what to wear to a funeral attire outfit for men

What to Wear to A Funeral | The Proper Attire Guide | Men’s Outfits, Suits, and More


What to Wear to A Funeral | The Proper Attire Guide | Men’s Outfits, Suits, and More


A Summary of Proper Funeral Attire For Men


Dressing for a funeral can be an exceptionally complicated task for one reason: there are multiple factors that affect the way you should dress.


However, if you want to summarize the rules of proper funeral attire for men, then they can be summarized as follows:


  • It is important to dress appropriately for a funeral, as it is a time to be respectful and dignified.

  • There are four things to consider when choosing funeral attire: the time of year, the deceased's wishes, the family's expectations, and the type of event.

  • In general, black is the standard color for Western funerals; however, some religions have different mourning colors and traditional funeral attire. 

  • Almost any type of suit will be acceptable at a funeral (with the exception of a tuxedo), and suit separates are also an option. Outerwear can also be worn if it is appropriate for the setting.

  • Accessories are important in completing the look; however, they should not be flashy or attention-seeking. A tie is typically worn with somber clothing


The basic rule of a funeral is that it’s not about you - it’s about the deceased. Thus you need to put at least some basic thought into your outfit, to assure that you are giving the respect that the dead deserves. 


A great example of a versatile four season black suit from Boss. Boss is a very stylish suit brand.


Do you HAVE to wear Black at a funeral?


No. It’s not all about black anymore. Although if you want to play it safe it’s best to wear a black suit, you can wear other colors such as navy and gray. 


One other important point is that patterns don’t really fit well with the vibe of a funeral, so we recommend not wearing patterns unless they’re incredibly soft, and do not contain vivid colors such as yellow. 


Everything you need to consider before choosing a Funeral Outfit


The season


Probably one of the most important things to consider before choosing your funeral attire is the time of year. This will affect a number of different things, but mainly it will affect which fabric of suit you choose (find out more about choosing a suit fabric). 


One of the best things you can do is wear a four-season suit, as this can be worn all year round, meaning you don’t have to worry about buying a summer suit and a winter suit.


The Deceased


If you were close to the deceased, you might want to wear something that they would've liked or approved of. For example, if they were particularly fashion-forward, you might want to step outside of your comfort zone a bit in honor of them. 


Consider your relationship with the deceased, and decide whether or not they would want you to wear something outlandish to honor them, or whether you should keep it conservative so you don’t stand out too much at the funeral. This is a personal decision, and only you can make it.


The Event


Some religions have different traditions, so make sure you research carefully if the funeral is of someone of a different religion. However, in general, at a western funeral, you will be expected to wear a basic Black Italian Suit


There are some occasions where the invitation to the funeral will mention things like wearing color, or being super casual - in that case, you can wear whatever you like, and you can even dress down into a business casual outfit, including an Italian Sports JacketDesigner Slacks, and some Loafers.


The main rule is to have respect for the deceased and consider their religion and their culture. If in doubt, just go for a standard black suit. 


The Family


You should also consider your relationship with the family. Also, the family's wishes sometimes are more important than your relationship with your friend. Even if you were really close, and they asked you to wear a bright pink suit to their funeral, you should consider your options before doing so. In some cases, it’s totally appropriate and the family will be fine with it, but if you’re the only person wearing something outlandish, and everyone else there is in traditional Western Funeral attire, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb and may offend the family.


What color suits are appropriate for a Western Funeral Outfit for men? 




The safest option is a smooth, solid black. You can practically never gone wrong with this - meaning that it’s a great color suit to buy for funerals in general. If you don’t plan on buying a lot of suits in your life, you should definitely get at least one black one. 


Black is a very versatile color, and can be worn easily with other shades. The standard Western Funeral Outfit is:




italian cut gray suit from boss

Another great color or shade would be dark charcoal or gray. This is only appropriate if there is something in the invitation that says “don’t wear black” or they make it clear that black isn’t the only appropriate color to wear.


If you don’t have a black suit, and you have a well-fitting Gray Italian suit, it will be better to wear the well-fitting gray suit, than borrow another suit from someone else just because it’s black. The main thing is to avoid any unnecessary colorful patterns. 


So long as the specific dress code doesn’t say black, and as long as it doesn’t have any crazy patterns on it, a charcoal suit will work just as well as a black suit.


Navy Blue Suit (Dark Blue)

kiton dark blue navy suit for funeral

A very common question is whether or not a navy blue suit is suitable as wedding attire.


Very similar to Charcoal, a navy blue suit is acceptable for a funeral. This has to follow the same rules as before, so as long as there are no crazy patterns (and as long as it’s a very dark blue) you will be fine wearing a dark blue navy suit to a funeral.


It’s always best to wear a solid color, so solid navy blue is a good option. Most men already have a navy blue suit, so it’s definitely a good recommendation. We are here to tell you that a navy blue suit is suitable for a wedding, as long as the instructions don’t specifically ask for black.



What is not OK to wear to a funeral?

Another way to approach the question of proper funeral attire for men, is to look at what not to wear. Examples of this have already been shown in this article. It’s generally advisable to forego things like patterns, especially ones with colors on them. Aside from that, you should also avoid lots of bright colors. 


This includes normal suit accessories such as an orange belt, a brightly colored pocket square, and many other things. It’s best to not do anything too crazy, and just stick to normal neutral shades and colors. Black and gray are the perfect two colors to wear to a funeral - and you should also wear a white shirt. 


Can you wear jeans to a funeral?

Generally speaking, we don’t advise that you wear jeans to a funeral. This is because in certain cases this could be seen as a faux pas - and you could end up in something that is not suitable. We always recommend to err on the side of caution - however if the invite says casual, then this is basically an invitation to wear jeans. If someone writes casual on a funeral invitation, they are expecting at least 80% of men to turn up in a pair of jeans - this is basically the only time that you are guaranteed to be able to wear jeans. 


Can you shorts or sandals to a funeral?




Please do not wear shorts or sandals to a funeral. This is not the time at all. 


How do I look fashionable at a funeral?


Following the general advice to wear a suit that is outlined in this article is a great place to start. It is hard to look out of place as a man in a suit, and Hugo Boss have some great examples of black suits that can help top up your wardrobe for a fairly affordable price. 


Boss is a great brand, and their virgin wool suits are some of the best in the business. They are an Italian cut suit, and although they are not an Italian sartorial brand, the cut of their suit is extremely modern Neapolitan. Are Hugo Boss Suits good? We took a look at this question in detail.


The best piece of advice I can give you as to appropriate funeral attire for men at a funeral is:


  • Buy a black suit

  • Buy a white shirt

  • Buy a pair of black dress shoes

  • Buy a black tie


Unless you’re incredibly fashion forward, then it’s best to play it safe and conservative and just wear something that you can never go wrong with, this outfit is exactly that, a proper funeral attire guide in less than 4 bullet points.


How should I dress to impress a funeral?

semi-formal fashionable mens funeral attire outfit idea

If you goal is to look a little different at a funeral, while not causing offence, one of the best ways to do this is to wear a navy blue or black overcoat. An overcoat like this over a fashionable double-breasted suit is a perfect way to “show off” at a funeral. A double-breasted suit is a great addition to any refined gentleman’s wardrobe - and as long as the overcoat is very long and black, you can wear something a little more (still neutrally) colorful.  


Wearing black outerwear is a great way to assure that you’re looking stylish, but also following the general Western Rules of Funeral Attire.


What to wear to a funeral depending on the season


What to wear to a spring/summer funeral


If you don’t know what to wear to a funeral during spring and summer, then luckily we have got you covered. The best thing to do is wear a summer or spring suit, or also a 4 season suit. It’s hard to find a black linen or cotton suit generally speaking, so most likely the best thing to do is pick up a Virgin Wool suit, which will work in spring and summer, as well as in fall winter. 


You shouldn’t really change the color, but you can definitely wear a gray, charcoal, or navy suit. You don’t necessarily need a tie, unless the wedding invitation states that it’s a formal affair. If it’s formal, a man is expected to wear a tie, but if it’s more of a casual affair, simply wear a cotton white shirt with a black, gray, or navy virgin wool suit.


What to wear to a fall/winter funeral


If you’re going to a winter or autumn funeral instead, then definitely you’re going to want to wear an overcoat. You can also wear a double-breasted pea coat, but an overcoat is recommended if you want to dress to impress at a funeral. 


Above there is an example of a fairly formal funeral outfit that makes you look like a refined gentleman without causing any offence. The overcoat should be black, not blue, but just imagine.



If in doubt, just buy a black suit, black formal dress shoes, a black tie, and a white shirt. Leave it at that. If you want to play it a bit more dangerous, then feel free to experiment within the rules.

 Find out how to dress as a man for a beach wedding





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About the Author

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This article was originally written by Piergiuseppe Castiello in Italian - it was then translated by an expert translator to bring it into the English speaking world. Piergiuseppe is the owner of Porcamo SRL - and is also the founder of IsuiT.