Hello, and welcome to Dressed for My Day, where my goal is to inspire and help women like you and me to dress beautifully and appropriately for our unique days so we can engage graciously and authentically with those around us and influence them positively. And I think today’s post topic contributes to that purpose beautifully. We’re talking about what to wear to a funeral.
But we’re not just talking about appropriate funeral attire here. We’re joining my friend and fellow style blogger Jodie Filogomo of Jodie’s Touch of Style in this conversation. In fact, Jodie has been talking about this at her blog already this week, as both her mother and step-mom (with whom Jodie graciously shares her platform all the time) have shared the fashions they would wear to a memorial service earlier in the week.
I had the blessing of meeting Jodie in person a couple of months ago when she and her husband were visiting friends in Arizona. They are just the most precious couple. We talked and talked…and could have talked some more!
Jodie is a retired dentist, but now she loves sharing fashion inspiration for women of all ages. I love that Jodie says of herself that, besides her clothes, her laugh is the loudest thing about her. Hahaha! Indeed, I found that Jodie has a lovely self-deprecating and gracious sense of humor. And after spending some time with her and her husband Rob, I’m pretty sure the two of them laugh a lot! I like that.
And yes, you’ll probably discover that Jodie’s clothing is generally a little louder than mine. But that’s one of the things I love about her. She has a beautiful, feminine, eclectic style that feels happy and winsome. I’m looking forward to seeing what she suggests for funeral attire.
But first, let’s check out my look and talk a little about attending memorial services.
You’d think that as a pastor’s wife I have been to lots of funerals and know this niche exceptionally well. You’d be wrong. My husband has certainly preached hundreds of funerals. And, honestly, this may sound strange, but funeral messages are definitely one of his fortes. He does a beautiful job of honoring the deceased, comforting and encouraging the grieving family and pointing us all to Jesus.
I, on the other hand, generally feel awkward and a little nervous at funerals or memorial services. I haven’t experienced a lot of loss in my own life, so I feel out of my element at these services.
But what I’ve learned over time is that people simply want the honor of your presence. They want you to be there. To show up.
And that’s why my theory is that what you wear doesn’t matter nearly as much as your presence. Don’t ever let not having the right thing to wear keep you from showing up for a friend or loved one who is grieving.
Having said that, I do think there are some social cues to consider when dressing for a funeral. Most importantly, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post on dressing appropriately, I suggest we consider our role at a memorial service. We are there to pay homage and respect. We’re there to comfort and share the grief. Hopefully we’re also there to celebrate a life well-lived. And preferably we’re there to worship the Lord through it all.
So the focus isn’t on us, is it? To that end I suggest we consider these factors when choosing our attire for a memorial service:
- If the service will be held in a church other than one we are familiar with, we might do well to cover our shoulders and maybe even our arms. Some religions and denominations prefer this, and we want to be respectful of that.
- While we don’t have to wear black, it’s usually considered across-the-board appropriate and safe. Otherwise, I’d just steer clear of anything ostentatious.
- Consider the family. Do you know the family well or barely at all? What do you think they will be wearing?
- Unless you are the widow or other immediate family member of the deceased, attempt to fall in line with what others will be wearing. This is not the day to stand out.
- If you were close to the deceased and know his or her favorite color, you might consider wearing that shade.
- If you’ll be attending a committal service at a cemetery, you might want to wear wedge heels or flats since they’ll be easier to walk in.
- Since it’s a worship service, I try not to wear jingly bracelets or anything else that might cause distracting noise with movement. Oh, and don’t forget to silence your cell phone.
Do you have other tips for what to wear (or not to wear) to a memorial service? Or maybe you’d like to share a personal experience about dressing appropriately for a funeral. I’d love for you to join the conversation today.
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BEFORE YOU GO…
Regular readers, don’t forget to head over to Jodie’s Touch of Style to check out Jodie’s style tips for funerals, too. You’re going to love this gal!
But if you’re visiting Dressed for My Day from Jodie’s blog, welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by today. I’d love for you to look around a bit. You can…
- find out more about me here.
- check out my other fashion posts here.
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Blessed for My Day
Sometimes Job’s three friends get a bad rap. Yes, they said a lot of things to their grieving friend that would have best been not said. And we can learn from them what not to say at a funeral. A memorial service is no place for blame or pious platitudes or simplistic formulas for life.
But one thing Job’s friends got right. They showed up. That sat in Job’s grief with him. He didn’t have to grieve alone. And for seven days and nights they didn’t say a word. Don’t ever think that you have to say just the right thing to your grieving friend or family member. Most of the time all you have to do is show up.
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite … Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great. ~ Job 2:11-13