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What to wear to a funeral is a question no one wants to ask but is a situation many of us find ourselves in.
During such an upsetting occurrence the last thing you want to think about is your wardrobe. We want to make it as easy as possible for you during this difficult time so we’ve consulted our experts and rounded up some respectful outfit options to help ease some of the stress away.
Fashion editor and stylist Hannah Eichler agrees that deciding what to wear to a funeral can often raise a dilemma. Much like what to wear to a wedding, some families will state dress codes, but if you are unsure, black is always a fail-safe style. “Black has been the long accepted colour of choice for funerals” says Hannah.
Hannah suggests a black dress is a go-to but make sure you keep it comfortable too. You don’t want to be readjusting something that’s too tight or short. Look to flowy styles and pleated detailing that won’t crease from lots of sitting down and standing up. She told us, “Lace and pleats keep their shape and won’t crease, meaning your look will remain smart all day.”
If you’re attending a funeral in colder months, remember most churches and crematoriums can be chilly so Hannah suggests layering up.
“You could layer a cosy polo neck under a shift dress or team with high waisted trousers. This season leather and leather-look fabrics have been reinvented in smart shapes – an A-line skirt will look elegant with a tucked-in knit or shirt – just add sleek heels,” says Hannah.
For those opting for trousers, a cropped style that won’t get caught in heels is a stylish and practical choice. When it comes to shoes and accessories, avoid stiletto styles which will be hard to walk in on grass and cobbles.
“Instead opt for block heels, which will be comfier if you’re stood up for a long time. When choosing accessories, ditch fussy styles such as jangly jewellery and bags can make unwanted noise. Simple jewellery and a cross-body or shoulder bag will add just the right touch, and you can always introduce colour here if you want,” adds Hannah.
What to wear to a funeral
We want to make this as stress-free as possible so we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up 11 outfits you can buy now.
1. Hobbs Tilda Wool Coat
RRP: £299 | Sizes: 6-20
This 100% wool coat will definitely keep the chill out so it’s ideal if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside. The traditional cocoon style will pair well with most outfits so you just pop it over a simple dress or trousers.
2. Whistles Cord Velvet Dress
RRP: £99 | Sizes: 4-18
When it comes to skirt length, this is a little on the shorter side but the long sleeves and velvet cord fabric still make this an appropriate style. Opt for smart courts or ankle boots.
3. H&M Chiffon Maxi Dress
RRP: £49.99 | Sizes: XS-XL
You might think maxi dresses are reserved for your summer holiday but paired with ankle or knee-high boots, they work just as well in winter too. This style is demure and sophisticated.
4. Monsoon Leila Lace Shirt Dress
RRP: £130 | Sizes: 8-24
Shirt dresses always look smart but they often crease easily, opting for one in a lace fabric means it will look nice all day. You can even keep this as a wardrobe staple and dress it up for another occasion.
5. Karen Millen Tailored Button Military Jacket
RRP: £185 | Sizes: 6-16
Hannah says “A sharp blazer deserves a place in every woman’s wardrobe, and we love Karen Millen’s version with their Balmain-esque gold buttons. Double breasted blazers with tailored waists will give your figure structure – perfect to team with a smart skirt or trousers. Plus it’s a look you will wear again and again, whatever the occasion.”
6. M&S Wide Leg Trousers
RRP: £39.50 | Sizes: 6-24
Black trousers will always work for a funeral but long days may mean you want to opt for comfort. These wide leg trousers still look super sleek but allow you to feel a little more relaxed. They also look just as nice with heeled court shoes as they do with flats or pumps.
7. Reiss Lucie Black Leather Pencil Skirt
RRP: £268 | Sizes: 4-14
If you want to look really smart, you can’t go wrong with a pencil skirt. This Reiss version is lovely and the leather is very on-trend meaning you can make it work in your wardrobe for a while later.
8. Zara Plush Jumper Dress
RRP: £19.99 | Sizes: S-L
If you want to keep warm, a jumper dress in black is casual and cosy whilst still suiting the occasion. Knee-high boots look great with this style but shorter boots will work just as well too.
9.New Look Seam Cardigan
RRP: £19.99 | Sizes: S-L
A cardigan is often a better alternative to a jumper because it’s far easier to pop on and off – especially if you don’t want to make a commotion in the silence. This budget buy is cropped so it doesn’t add too much unnecessary fabric
10.F&F Clothing Roll Neck Jumper
RRP: £12.99 | Sizes: 6-22
Whether you wear it under a dress or on its own, a smart and simple roll neck is a fail-safe option when deciding what to wear to a funeral. Tuck it into trousers or a skirt and wear a bra without too much lace for a smoother finish.
11.Jigsaw Fluid Twill Combat Trousers
RRP: £120 | Sizes: 6-18
Probably the most versatile thing you can own in a wardrobe, a pair of simple black cigarette trousers will go with most things whether that’s a jumper or printed blouse.