What to wear to a funeral
The loss of a loved one is troubling enough without the added worry of what to wear to wear to a funeral. So when my Grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago, I put the sad day of the upcoming event to the back of my mind with the knowledge I had the standard black suit/tie/shoes combination in the back of the wardrobe somewhere.
That is until I decided to dust off the suit and try it on to check it for staines/fit. I don’t wear black suits very often, and although in pristine condition, I had clearly put on a few pounds since the last time I wore it. OK, If I’m honest, more than just a few!
All of a sudden, my funeral attire had grown in importance from being something I had consciously decided not to think about, to the most important thing I had to focus on. I was going to see family I had not seen in years, things had to be perfect. Discussing the matter with friends and family just added to the stress. Should I buy a new suit? Should I hire one? Was there enough time to get my old suit altered? It was all becoming a bit overwhelming.
In the end, the sudden and unforeseen nature of bereavement meant there just wasn’t time to prepare in the way I would have liked. I was not going to wear a suit that didn’t fit properly, so the black suit sent back into the closet. I settled on a dark grey three piece suit white shirt, black tie. I picked up a black silk pocket square from TieRack and my outfit was complete, all bar a fresh coat of black polish on my shoes.
Today is one week after the funeral. It was a fitting send off for an amazing person. On reflection, it was probably the only event I have been to where attire didn’t get a second thought on the day. I recall thinking how well everyone looked, but it is only now am I remembering the details. Suits were Black, blue or grey of varying darker shades. It was the same with shoes and ties. I am amazed at how few people wore what I had assumed to be the standard uniform of black suit/tie/shoes.
My advice is to put in as much effort as is appropriate for you. As long as you have made an effort, and your friends and family know you have, the details are less important than you might think. Choose shades that are dark and respectful. If you have black, wear black, but don’t worry if you don’t have the traditional somber outfit. Some days are more about the people and the moment than the clothes.
In loving memory of Mary Mitchell 1912-2012
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