What Should You Wear to a Memorial Service?

In the West, men are expected to wear a suit and tie in black or dark muted tones, while women should wear equally dark colored skirts in the appropriate length paired with sleeved tops when attending a memorial service. It will generally be considered rude for a memorial service attendee to wear jeans, sneakers, loud colored T-shirts, shorts and basically any attire that may be deemed too casual.

It must be mentioned, however, that the accepted attire to funeral services may vary according to culture or religion. For instance, the color of mourning among Buddhists is white, in contrast to the traditional black in the West. In Jewish Orthodox traditions, men and women are expected to cover their heads during memorial services. Jewish men wear yarmulkes, while women wear scarves.

Wearing hats also used to be an essential part of a woman's attire in Western memorial services, but it is no longer deemed as a necessity. If a suit or a tie is not available for men, the combination of sport coats, collared shirts and slacks will do. Women should also be wary of wearing skirts that are too short, plunging necklines and sleeveless tops. Dress shoes and loafers are a must for men, while women should only wear close-toed shoes and never wear sandals.