How to dress for a memorial service

Written by ehow contributor
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A memorial service is a solemn occasion. It provides emotional support to the bereaved and offers an opportunity for friends and family to come to terms with the fact that a death has occurred, providing closure. Your attire for the memorial service is something that you should take into great consideration out of respect for the family. Follow these guidelines to learn how to dress for a memorial service.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Wear subdued colors. It's not always necessary to wear black except in many orthodox cultures. If you do choose to wear black though, you can't go wrong.

  2. 2

    Keep the dress simple but not too casual. For males, if you're not an immediate part of the family it may be inappropriate to wear a white shirt and black tie because some may see this as trying to "out-morn" others. Opt for a sober pastel shirt and black tie.

  3. 3

    Dress respectfully. For women, if it's summertime wear a black sun dress but not too low cut. If it's winter then wear a black skirt and black sweater. If it's okay with the family you can add some deep red or pale blue.

  4. 4

    Put on a hat if you want to add a little style. A wide-brim hat is okay but not a trucker's hat. You can add a flower in it if you desire.

  5. 5

    Wear close-toed shoes to a memorial service. Men should wear black socks and black dress shoes. Women should wear black close-toed sandals or high heels.

Tips and warnings

  • Only wear t-shirts as an undergarment.
  • Never wear flip-flops to a memorial service.
  • Avoid sundresses that are bright in color or have patterns. They will look gaudy at a memorial service.

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