Funerals are a great avenue to pay our last respect to the dead, and what better way to do that than dressing for the occasion?
Traditionally, a buttoned-up black suit for men and a black dress for women are appropriate. But in the summer, this becomes almost difficult because of the heat and excessive sweating.
Balancing the heat and the occasion can be tricky. While there is no one-size-fits-all rule to funeral wear, this post will share plenty of tips to help you stay relaxed and comfortable at a summer funeral while still maintaining funeral dressing etiquette.
1. Wear a Hat
Historically, hats are generally accepted both before and after funerals. Some religions consider the head coverings appropriate as well. It would be best to consider wearing a hat to a summer funeral to shield you from the hot summer sun.
Some religions deem head coverings appropriate, and the type of hat you wear to a funeral matters. Men should avoid wearing baseball caps or knitted hats and wear a more formal dress hat. For women, hats with decorations such as flowers, embroidery, feathers, etc., are considered distracting.
2. Put on Sunglasses
It is okay to wear sunglasses both indoors and outdoors in most cases. There are several reasons people wear sunglasses at funerals, such as wanting to hide their emotions and eyes that are puffy from crying.
Sunglasses become more valuable for summer funerals as they protect you from the sun’s harsh glare. Since this is still a funeral, you would still have to appear conservative. Therefore, you should avoid wearing colorful and fun-type funky sunglasses. Instead, go with black and simple styled sunglasses.
3. Wear Appropriate Footwear
The appropriate footwear for the summer is exceptionally lightweight and offers good air circulation, preferably made of soft leather. When attending a funeral in the summer, the perfect shoe has these properties while still sustaining the conservative nature of funerals. For men, the classic Brogues or Oxfords are the ideal pick for summer funerals.
Women should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes entirely. However, open-toed dress sandals are appropriate if the funeral is held outside. If you are unsure about the venue, thin-soled ballet flats are dressier and better options.
4. Wear Neutral Colors
Although some families may express their wishes for a particular dress code to honor the deceased, it is best to go with darker colors if you are unsure. Traditionally, black is worn to funerals, but in hot summer weather, black is the ultimate heat absorber.
Even though bright colors are summer’s best fit, they attract much attention and constitute a distraction. More neutral tones like grey, navy and beige absorb less heat than black and can be considered appropriate for funerals.
5. Look out for the Fabric
You want to squeeze out as much comfort as possible while still paying your respects to the deceased. Your fabric choice plays a huge role in keeping you cool in the summer. Natural colors soak up heat and allow heat to escape your body, keeping you cool.
The best fabrics to choose from are cotton, rayon, and linen because they are soft and breathable. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon because they retain sweat.
6. Wear Minimal Accessories
When choosing jewelry, you have to keep in mind the occasion you are attending. Not only are heavy pieces of jewelry inappropriate at funerals, but they also become uncomfortable in hot weather. A simple, delicate necklace, bracelet, and earrings are okay for women.
Men can put on a wristwatch as their only accessory, and it will be fine. You want to avoid large and clunky jewelry pieces because they are noisy and tend to be distracting.
7. Go with Short Sleeve Clothing
Funerals are not the place to dress casually, except when stated otherwise by the family. But the heat during the summertime makes it discomforting to wear long-sleeve clothing. When balancing the occasion and the weather, men can wear neutral-colored polo shirts or short-sleeve button-up shirts.
On the other hand, women can opt for a short sleeve or sleeveless blouse or gown with a high neckline to make up for the exposed shoulders and arms.
8. Go with Long Length Outfits
Even though it’s summertime and you want to wear as little clothing as possible because of the heat, it is inappropriate to wear very short dresses to a funeral. The conservative nature of funerals means you have to look out for knee-length clothing or even longer.
If you wear a skirt or a dress, one that falls below the knees or longer is appropriate. A pair of long slacks like chinos or khakis will do it for men.
9. Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
Tight-fitting clothes are not the ideal choice in a funeral setting. When you combine that with summertime heat, constructive clothing is uncomfortable, especially when sweating.
You can prioritize your comfort while still paying your respects to the deceased. Choose dresses that are lightweight and without excess padding to feel a lot more comfortable in hot weather.
10. Wear Formal Clothing
The summer heat makes it tempting to want to put on sportswear. As compelling as this may be, it is still inappropriate to put on activewear such as shorts or tank tops for funerals. It is entirely possible to wear a suit in the summer and still be comfortable.
Wearing a suit during summer is all about choosing the suitable fabric. Most manufacturers now make suits specially designed for summer by removing excess padding and using breathable fabrics such as linen.
Choosing funeral clothes comes with enough headaches already; having to do them in hot summertime makes them even more difficult. It is essential to honor and pay your last respects to the deceased, but you also need to ensure that you’re comfortable.
This post is a little guide that shows you ways to prioritize your comfort during summer funerals while still dressing appropriately.