casual, or it might not be appropriate.
If someone has recently passed away, you might wear a black dress or pantsuit with a black blazer or cardigan. If you opt for a black outfit, ensure you’re not wearing black too often. You don’t want to be overly pessimistic or seem to be grieving too much.
Blue: Attending a Morning Memorial Service
Blue is the appropriate color for a morning memorial service. For a daytime memorial service, it’s a good idea to wear a darker blue than a light blue. You can wear a blue dress, suit, or blazer with a blue cardigan tied around your shoulders. If you wear a blue suit, make sure it’s not a black suit, or it might be too formal for a memorial service. If you want to wear a dress, make sure it’s casual, or you might need to be appropriately dressed for a memorial service. If someone has recently passed away, you might wear a blue dress or pantsuit with a blue blazer or cardigan.
Brown and Beige: Attending a Daytime Memorial Service
You might be slightly underdressed if you wear brown and beige to a memorial service held in the daytime. However, wearing these colors is still appropriate, depending on the type of memorial service you’re attending. For example, if you’re attending a memorial service for someone who passed away recently, you might wear a brown dress or pantsuit with a beige blazer or cardigan. If you’re attending a memorial service for someone who has passed away, you might wear a beige dress or pantsuit with a brown blazer or cardigan.
Formal Wear to a Memorial Service
Formal wear is typically reserved for evening memorial services. If you’re attending a memorial service for someone who passed away recently, you might wear a black dress or pantsuit with a blue or purple tie (for men) or a black dress with a blue or purple cardigan (for women). To a funeral or memorial service, you can wear a black dress or pantsuit with a blue or purple jacket or cardigan to show respect for the deceased. Even if you’re planning on wearing a black dress to the memorial ceremony, you should avoid looking too casual.
Casual Wear to a Memorial Service
You can wear a casual outfit to a memorial service, but make sure it’s not too casual. For example, you might wear khaki shorts and a black shirt. You could also wear a casual dress with some simple jewelry. If you wear a casual outfit to a memorial service, ensure you only wear a few bright colors, or you might stand out too much.
Is it OK to wear jeans to a memorial service?
The most frequently cited reason is that jeans aren’t formal enough for a funeral, barring special requests from the family. For a more relaxed service, however, dark, unembellished trousers are acceptable when worn with a shirt, tie, and blazer (for males) or a blouse and blazer (for women).
Can a woman wear pants to a memorial service?
Ladies, please don’t dress too casually or too festively. A skirt suit or pantsuit, a skirt of an adequate length (not a tiny skirt), or slacks (not jeans), and a top with sleeves, a shirt, or a sweater are all appropriate ensembles for ladies to wear to a funeral (not sneakers).
Attire should be solemn but supportive at a memorial service. Without hard and fast guidelines, it is prudent to play it safe when deciding what to wear to a memorial ceremony. Depending on your relationship with the deceased and the nature of the service, you may feel more at ease dressing up for a memorial ceremony than dressing down. There is no definitive dress code for funerals, but attendees should wear something that shows they value the event and the guest of honor. Inquire in advance with the host, as the atmosphere may vary based on where you reside and who has died away.