This can be a tricky one, for any number of reasons. A funeral can be anything from a sober contemplation of loss to an emotional celebration of life, so your first responsibility is to gauge the nature of the event and then look to dress accordingly.

That might mean talking to the deceased’s family or close friends about their preferences for the funeral itself and any wake that follows. It might not be an easy conversation to have, but it’s better than misinterpreting the situation and standing out for all the wrong reasons.


If you’re in any doubt, err on the side of smart

The traditional format of a Western funeral requires smart, plain clothes. Typically, that means a black suit with a plain shirt and black tie, with any accessories such as an umbrella, hat, overcoat or shoulder bag also black or dark-coloured. Smart trumps style under such circumstances, so this is no time for fashion statements.

That’s not to say you can’t look great in an understated, respectful outfit. It just shouldn’t be your priority. Unlike most other occasions, this isn’t about self-expression.

If things are more casual

There is a growing trend – so to speak – for more casual, informal funerals where you wear what you feel comfortable and appropriate in. In which case, smart casual is a good shout. It’s best to aim for the smarter end of the spectrum, though. Definitions vary, so a ‘quiet’ shirt or sweater with a matching jacket, plus trousers (or chinos, or smart jeans) and shoes is a fairly safe bet. But, as before, don’t take this as an opportunity to impress – or to wear bright colours unless specified.


If things are even more casual, celebratory or themed

Increasingly, funerals are more about a celebration of life than collective mourning, and the family might suggest certain colours or encourage more expressive outfits. They may even suggest themes for the occasion based on the deceased’s will, profession, or passion. This can be quite liberating on the ‘what to wear’ front and can help to lift what might otherwise be an emotionally difficult day.


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  • Assuming it’s smart, or smart casual

    Or rather, once you’re certain of the dress code, and it’s definitely smart or smart-casual – Slater Menswear has everything you need to present yourself respectfully, and feel comfortable and appropriate to the occasion. There are countless options online and in-store, and if it’s a suit, alterations are free whether you buy online or in any of our 26 UK stores.

    From black 2 or 3-piece suits across the size ranges and in various fits to shirts, ties, sweaters, trousers and smart jeans – plus shoes and accessories such as hats, gloves and umbrellas… we have a fitting tribute, whatever the dress code for your upcoming funeral.

    Check out our ranges online, or visit a store for a friendly consultation and attentive service. Whatever the dress code, a funeral is an emotionally charged day, so we’re here to help you meet the brief on what to wear. We don’t do fancy dress, but you probably already knew that…