What to wear to a memorial service at a church

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A memorial service is the last place in the world that you want to offend anyone by what you are or are not wearing. Therefore, it is important to know just what you should wear, and more importantly, what you should avoid.

Knowing the proper etiquette when it comes to your clothes will help you avoid offending anyone and keep you from feeling uncomfortable while allowing you to respect the memory of the deceased.

Appropriately Fitted Clothes

When attending a memorial service, your clothes must be appropriate. Avoid any clothes that are too tight, sheer, short, or necklines that are too low. Avoid anything that may be considered provocative. Clothes should fit well in length and form, and should cover your extremities for the most part. Avoid any clothes that could be considered as cocktail attire and that show off too much of your chest or shoulders.

Conservative/Professional Clothes

Err on the conservative side when attending a memorial service. Avoid clothes that draw too much attention; stick to simple fashions that are modest in cut and style. For women, dresses, skirts and blouses, or suits are the most appropriate. For men, a suit of some sort is appropriate. Depending on the service, the degree of formality of the suit and dress choice may vary. For colours, choose conservative options such as black, navy, grey or neutrals.

Themed Clothes

In some instances, the memorial service attire may be preplanned by the family who want guests to dress according to a certain theme. For instance, wearing pre-made T-shirts, clothes reflecting the personality of the deceased, or clothes representative of the deceased may be asked of you. These instructions will usually be provided ahead of time or specifically written on the memorial announcement. You can also check with the family in advance to be sure.