A wake, often referred to as a funeral reception, gathers the deceased’s close friends and relatives to pay their respects to their loved ones. A wake is used to refer to the viewing conducted before the funeral, although nowadays, it is typically held following the funeral or memorial ceremony.
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 will guide you on outfits to wear in the wake or funeral etiquette.
1. Business Attire
A business casual outfit is a suitable and nice way to wear for a wake. Maintaining a professional appearance while avoiding overly casual or formal apparel is important. Dressing in this way demonstrates respect and honor for the deceased and their family and friends. Dressing appropriately, rather than just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, also demonstrates respect for the family. Any professional clothes, such as a dress, good pants, a top in a dark color, or a shirt and tie, would be appropriate and suited. Avert wearing revealing or conspicuous clothing in bright hues.
2. Dark Colors
Dark colors should be reserved for specific occasions. This is almost always the color scheme of a wake or funeral. At 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. Blouse and Skirt
A wake is an important event but brings a gloomy atmosphere, so choosing the right outfit is essential. Women should cover their shoulders with a blouse or shirt. This goes with both formal and casual clothes. Avoid wearing sleeveless blouses, shirts, and mini-dresses for ladies. Dress modestly in black slacks or a skirt that extends past your thighs and knees.
Wearing a blouse and a skirt to a wake is a great way to show respect. You can get inspiration from pencil skirt outfit ideas for work to come up with a professional yet modest look. Combine it with a simple blouse for a classic, chic appearance that exudes elegance and grace.
4. Buttons Style Black Knitted Cotton Dress
For funerals and wakes, women should wear a long dress or skirt that covers their knees and thighs. When attending such a grieving occasion, you should avoid wearing short skirts or shorts above the knee, which you might consider impolite at a funeral to wear. Shirts with wide necklines, deep cuts, sleeveless tops, and short-sleeved shirts should also be avoided when going to a wake or funeral to show solemnity.
5. Black Dress With Long Belt And Slit
A wake is a somber occasion. Therefore, you should dress appropriately to respect the occasion. In general, clothes should be subdued and somber. You must restrict the number of accessories you wear and wear black clothing. The family may occasionally request that you wear certain colors of apparel. At this point, you can forego the customary procedure. You must remember that the family’s desire is the most crucial one at a wake.
To complete the look, pair the black dress with strappy heels or ankle boots. Check out these 31 types of shoes to wear with a midi dress for more inspiration. The long belt and slit will add an edgy touch to the outfit, so keep your accessories minimal and let the dress grab all the attention.
6. Long Sleeves Blue Bateau Dress
However choose dark and sad colors, but you can also add many other choices, such as choosing a neutral dark color instead of black. Prioritizing the choice of costumes, you should choose blue, dark gray, dark green, and brown colors when going to a wake. Understanding the type of wake is also a factor in helping you choose the right outfit!
7. Black Maxi Dress With A Print of Scottish Tartane
There are no rules or regulations governing what to wear when going to a wake; a wake attire should generally be dark and discreet. Patterned clothing can be suitable for a funeral if it’s not too flashy. A floral print dress or a dark striped top can suit a wake. However, you need to avoid patterns of bright and flashy colors, especially if they are also brightly colored.
8. White Shirt And Dark Tie With Trousers
Try to stick to etiquette unless asked otherwise. A wake is usually a traumatic event. You should wear clothes to the job interview instead of clothes to go out. In some cases, the family may request less formal attire to honor the deceased. However, if there are no other requirements, you should follow the prescribed form. The tie and pants should be of a similar dark color. Alternatively, you can wear a white shirt and a dark tie.
To complement your white shirt and dark tie, consider pairing it with gray pants, which will balance out the starkness of the white color. Gray is a neutral color that can go well with virtually any color of the shirt, making it a versatile option. You can also check out 45 great shirt color ideas for gray pants to complete your look.
9. Checkered Blouses Or Shirt And Jeans
Both men and women ought to dress in a muted pattern or print. For instance, a blouse with dark polka dots or checkered would be perfect. Too crowded or vibrant patterns might be annoying. Wearing vibrant hues like red, yellow, orange, and aqua-green is also not advised. Bring a couple of different options to the event so you may make alterations if necessary.
10. Casual Outfit
Most individuals dress more casually for a wake than a funeral. Perhaps this is true because some people see wakes as occasions to console the grieving. Funerals are also a moment to remember the deceased. You may only have one proper outfit at times, in which case you save it to wear to the funeral. Whatever the motivation, wakes are often less formal than memorial ceremonies.
To elevate your casual outfit, check out these casual outfit ideas for girls. Whether you prefer a laid-back, casual vibe or want to add a touch of glamour, these outfits will help you look your best while still feeling comfortable. From classic denim to trendy jumpsuits and crop tops, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
11. Linen Suite Dress With Belt
Some places also allow people to attend a wake while wearing white shirts in addition to black shirts. Individuals who are accustomed to dressing in all-white for funerals believe that white represents the grieving family. As a result, they believe that wearing a white shirt to the funeral is perfectly suitable and opt for that hue when they attend.
What you wear at a wake may depend on the weather. A collared shirt and formal slacks or a shirt and tie work just well in conditions of extreme heat and humidity. The formal white shirts, along with the mourning garb of family members, will help to highlight how much-loved ones and neighbors will miss the departed.
If you decide to wear a suit to a wake, make sure to choose the right size. Use the suit jacket size charts for men to find the perfect fit for your sportcoat or blazer. A well-fitted suit can give you a polished and respectful look that fits the setting.
13. Dark Colored Sweaters And Jeans
Women do not wear warm jackets or hats 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 pant 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.
14. Personalized Outfit
Less formal clothing may be required on occasion. Here are a few instances. Everyone was aware of the deceased’s affection for a specific music, sports team, or superhero. To remember their loved ones, their family members ask that everyone dress in a particular way. Wearing personalized clothing at this time is appropriate.
To create a personalized outfit for a wake, consider outfit ideas for a celebration of life. From understated dresses to subtle accessories, an outfit from these ideas will add respect and elegance to your look.
15. Black Shirt And White Jeans
It is best for everyone to dress in black when attending a funeral. Many individuals still wear black to funerals as it is the color of mystery. Wearing a black shirt will be the best option for everyone when visiting the deceased and speaking with them in a deep, melancholy tone while being really respectful.
16. Blue Vest And White Shirt With Jeans
You can wear a suit and a pair of slacks or jeans 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 trouser suit that you’re wearing. For an informal event, wearing a black skirt-length dress with a jacket is acceptable for women.
For a more casual and comfortable approach, pair your blue vest and white shirt with jeans. Check out our article on what to wear with denim jacket for some inspiration on how to style your denim pieces to create a polished and casual look.
17. Urban Beige Sweater, Trousers, And Coat
An urban beige sweater, trousers, and coat are appropriate for an informal or formal event like a wake. 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 coats on a winter day, showing a discreet yet luxurious look.
18. White Dress Featuring Long Puff Sleeves And A Button-up Front
It’s crucial to dress appropriately at a wake or funeral. Bright hues are typically not the best choice, though. For instance, avoid dressing in vivid red, yellow, and orange hues when attending a wake. Wearing brightly colored apparel can be seen as unsuitable given the event’s depressing nature. This is because you don’t want someone else to see you dressed inappropriately while they are grieving the loss of a loved one. But wearing a white dress can be considered.
19. Dress According To The Requested Color
You shouldn’t dress in light colors during the funeral. The rule mentioned above does not apply in a few uncommon situations. In memory of the departed, family members may ask that light attire or a certain color be worn on this occasion. In this situation, always abide by the family’s desires. Blue, red, and yellow are examples of primary colors that can be disrespectful or offensive.
20. Brown Tweed Dress
Women should remember that a wake is a solemn occasion; thus, it is better to wear conservative colors and fashions. Although it is not required, wearing all black is acceptable. Navy blue, gray, pink hues, and neutrals like beige are some other hues. A brown tweed dress is elegant and polite and will be the right outfit for a wake.
To complete your look, pair your brown tweed dress with brown boots. Brown boots are a classic footwear choice that can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Whether you prefer ankle boots or knee-highs, brown boots are versatile and can be paired with any color of dress.
21. Religious Clothing
There are specific clothing codes that religious ceremony organizers follow. Before attending the funeral, you should learn the deceased’s religion and note any dress requirements. It would be preferable if you always honored the deceased’s religious convictions. For instance, some religions may demand that women observe strict modesty at funerals. It would be best if you didn’t show up wearing a skirt or dress that is excessively short.
22. Cultural Clothing
Put an emphasis on cultural customs. Some colors might be appropriate if the deceased was from a different culture. While the West has a tradition of using gloomy colors at funerals, other civilizations may not necessarily do so. In fact, in certain societies, funerals or a wake are decorated in vivid colors. Korean mourning attire is blue.
If you want to incorporate cultural clothing to pay your respects to the deceased, consider wearing a traditional outfit that is appropriate for the culture or religion. You can get some inspiration from our 50 Types Of Fashion Styles With Pictures 2023 article, which also includes different cultural attires.
23. Costumes According To The Will Of The Deceased
You should always respect special requests, even when it’s against the norm. If your family requires special colors or textures when coming to the ceremony, you should try to do this. In the event that the family is preparing to say goodbye to the deceased in some other way, you should follow their request instead of following traditional rules.
24. Black Hat
If you’re unsure, check your family’s dress code, or ask someone else to tell you if your outfit is appropriate. Some women may wear hats for extremely conservative ceremonies with a simple and formal look. Families can choose to celebrate. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask about the right outfit.
If you’re looking to accessorize with a black hat for a funeral, consider some of the different types of hats for women available. From fedoras to cloches to berets, these hats can add a touch of elegance to your funeral outfit.
25. Minimalist Jewelry
It is advised to avoid wearing jewelry to a funeral if you are unsure about its appropriateness. In actuality, removing your jewelry would make your clothes appear darker. But if you wish to wear jewelry, go with the conventional style. The pearl necklace complements the glitzy and jingly necklace well. If you wear earrings, go for a formal design.
26. Light Makeup
If you choose to wear makeup, keep it basic when you’re at the funeral or a wake In general, funerals are formal occasions. You shouldn’t wear elaborate makeup when attending a funeral, just like when you go to work. Apply a little coat of foundation and skin-colored naked lipstick for the finest results. If desired, use a very light hand when applying mascara and blush.
Keep your makeup subtle and light so that it’s not distracting and takes attention away from the event. Consider using light brown hair with highlights to enhance your natural look, which can help you to achieve a soft, natural and beautiful appearance without too much extra effort.
27. Dark Tie
In general, stay away from ties with vivid colors or patterns. To attend the funeral, it is recommended to wear a solid color or nothing at all. You must pick a dark color, such as gray, navy blue, or dark green. There are still a few exceptions, though. Family members will be pleased if you wear the new tie your deceased loved one gifted you.
28. Comfortable Shoes
This is crucial when getting ready to visit the gravesite or watch the deceased before or after the funeral. You might need to stand and move around a lot at a wake, so choose comfortable shoes. For instance, wearing high heels is not recommended. You ought to wear formal, dark-colored footwear. The best option is a pair of sandals or black shoes. Additionally, you might wear dark green, blue, gray, or black shoes when attending a wake.
29. 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 the deceased’s close family members or friends. Grieving family members do not wear watches.
30. Dark Pocket Square
Pocket squares are often a great choice to dress up a suit for a ceremony or big event. Choose a pocket square of the right color. The scarf should also be dark if the vest has a pocket square. Choose colors like navy, dark green, and gray. Pink pocket scarves are generally not suitable for funeral attire.