The loss of life is often filled with many emotions and decisions. If you are attending a funeral, memorial service or a celebration of life and you are not sure what to wear, do consider the following unspoken rules every man should know to ensure that you select an appropriate outfit.

First, you need to understand what type of service you are attending.

TRADITIONAL FUNERALS – many people choose to wear black clothing. This is not an absolute. However, whenever possible, you should wear a well fitted black (navy blue or grey) suit with a white shirt and a black tie. A light, neutral color like white is fine for a shirt as well. You can wear a modernized traditional funeral attire by substituting a classic white shirt with a black one and keep the black tie. Match your socks to your suit. Dress shoes should be black, cleaned and polished. If you are wearing a navy blue suit, wear cleaned and polished dress shoes in dark brown. Do not wear flip flops, boots or sneakers. Wear a belt to match your shoe. A white pocket square is fine.
Avoid bright colors and wild patterns.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are wearing a dark suit (black, navy, charcoal/grey), then your socks should always be dark. Match to your suit first. If you are not able to match your suit, it’s fine to match your shoe (black or brown). Be sure to wear over the calf socks, no athletic cuts.

CREAMATIONS – Men generally dress as a funeral burial. (dark suit as noted above)

MEMORIAL SERVICE/ WAKE or CELEBRATION OF LIFE- Since these services usually take place some time after a death, dress tends to be more informal. Dressing for such can be as well but always with the utmost respect. Wear dress pants, a clean white shirt and a favorite subtle tie. (full suit is not necessary)

*Special Notes:

  • If you are not sure of the type of service you will be attending, just ask the person planning the service. Your care and concern will be greatly appreciated.
  • Always consider the Cultural Traditions when selecting your Funeral Attire.

BEST ADVICE – Wear classic. Less is More.
It’s not about making a fashion statement, you are there to express your support and say goodbye.

PREPARE IN ADVANCE – We all have to face death at many points in our lives. Invest in a dark suit now. Every gentleman’s closet should have at least one classic dark suit and items for such life cycle events. You will wear a well made and fitted suit on many occasions.
If you have minimal time for an upcoming funeral, make do with what you have and afterwards, edit your closet.

Need more information on how to dress for other occasions such as job interviews, wedding, work from home? Contact: Donna at

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