A wake is a formal event, so you should dress appropriately. Any business attire, such as a shirt and tie, a dress, fine slacks, and a top in dark hues, would be appropriate and suitable. Avoid bright colors and exposing or showy apparel. This post is about to give you guidance on outfits to wear in the wake or funeral etiquette.
Table of Contents
- 1. Business Attire
- 2. Darker Colors
- 3. Dress Shoes
- 4. Modest Accessories
- 5. A Basic Wristwatch
- 6. Blouse and Skirt For Women
- 7. Dark-Colored Midi Dress For Women
- 8. Suit Trousers With A Blouse And A Jacket
- 9. Wear Subtle Patterns
- 10. Dark Colored Sweaters For Women
- 11. Long Dress Coats
- 12. Leather Gloves With Scarf
- 13. Pants And A Blouse With A Jacket
- 14. Dark Skirt With A Sweater Set
- 15. Minimal Accessories
- 16. Shorts & T-Shirts
- 17. Graphic T-Shirts
- 18. Vibrant Ties
- 19. Bright Colors Dress
- 20. Jeans
- 21. Hats
- 22. Flashy Accessories
- 23. Flip Flops, Sandals, and Sneakers
- 24. Sweatshirts
- 25. Colorful Dresses
- 26. Dresses with Low Cleavage
- 27. Sandals and Boots
- 28. Sleeveless Dresses
- 29. Tank Tops
1. Business Attire
Business attire is a good and appropriate way to dress for a wake. Business attire means not dressing too casually but not in an extremely formal way. Dressing in this manner shows respect and honor for the deceased and the family and friends of the deceased. It also shows respect to the family by dressing properly instead of just wearing jeans or a t-shirt. Any business attire, such as a shirt and tie, a dress, fine slacks, and a top in dark hues, would be appropriate and suitable. Avoid bright colors and exposing or showy apparel.
2. Darker Colors
Dark colors should be reserved for specific occasions. This is almost always the color scheme of a wake or funeral. In a funeral, the prevailing color scheme is typically dark colors with gold and silver accents. This can include a dark suit, business suit or dress, black and white t-shirt, black slacks, and tie. Choose an appropriate shirt or blazer to wear over your suit or dress. Dark colors help keep you relaxed and level-headed during such difficult times.
3. Dress Shoes
You should wear dress shoes that are appropriate for your business attire. They should be comfortable and polished. For example, if you’re wearing a suit, wear a pair of good quality dress shoes with it. Dress shoes can be black, brown, or navy blue.
4. Modest Accessories
Modest, simple jewelry and accessories are appropriate for a funeral or wake. Keep earrings short and simple. Men, avoid wearing chains and men’s bracelets. Both genders should avoid wearing large rings and dangling earrings. This is to avoid any distraction from the event. If your attire includes a hat, keep it low and out of the way for those in mourning.
5. A Basic Wristwatch
A basic wristwatch can be worn to a funeral or wake. A special watch with a precious stone or engraving will not be appropriate. As with other jewelry, keep the watch simple and modest. Watches are typically only worn by close family members or friends of the deceased. Grieving family members do not wear watches.
6. Blouse and Skirt For Women
Women should wear a blouse or shirt that covers the shoulders. This is appropriate for both formal and informal attire. For women, avoid sleeveless dresses, shirts, and blouses. Wear modest black pants or a skirt that covers your knees and thighs for pants.
7. Dark-Colored Midi Dress For Women
For funerals and wakes, women should wear a long dress or skirt that covers their knees and thighs. Longer than the above example would be appropriate. The dress’s color should match or coordinate with the color of your blouse or shirt. For formal funerals and wakes, avoid white dresses. White dresses do not match or coordinate well with black clothes. They also can be distracting to mourners at such a difficult time. For informal events, exceptions to this rule are made for white dresses.
8. Suit Trousers With A Blouse And A Jacket
Women should wear a jacket over their suit trousers. A jacket is also worn over the top of your suit trousers. The top in dark hues and the bottom in light colors or black can be worn for a formal event. Both the top and bottom can match or be the same color for informal events. The top and bottom should match or coordinate with your blouse.
9. Wear Subtle Patterns
Men and women should wear a subdued pattern or print. For example, a dark-colored polka dot or plaid blouse would be appropriate to wear. Patterns that are too busy or bright can be distracting. Also, avoid wearing bright colors like red, yellow, orange, and aqua green. It is a good idea to bring a few different options to the event with you to make adjustments if needed.
10. Dark Colored Sweaters For Women
Women should wear a dark-colored sweaters. Women do not wear a warm jacket and hat to a wake or funeral. Instead, women wear a sweater in the event of cold weather. The color of the sweater should match or coordinate with your blouse or shirt. It is appropriate to wear long sweaters similar to men’s dress coats for formal events. Sweaters should match or coordinate with your dark pants, skirt, or blouse. Wear a necklace or scarf to help pull the sweater together and spice it up slightly.
11. Long Dress Coats
Women should wear a long dress coat in the event of cold weather. Women do not wear warm jackets to funerals and wakes. Instead, women wear a long dress coat. The color of your dress coat should match or coordinate with your dark-colored blouse, shirt, sweater, and/or trouser suit that you’re wearing. For formal events, it is appropriate to wear long dress coats similar to men’s dress coats.
12. Leather Gloves With Scarf
Women should wear leather gloves with a scarf. It is also acceptable to wear a coat that has a fur collar or jacket in addition to the gloves and scarf. You can wear a heated vest underneath. The color of the gloves and scarf should match or coordinate with your clothes.
13. Pants And A Blouse With A Jacket
You can wear a suit and a pair of slacks or pants and a blouse over it. The pants should be formal business attire. They should not be too loose or see-through. The blouse should match or coordinate with your business suit, shirt, sweater, and/or trouser suit that you’re wearing. For an informal event, it’s acceptable to wear a black skirt-length dress with a jacket over it for women and men.
14. Dark Skirt With A Sweater Set
Dark Skirt with a Sweater Set is appropriate for an informal or formal event. Women should wear a sweater covering their shoulders and a matching skirt in black, navy blue, dark grey, or another dark color. The skirt should be mid-calf length or longer, and the sweater should cover the waist of your skirt. Women can wear long dress coats similar to men’s dress coats for formal events.
15. Minimal Accessories
Men and women should wear minimal accessories to a funeral or wake. A small handkerchief is appropriate to carry. Otherwise, the event is not the time or place to wear your “bling,” such as your designer watch, diamond rings, large hoop earrings, and other flashy jewelry.
16. Shorts & T-Shirts
At a wake, you should avoid wearing shorts or t-shirts. Shorts would only look informal and inappropriate for the event, while t-shirts will only expose your undergarments and torso and may be offensive.
17. Graphic T-Shirts
You should avoid wearing graphic T-shirts to the wake, depending on the graphic. Wearing a t-shirt with offensive images is not proper, especially if you are mourning the death of someone. You should avoid T-shirts with political statements, inappropriate images, and commentary, as well as references to guns and other weapons such as explosives or gangs.
18. Vibrant Ties
Vibrant ties, especially ones that are bright and vibrant, may be considered inappropriate by the deceased’s family. For example, one great way to express your sympathies is by wearing a blue or pink tie. In addition, if you don’t have a dark enough tie to go with your suit and dress shirt, it can make you look like you are dressed inappropriately, and your clothing will not match appropriately.
19. Bright Colors Dress
Dressing appropriately to a funeral or wake is important. However, bright colors are usually not the best option. For example, many people wear bright red, yellow, and orange colors when going to the wake. However, because the event is sad, it can be considered inappropriate to wear clothing with vibrant colors. The reason for this is that you don’t want someone else who may be in mourning over the loss of a loved one seeing you wearing inappropriate clothes at their time of grief.
Jeans are not appropriate for wakes. In addition, wearing jeans can also cause you to look sloppy and be a bad impression on the family of the person who has died. Also, too many people wear their jeans at the wake out of convenience. However, your best option is to wear formal and business-like pants.
Hats are rarely worn to funerals or wakes because of their ability to block the view of your face. For example, if someone wants to see your expression, they won’t see it if you are wearing a hat. Hats with brims that block your view will be extremely impolite at a funeral or wake.
22. Flashy Accessories
Some accessories such as chains, flashy rings, and watches, as well as many tattoos or excessive body piercings, can be considered disrespectful by the family at a wake. Therefore, you should not wear them. When wearing different accessories with your clothing, it can be considered inappropriate.
23. Flip Flops, Sandals, and Sneakers
You should wear closed-toed shoes for a formal and respectful wake or funeral attire. Although it is common to wear sandals and flip-flops, they aren’t appropriate for a funeral or any kind of formal event. In addition, open toes are considered disrespectful because they show your toes, and people may see nail polish which can be seen as inappropriate for this type of event.
Sweatshirts are considered appropriate for casual wear, but they shouldn’t be worn during formal events such as a wake or funeral because it is too casual. Also, many people wear them to the event anyway because of their comfort level. For example, if you are attending a funeral in an enclosed vehicle, wearing a sweatshirt may be uncomfortable.
25. Colorful Dresses
Some ladies feel that colorful dresses are the least appropriate for the wake. Brightly colored dresses can be appropriate if neutral; however, brighter colors such as yellow, pink, and orange may be seen as oblivious or inappropriate. It is best to wear something dark to match everything else that people will wear.
26. Dresses with Low Cleavage
Some people prefer not to see other people’s cleavage; therefore, you shouldn’t wear a dress with too much cleavage at a wake. In addition, wearing something that shows your cleavage can be seen as inappropriate for the event because it may make others uncomfortable. It is acceptable to wear a dress with low necklines at a wake. However, you should avoid wearing dresses that have very low cut cleavage because it may be inappropriate for the event.
27. Sandals and Boots
If you are attending a funeral or wake in the summer, you should be wearing closed-toe shoes at all times. They are appropriate for formal events such as wakes and funerals because they provide proper shoes to wear on a very formal event.
28. Sleeveless Dresses
When attending a funeral or wake, it is inappropriate to wear sleeveless dresses and shirts. In addition, you should avoid wearing short sleeves as it can be seen as inappropriate for the event. There are many different kinds of shirts that may be worn at appropriate funerals, but short sleeves are not one. Short-sleeved shirts and dresses with small collars can be considered too revealing for formal events such as wakes and funerals.
29. Tank Tops
Tank tops are very informal and inappropriate for funerals or wakes. In addition, it isn’t appropriate to wear a tank top that has a large collar or one that is short-sleeved. Women should avoid wearing tank tops with short-sleeves because it seems insensitive to the event and doesn’t provide enough coverage for formal wear.