Having to attend a funeral is a difficult experience. To make matters worse, you might be uncertain about how to dress because you don’t know what is considered to be appropriate funeral attire. How you dress is important as it portrays your respect for the loss being felt by the grieving parties. With the advent of virtual funerals in recent years, you might also have new concerns about an online funeral dress code.
While the most popular choice is to wear black formals, there are many other factors that will determine the suitability of your attire. The first thing to remember is that a funeral, be it a virtual funeral or in-person, is not the right occasion to draw attention to yourself by trying something loud or flashy. You should steer clear of bold prints or shiny articles of clothing that could send the wrong message.
Over time the expectations associated with funeral attire have relaxed a little, but you should still aim for a neutral appearance overall. You do not need to go out and buy specific clothes, as you can probably achieve this look easily by picking out the right pieces from your wardrobe.
Since a funeral is a somber occasion, choose conservative clothes to avoid standing out. If you want to dress in colors other than black, stick to dark solids and avoid any bright colors. Men are usually expected to wear full-length pants, while women can wear skirts or dresses provided the hemline falls below the knee.
Dressing formally will help maintain a neutral look. You can get away with slightly less formal attire while attending an online funeral, but you should still dress nicer to remain respectful. When in doubt, you can pick something on the formal side. Jeans or shorts would be too casual and might not be received well by the bereaved.
Specific Attire Suggestions For Online Funerals
- One of the primary differences between in-person and online funerals is the presence of a camera, which can affect the way certain colors or fabrics appear. It would be a good idea to get a look at your appearance on your web camera before the funeral starts. Some aspects of your attire can look different on camera than they do in your mirror or to the naked eye.
- It is better to overdress than underdress, provided you maintain an inoffensive appearance. Casual attire would be inappropriate as it can come off disrespectful. In addition to specific choices you make with respect to each item of clothing or accessories you put on, it is important to appear generally put-together. Don’t skip out on ironing your clothes or combing through your hair just because the funeral is being held online.
- You should also resist the temptation to dress casually on your bottom half during an online funeral in case a situation arises that calls for you to move around or adjust your camera position. Saving a few minutes of time is not worth unintentionally coming off as discourteous.
- This applies to footwear as well because you cannot predict when your feet might end up in the camera frame. Closed-toe shoes would be a safe option; open-toed footwear like sandals or even athletic footwear like sneakers might be too informal for a funeral. Women can wear small heels, but high heels are usually not recommended as those are more likely to cause a distraction.
There are certain situations that are exempt from the guidelines detailed above . For example, certain religions dictate very specific dress codes, which could vary largely from the suggestions mentioned. In this case, religious requirements would undoubtedly take precedence over general expectations.
Sometimes it could also happen that the deceased had conveyed a specific preference with regards to the dress code at their funeral. If you’re still feeling unsure, your best option would be to ask the people organizing the funeral to guide you about their dress code expectations. This applies to both online and in-person funerals; it is completely acceptable to ask for advice from the organizer of the funeral.
While you might wonder if some of these expectations are outdated, you should keep in mind that this is an emotional affair for those who lost a loved one, so it is advisable to follow the dress code regardless of your preferences. Making the effort to dress well is another way in which you can show respect to both the deceased and the bereaved, even if it is a virtual funeral.