T Nation

What to Wear to Funeral?


I am going to a funeral and am not sure what to wear. My neighbor who I lived next door to for about 20 years just passed away. I am the same age as his kids, went to the same schools as they did, but was never close to them.

We were just good neighbors. So basically I would say I am a fringe invitee. I was thinking about wearing black slacks, black shoes and a black polo tucked in. However, I do have a business suit but fear being overdressed... Which should I wear?


Black will do.

edit - that means if your suit is black that too will do.


Wear the suit with a black shirt if you got one.

It's a funeral, going with a suit is certainly not overdressed, even if you were not close to the person deceased.




Black suit

Black or white dress shirt

black tie

black dress shoes


A black or charcoal grey (very dark) suit should be your first choice along with a dark (black or grey) shirt and ideally a dark very plain or very subtle check tie. No pinstripes or check on the suit and try to avoid them on the shirt.

Failing that black pants should be a minimum along with the shirt tie combo I mentioned above.

if your suit is Navy or has pinstripes I would avoid it personally but if you have to then combine it with a very dark (black or charcoal) shirt and as long as you don't feel awkward nobody will notice.

Shoes should be black dress shoes, put some time in to polish them before hand. Not to a shine but they should look good.

Avoid jewellery such as rings, watches with metal bands etc and really anything that would contrast with the dark, sombre appearance you're trying for. A pocket square is a no no as well.

Its very hard to over dress for a funeral unless you show up in a tux. The big key is to keep it dark and avoid standing out if you can.

Hope this helps.



Don't wear a polo shirt. You aren't going to a "mixer" at your fucking fraternity, you douchebag. Wear a black suit with no accessories, except for an understated watch if you have one. Leave the big, flashy Rolex at home.

Do NOT wear a black dress shirt. Maybe it's just me, but I've never liked that look with a black or dark-colored suit. If you have a charcoal grey shirt, wear it. Otherwise, white will suffice. Wear a black tie if you have one, otherwise just wear something with a really dark, simple pattern. Use an Oriental or half-Windsor knot for something very simple. No pocket squares/handkerchiefs necessary.

As for the suit itself, it had better be a two-button, single-breasted jacket. If it's a 3-piece, leave the vest at home. Do NOT wear sneakers of any kind. I don't give a fuck who you are, you are NOT Justin Timberlake and you are NOT a Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist so you will NOT pull this look off, except in the eyes of people whose opinions on this matter are irrelevant. Wear black dress shoes, period.

Don't worry about appearing overdressed. It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Funerals are about showing respect to the deceased and that's it. Your way of showing respect is to make clear that you put a little extra time into your clothing for the funeral because the deceased deserves at least that much. This is not a time to avoid a suit because of the inconvenience of having to get it dry-cleaned or getting a new tie or because you're worried about how you'll appear to everyone else or you're worried about being overdressed.

The deceased is far more inconvenienced than you are at this point, so by wearing the suit and wearing it in a manner that shows you put a little effort into it, you are telling the deceased "hey, I cared enough about you to at least spend a few extra minutes getting dressed for your funeral." And screw what anyone else thinks if you appear overdressed.

You won't be better-dressed than the deceased and if you are, that's THEIR bad and not yours. If the deceased's own family shows up wearing motherfucking POLO SHIRTS, fuck them. Don't placate the lowest common denominator here. You know what's appropriate and classy and if they don't that doesn't mean you stoop to their level.

If it's really hot out, deal with it. The dead fucker in the casket is probably going somewhere a lot hotter than where you're at. And this is also why you should own two 100% Italian linen suits. One light-colored earth tone for outdoor weddings in the summer, and one in black or dark grey for funerals in the summer.


It's a funeral. You are more likely to go under-dressed than over-dressed, and which mistake would you rather make?

Someone died. Show some respect. No polos shirts even under a jacket unless you are in a very rural area and this is the norm.

Wear a black or charcoal gray suit with a white dress shirt. Black tie. Black shoes (polished).


Excellent post.


Concert T-shirts would not be a good idea either.


wierd timing, just been informed im going to one on wednesday. and i have grown out of my suit.


The OP should have just posted this in the "Ask DB Cooper" thread over in SAMA. That's why Orion started it.


Black mandarin suit

violet silk shirt


looks like another ask dbcooper thread. well, in that case,

Dear DB Cooper,
Is herpes really forever?


I won't answer that here.


The ask DB Cooper thread? Interesting.

So DB I was thinking about doing some naked box squats should I go barefoot or wear my vibrams? :slightly_smiling:

Yes Herpes are forever that one I can answer.


I won't answer that here. There's a whole thread for these sorts of questions.


But I dont go to SAMA I am over 25, that is for guys whose brains dont work yet. And Print the old horny guy.


I'm over 25 as well. What are you saying about me? COME AT ME BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't worry. There is now a thread over there that is designed to answer all of life's difficult questions. Between myself and Count Rockula, there isn't a question we can't answer.


I'm with the tasteful guys on this one too. Black suit, formal dress shirt, understated but nice tie and shined shoes.

Keep the high fives and brosephs to a minimum.