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Funeral Dress – Not Updating With The Times?

Not so much a question, but a query for the readers and of course, our dear Dame of Manners:

Recently, during an online discussion, someone brought up the fact they wore leggings to a funeral (leggings of course being a tight leg covering more often equated with casual wear or work outs, usually tighter than pants). Now, they discussed this in terms of the leggings tearing, leaving them ‘exposed’, so I gathered from that it wasn’t as an ‘accessory’ clothing item, such as under a skirt, dress or shorts, but just the leggings themselves.

While I’m more…casual about etiquette rules than my Grandmother (who taught me my manners and was born in the 1930’s, so quite ‘old school’), the idea of wearing leggings to a funeral short circuited my brain for a moment as I tried to figure out how someone could think this was appropriate (I know, very judgmental of me) and made me want to question you guys, my fellow etiquette practitioners…was I wrong in thinking leggings were not appropriate funeral attire? And again, I don’t mean as a simple leg covering with another garment of clothing, I mean just leggings, hanging out there. I was taught you dress nicely, modestly and subdued as an honor to the deceased and their family, maybe with a splash of colour if the deceased would have appreciated it, but never less than full pants/shirt, skirt/blouse or dress.

Have I fallen into the trap of not ‘updating’ with the times (dear lord, I’m only thirty-six, I hope not!)

Thanks! 0408-17

When I think of leggings, I think of those LulaRoe leggings in the outlandish colors and patterns.   Great to wear in certain contexts but not something appropriate to wear to a wedding or funeral.   On the bland side, I did see a woman wearing what I first thought was a pair of panty hose and only realized on better scrutiny that she was wearing flesh toned leggings.   Frankly it looked like she had walked out of her house forgetting to put her skirt on.

{ 97 comments }
{ 97 comments… add one }
  • MelEtiquette May 22, 2018, 7:09 am

    I fall into the “leggings are not pants” camp, and believe them to be inappropriate attire except when one is working out, but I realize this is an unpopular opinion (especially among my demographic). I have noticed a general trend towards casual dress (e.g., torn jeans, tank tops, graphic t-shirts, etc.) at wakes and funerals, which I find disappointing. I suppose I am “old school”, but I believe being well-dressed (business casual at a minimum) in dark colors is the appropriate show of respect for the deceased and their family. The only way I might consider leggings appropriate in this setting is if they were a solid dark or muted color or a non-garish pattern (aka, not 99.99% of LulaRoe’s leggings) worn under a skirt or dress.

    • WendyB May 24, 2018, 11:30 am

      Totally agree. Leggins only really look good on a certain small percentage of the population…and that’s pushing it. They should be at least worn with a long tunic-style shirt or a dress.

      I’ll never forget seeing the middle aged, overweight woman in Walmart wearing My Little Pony leggings…and a t-shirt.

      • Noona May 26, 2018, 2:45 pm

        That must have been so hard for you.

  • NicoleK May 22, 2018, 7:30 am

    I dunno, plain black leggings under a nice tunic or dress?

    • BellyJean May 22, 2018, 9:10 am

      Those would have been nice – but I think it was more like a regular shirt, with leggings as the bottom… hence their bottom out there for the world to see.

    • staceyizme May 22, 2018, 11:08 am

      Leggings under a tunic with boots are a nice option for casual occasions. If the tunic falls at least to mid-thigh and the leggings are closer to jodhpurs than yoga pants, maybe for dressier occasions. Not, I think, to a funeral. (But that’s my view). And folks who attend a funeral are unlikely to much notice or remark on the attire of others unless the clothing choice is so poor that it creates the perception of disrespect of either the deceased or his family.

    • Livvy17 May 22, 2018, 1:54 pm

      OP said specifically she was referring to leggings worn as pants…not worn under something else.

  • lkb May 22, 2018, 7:48 am

    I was brought up with standards similar to the OP and still wear black attire to funerals that lean more to the formal side. Over the years, I have noticed that others do indeed tend to be more casual.

    The OP doesn’t state — and perhaps doesn’t know – the relative age of the leggings-wearer but children, teens, and young adults do seem to wear leggings like pants. Perhaps it was a very young person then.

    Or, perhaps the leggings wearer didn’t have much else in black or another suitable color (assuming the leggings were indeed in such a color) and decided to go with what she had. If she had heard about the funeral at the last minute or had a particularly crowded schedule she may not have had much choice.

    While I agree that it sounds like the leggings were of very thin material and were not ideal for a funeral, I tend to lean toward giving mourners a break. Depending on their relationship with the deceased and/or the deceased’s loved ones, it’s more important that the mourner was there, even if the leggings were not the best choice.

  • Riversong May 22, 2018, 8:16 am

    Meh. Just because she felt exposed when they ripped doesn’t mean she wore them as pants. I wear black leggings under a lot of my dresses because it’s cold, and/or I like my legs covered to at least my knee. If my dress was shorter than i was comfortable with and my leggings tore, I might feel exposed too.

    That being said, I’ve seen people wear some super questionable things to a funeral, (husband’s cousin wore jeans and a tshirt that had an extremely vulgar phrase across it, i think purely for shock value) and while I do try to cut people slack, in my house we wear subdued Sunday best.

  • Victoria May 22, 2018, 8:19 am

    I work in the fashion industry. As much as it pains me to admit, leggings being worn as pants has become commonplace.

    IMO they’re far too unforgiving, but I have to confess, I wear them as well. The leggings I purchase are always tested to make sure they’re not see through, and while I have some in bright colors or patterns, most are black, navy, or brown. Mine are always worn with a longer top that covers my rear, so I’m not advertising my undergarments or lack thereof to all and sundry.

    They’re also great to wear in the winter with a pair of boots and an oversize sweater. Very comfy, and it looks great.

    • DGS May 22, 2018, 9:44 am

      This.

      • MelEtiquette May 22, 2018, 11:26 am

        I think leggings can look really cute when worn this way, but what is the ruling in terms of office dress code? Are leggings considered business casual now?

        • Kristen May 24, 2018, 7:12 am

          Generally yes.

        • Victoria May 24, 2018, 11:00 am

          Many offices will accept leggings as business casual, but if you work in a conservative office they may be off the table.

          I’ve been in places that consider business casual a pair of khakis and a polo, and I’ve also been in offices that consider business casual wearing slacks and a button down. It all depends on the corporate culture. If you’re not sure, keep an eye on others in your office and follow their lead.

  • Michelle May 22, 2018, 8:30 am

    Personally, I think just leggings alone are not appropriate for a funeral. I see many ladies wearing leggings just like a pair of pants now. I’m sure they are comfortable for running errands and working out, but I don’t see anything wrong with being just a touch more modest for a funeral and putting on a skirt or dress over the leggings.

    We had a lady wear a pair of leggings to work as a pair of pants and she was instructed that she needed to go home and change. She decided to go to a local clothing store and purchase a skirt to wear over the leggings. So I think if it’s too casual for a business casual workplace, it’s most likely to casual for a funeral.

    • Kheldarson May 22, 2018, 11:27 am

      I wear leggings as pants in my office, so business casual does vary (I’m also non-client facing).

      But I wouldn’t wear leggings as pants to a funeral. Leggings as tights under a skirt, sure.

      • Michelle May 22, 2018, 3:56 pm

        I think our employer (non-profit museum) is one of the more conservative business casual offices. We have had other females wear them under skirts or with dresses and it was not an issue.

      • Michelle May 22, 2018, 4:03 pm

        I think our employer (nonprofit museum) is one of the more conservative business casual offices. We have had other ladies wear leggings under skirts or with dresses and it was not an issue.

  • Wild Irish Rose May 22, 2018, 8:38 am

    Personally, I think leggings as pants are tacky, period. I don’t care what the occasion is. But that’s just me. I tend to be a little too judgmental (and thank you, OP for saying “judgmental” and not “judgy”–sheesh) about how people dress, but I honestly think there’s a time and a place for certain apparel and I really wish people would observe propriety. Leggings are not appropriate for a funeral (or for work either, but I digress), and the mourner in question here should now know to keep something in her wardrobe that is appropriate for such occasions. While I’m on the subject, cutoff shorts and tank tops are not appropriate for church, but I see young girls at my church dressed that way all the time. And before someone gives me the God-doesn’t-care-how-you-dress sermon (see what I did there?), perhaps He doesn’t, but YOU should! You couldn’t get away with wearing such attire to court or to work or for an audience with the queen, so why is there so little respect for a house of worship? smh

    • Lerah99 May 22, 2018, 9:49 am

      ” Leggings are not appropriate for a funeral (or for work either, but I digress)”

      I wear leggings to work several times a week. In a professional office in the financial services industry.

      I don’t like the way my legs look (I have edema so they are hugely swollen) and I don’t want to bother shaving them. But I have several work appropriate dresses and skirts I love to wear.

      So any time I wear a dress to the office, I wear black legging underneath.
      Or, if I’m wearing a black dress, I wear patterned leggings underneath.

      So I’ll thank you to stop being so incredibly judgmental when it comes to what people choose to wear on their bodies. It’s not your body, so maybe you should spend more time cleaning up your own side of the street rather than worrying about everyone else’s.

      • at work May 22, 2018, 10:31 am

        I think WIR was referring only to leggings worn as pants or slacks, not under skirts or dresses.

      • sam May 22, 2018, 10:54 am

        but here you’re wearing leggings as a replacement for tights or hose, not as pants. This is different.

        I wear leggings all the time, but only with either an oversized shirt/sweater or dress. But I think for younger folks, leggings have replaced pants altogether. the question is whether the latter is appropriate – I think it depends on the setting. In casual settings, I think it’s fine. In more formal settings (offices, funerals! etc), it’s probably still over the line.

      • Anon May 22, 2018, 11:22 am

        Lerah, the question isn’t about leggings in place of stockings or tights as you wear them, it’s about wearing them in place of actual pants, with shirt that hits at the waist rather than a tunic or dress length. I personally don’t care either way; but no one is demonizing leggings full stop.

      • MelEtiquette May 22, 2018, 11:24 am

        It sounds like you are not wearing leggings as pants if you are wearing them under a skirt or dress. In your case, the leggings are functioning more like a thick, opaque pair of pantyhose or tights. In most workplace cultures I think leggings worn this way is fine.

      • Livvy17 May 22, 2018, 2:19 pm

        I don’t think anyone thinks leggings (or opaque hose) are inappropriate UNDER something else, like a dress or skirt. Many many people wear them on their own, as pants. That’s what people are saying is inappropriate for more formal occasions.

      • Wild Irish Rose May 22, 2018, 3:54 pm

        Lerah99, I’m pretty sure I didn’t deserve this. I don’t believe I said anything wrong; I merely stated my opinion. It may be a strong opinion, but I get to have it nevertheless. I’m sorry if I offended you, but your retort was unnecessary. You can disagree with me without being ugly about it.

        • Dyan May 22, 2018, 3:58 pm

          Wild Irish Rose, I don’t think you said anything bad…you stated your opinion and I have the same opinion.!!!

        • Lerah99 May 23, 2018, 9:29 am

          @Wild Irish Rose,

          You didn’t deserve it?

          Let’s look at your comment:
          ” I tend to be a little too judgmental (and thank you, OP for saying “judgmental” and not “judgy”–sheesh)”

          So you start out by stating you are judgmental and then go on to make it clear that you find people who use “judgy” unacceptable and exasperating. So, success, you have absolutely backed up your claim of being judgmental with an immediate judgmental declaration.

          Then you go on to wholesale declare leggings not appropriate for funerals or work.

          Then you go on a tirade worthy of the SNL Church Lady sketch about how young girls dress for church these days.

          I’m a little surprised there wasn’t an invective for those kids to get off your lawn while you were at it.

          So I responded by making the suggestion you should worry about yourself more and what other people are wearing less.

          Since you mention you’re a church goer, you can think of it as my version of the old “First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” from the Gospel of Matthew.

          You may also want to check out the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30. It’s a great parable about how not only should you NOT judge people, but that your actually incapable of correctly judging others.

          I find it a little incredible that you can make a post so clearly declaring yourself as judgmental, proceeding to make several judgmental declarations about how others don’t know how to dress appropriately, and then take offense when I suggest that you’d be better served focusing on yourself rather than spending all this time judging others.

          Also, to be clear, I don’t know you.

          It’s entirely possible you are a lovely, kind, giving, and charitable person. Someone I’d feel fortunate to be friends with. It’s the internet, so all I see is a comment you wrote without any vocal inflection, facial queues, or body language to give context. And all I can respond to is what you wrote.

          • Dee May 23, 2018, 5:50 pm

            WIR was giving her opinion. There is no right or wrong to it, and because it is her opinion she is stating she is being true to herself. And I also agree with her opinion that there is a level of respect given when dressing for others, and a level of respect not given when dressing inappropriately for the venue and/or occasion. That level is determined by society in general and by the local custom of that event/venue/members.

            When my older son was in elementary school he wanted to dress like a gangster (they’re called ‘wangster’ here, that’s how little respect they garner) and I refused to let him wear the pants, hat, and so on. I told him that if he dressed that way he would be treated that way, and I didn’t want him treated that poorly. In essence, I taught him to dress for the attention he wanted to get; if he wanted respect, he had to dress to earn it (among other things). He was upset with me then but is thankful now, as he saw, over the years, how other kids were allowed to dress poorly and how that affected others’ initial impression of them. Judging a book by its cover and first impressions are for real. If you want to be treated with respect then you need to show it, and an easy and obvious way is to dress appropriately.

            And that’s something that seems so difficult for young people to understand these days – they expect respect without earning it and then find it frustrating when they don’t get it. Doesn’t seem like something so difficult for previous generations to figure out, and then to enjoy the resulting respect that they earned.

          • Vrinda May 28, 2018, 12:51 pm

            Lerah, stop overreacting and get over yourself. So WIR doesn’t think leggings are appropriate for work. That’s all she said. She wasn’t passing judgment or saying anything derogatory. You’re telling her to stop worrying about other people are wearing and worry about herself more. Have you read all the posts on here? The subject of the post and the comments is what appropriate to wear to and not to wear to a funeral, so everyone is talking about what other people are wearing. Why don’t you make this same idiotic command to everyone? It sounds like you are oversensitive and easily angered and that is your problem which no one else is responsible for but you. I wore leggings when I was younger (20+) years ago. I was skinny and could pull it off. Not anymore. Leggings on someone with curves or who is overweight doesn’t serve them well. They are great to wear under skirts or dresses, if they fit properly and if you wear them that way, good for you. They are not approproate on their own because they can be too revealing. That’s the reality. No, WIR didn’t deserve to be responded to in the way in which she was.

    • Dee May 22, 2018, 10:39 am

      I do agree with you, Wild Irish Rose, in the disappointment with the way people choose to dress when in formal situations. If you don’t get dressed up for church, then when do you? But this trend has been happening for a long time now, as I recall it from 20+ years ago. Everyone wants to dress so casual at all events but how then does one distinguish those events that are not casual? It may not be intended as a slight but it’s often taken as one.

      But I remember my Grandma’s funeral from when I was a newly minted adult, so many years ago. She belonged to a very conservative sect and my long grey skirt, modest blouse and heels were definitely not approved attire, but the best I could do for the funeral. I knew my mom would be, as usual, turning heads with her modern dress and long red nails. But what shocked me were the elderly ladies waiting in line in front of us, their light, floral sleeveless dresses looking so spring-like and festive. THEY broke ALL the rules! And all power to them.

      It’s difficult to not be disappointed when others take serious occasions so flippantly, but to each her own, and we really don’t know the circumstances behind the casual wear. There may be very good reasons for that selection. But, yeah, I do find it frustrating to be in a professional office or at a wedding and see so many people dressed as if they’re just hanging out with friends at a club, or at home watching TV. You do have to have sympathy for the young people who look to celebrities as their role models, though, and the way they dress for formal occasions, in particular awards shows. It’s really difficult to tell who is there vying for an award and who is a professional “groupie”, looking to make a little money maybe later.

      • Celestia May 24, 2018, 4:02 pm

        “If you don’t get dressed up for church, then when do you?”

        For parties, formal occasions, etc….there are TONS of informal places of worship in the world. I practice what I do alone in the privacy of my home – so I definitely don’t dress up for it. As a kid going to synagogue, I was far more distracted by how itchy my tights were because I didn’t typically wear dresses and hose, than I was focused on services because I was dressing “respectfully”. I would often have had a more meaningful experience in jeans or sweats.

        • EchoGirl May 28, 2018, 2:59 am

          Yeah…I don’t ever remember dressing up for synagogue unless it was a special occasion (High Holidays, a Bar Mitzvah, etc.). Presentable clothes, yes, but if we were going to a Friday night service, wearing the same clothes I’d worn to school was not only acceptable but expected (my parents were of the “you wear one set of clothes per day [unless formal wear was required]” mentality).

          I know there are certain religious denominations in which getting dressed up for worship services is customary, but this is by no means universal or a reflection on those who don’t, especially if that’s not standard for their place of worship.

    • Margo May 23, 2018, 10:17 am

      Wild Irish Rose – I am curious about your statement ” And before someone gives me the God-doesn’t-care-how-you-dress sermon (see what I did there?), perhaps He doesn’t, but YOU should!”

      It implies that you can’t be respectful without dressing in a certain way. Personally, I think that respect (whether at a funeral, in entering a place of worship or elsewhere) is more about how you behave and (in the context of going to church) about your beliefs. I am very wary of judging people as being ‘disrespectful’ solely based on how they dress.

      I’m not, personally, a fan of leggings, but if someone is wearing leggings but are behaving in a way which is respectful, then they are being respectful, and the leggings don’t change that.

      (for what it is worth, I’m a lawyer. People show up to court wearing all sorts of types of clothing. Unless you are a lawyer there is no specific dress code. So using that analogy, it might be inappropriate for the priest or choir members to show up in leggings, it isn’t for the congregants to do so. )

      On the wider question, of leggings at a funeral,. I would again be *very* cautious of labelling someone as dressing inappropriately. Standards and norms of what can be worn in different situations isn’t set in stone, things change and evolve.

      Additionally, far fewer people today are regular church-goers, and different churches can have very different norms. For funerals, people will often have travelled at short notice, and as other posters have said, not everyone has the spare time, or money, or even energy, to try to buy new cloths at short notice to fit in.

      To criticise people who have shown up to pay their respects to someone who has died feels very un-compassionate and judgemental to me.

  • Shannon May 22, 2018, 8:44 am

    I think it depends on how close you are to the deceased.

    A few people came to my father’s funeral dressed very casually – sweatshirts and jeans, mostly. It honestly didn’t bother me, because I was just happy they showed up.

    However, I put on a nice black dress, my husband wore a gray suit, and my sister wore a smart black pantsuit. If you’re family, you wear proper attire, and I don’t care if you have to squeeze a shopping trip into the schedule.

    • Kirsten May 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

      That’s fine if you have the money to buy something.

      • ladyv21454 May 22, 2018, 4:21 pm

        Kirsten, I had an occasion where I needed to wear black, which is not a color that is normally in my wardrobe. Went to the local ARC store and spent about $5 on a beautiful mid-length skirt and lightweight sweater. You don’t have to have a ton of money.

        • Adereterial May 22, 2018, 5:21 pm

          And even $5 (roughly £7.50 at the time) would have been more than I could afford at various times in my adult life. At one point, $5 was my food budget for the week. My priority was eating, frankly, and I either didn’t go to things that required clothing I didn’t have or wore the best I could put together or borrow.

          $5 might not seem a lot to you but it can be the difference between eating and not for some. You’re making a huge assumption that everyone can just buy something when that’s just not the case.

          • NostalgicGal May 25, 2018, 8:17 am

            If you were my friend and close enough to my size, I’d loan you something for such an event. I’m not the most fashion forward and I’ve had wardrobe consisting of what I dumpster dived at times, but. You don’t always have to buy something. There are other ways. And yes, I’ve been where $5 was my food budget for the week so calories were dear indeed.

        • Lerah99 May 23, 2018, 9:31 am

          As a very plus sized woman, a new business casual dress in my size is usually over $100.
          If I hit the clearance rack or get lucky at Target Maternity, I might find something that will last about 3 washes for $50.

      • Shannon May 23, 2018, 10:03 am

        The vast majority of people already have something appropriate in their closets, and if not they can afford something simple. I’ve been beyond broke myself, plenty of times. But being an adult living in a society means that some occasions require dressier clothes. This includes weddings and funerals. A nicer outfit, preferably in a darker color, is not some tremendous imposition.

        A lot of the replies here smack of “I just don’t wanna, but I’m going to pretend my situation is uniquely challenging. I’m therefore a special snowflake who is exempt from the basic social requirements for adults.”

    • Jazzgirl205 May 22, 2018, 2:55 pm

      For my MIL’s funeral, I wanted something new (appearance was very important to her). I went to 4 shops and told the salesladies I needed something for a family funeral. All of them looked flummoxed and pointed me toward black leggings and big ultra modern diaphanous tunics. I explained that, while these would look quite stunning with statement jewelry at a gallery opening, they were not suitable for a funeral. I tried using the terms conservative, traditional, modest but to no avail. I ended up wearing my faithful linen suit.
      I’ve had the same problem when my dd was a teen and buying her an Easter dress. The salespeople did not understand what an Easter dress was. They kept pointing us to something filmy and very short with spaghetti straps more suitable to a night out at a club. We tried to secularize the term with “something for a daytime reception” or “Something a grandmother would like.”

  • justme May 22, 2018, 8:52 am

    I was raised that you wear your Sunday finest to viewings and funerals. Saying that, I think most family’s of the deceased just appreciate when others come and show their respect and support. It doesn’t matter what they have on, but that they are just there showing support. Maybe the leggings that the OP was speaking about was the girls Sunday finest. People need to get off of their high horses and start worrying about themselves and their judgmental attitude instead of what others are wearing.

  • Pat May 22, 2018, 9:34 am

    I think business casual at the least is appropriate for a funeral. That being said, if someone’s in a situation when they’re a bit more casually dressed due to time constraints or whatever, I’m willing to cut them some slack. Leggings in a subdued color under a dress would be fine. Wearing a t shirt with a vulgar phrase on it is just plain rude and shows a lack of respect for the feelings of others. Call me judgmental, but I would think less of a person who did that.

  • C3lestia May 22, 2018, 9:40 am

    I admit I’m always a little confused by the idea that clothing shows respect. I get clothing being on a formal-informal scale, and funerals tending to be formal events. But what if it IS an informal funeral? Could that be a thing? And would that be disrespectful? If the deceased would have liked it? If the family prefers it?

    • Lerah99 May 22, 2018, 9:53 am

      Yes, there can be informal funerals.

      One of my friends in the pagan community passed away.
      He was cremated and his ashes distributed into a bunch of those little plastic ziplock jewelry bags.

      His crossing over ceremony was held in a local park. Casual dress except for the three people who lead the ritual who wore robes.

      As part of the ceremony it was requested that anyone who felt comfortable take a baggie of his ashes to include on our ancestor altars or to spread in some location we think he would have loved.

      It was a beautiful ceremony. And how people were dressed had no impact on the genuine feeling and sentiment.

    • Calli Arcale May 22, 2018, 11:50 am

      Informal funerals are definitely a thing. Just like weddings, there is a whole gamut of formality, and it’s usually tailored to the deceased. Funerals are usually a time to remember them, so the format will generally be in keeping with their personality. My personal rule of thumb is that if there’s a service involved (even if the service is at a funeral home instead of a church or temple), I will absolutely dress up, most likely in my black pantsuit, especially if I was not close to the deceased or their family. AFter all, dressing up conservatively seldom offends.

      We had a very informal burial ceremony for my husband’s grandfather. She had little family remaining, so what we did was a quiet graveside affair, followed by a picnic in the city park. Attire ranged from business casual to shorts and tank tops (it was an unusually hot and humid day). This was in rural South Dakota, so her sons were the ones digging the hole for her ashes and then watering the sod they put back after, and that obviously called for more utilitarian clothing.

    • Tracy W May 22, 2018, 3:26 pm

      The dressing up is about demarcating an occasion from every-day life. Funerals aren’t informal because they are massively emotionally charged events – be the immediate family devastated or celebrating a life well-lived. Going to some effort in your clothing is an outward symbol of the importance of the event and one of the cues that helps to set the scene of this being a significant time.

      That said, context is important and clothing that had personal significance to the dead can be very appropriate for that demarcation effect too.

      • lkb May 22, 2018, 7:40 pm

        Very, very nicely stated Tracy W.!

      • Rod May 23, 2018, 3:55 pm

        Nah, those telling themselves the time they spent grooming for a funeral/wedding/function shows “how much they care” are in the same boat that those that think a $100 gift shows more love than a $10 one.

        I’ve attended (unfortunately) several funerals, wakes, “celebrations of the life of”, etc. There are two that mark my belief that you respect the grief of the person/people, not how they look:

        a) the death of the aunt of my best friend in high school. We were basically kids (16), had no frigging idea of what to do and just learning about the world. She (my friend) was devastated and appreciated everyone that showed up in a pretty sudden situation to support her and her cousin was way more important than whether someone had a good hairdo or a very serious mourning dress. Besides family, their friends showed up – no one cared if they came out of high school practice or they just found out after going out to a movie and didn’t go home to put on their black veil on.

        b) the accidental death of a friend’s young sister. This was sudden but the ceremony was a week after the accident. There were lots of young people, and a few of the most upset ones were some punk kids (girl had lots of musician friends). Guy didn’t comb his spiky hair and had sneakers on. His grief was still real.

        You go ahead and tell me these people didn’t care enough to get all dressed up. They did absolutely the right thing: gathered themselves up and presented their respect to the dead and their support to those grieving.

        • Tracy W May 25, 2018, 2:44 am

          Gifts of time and effort are always more meaningful than gifts of money because we all, rich and poor alike, have a much more uncertain allotment of the former.

          I agree with you that showing up at all is more important than the dress. Using dress to demarcate the importance of the occasion is a matter of going that extra step.

      • Celestia May 24, 2018, 10:07 am

        That actually helps explain it for me, thank you….since I was a kid I’ve had trouble with symbolism and have difficulty assigning importance to symbols for representing something else. “Clothing as symbol” hadn’t ever occurred to me 🙂

  • Jelly_Rose May 22, 2018, 9:46 am

    My roomie wears leggings all the time, but granted it is always accompanied by a skirt (She hates pantyhose and would never dream of going bared legged in a pleated skirt). I would never feel comfortable wearing just leggings as pants., I have a hard enough time wearing yoga pants.

  • Jelly_Rose May 22, 2018, 9:48 am

    My roomie wears leggings all the time, granted it’s always accompanied by a skirt (She hates pantyhose and would never dream of going bared legged in a pleated skirt). I, myself would never wear leggings as pants… I have a hard enough time wearing yoga pants.

  • MostlyHere May 22, 2018, 10:02 am

    At my husband’s funeral last month, I didn’t specify what people should wear, just left it up to them. I was quite surprised in the end to see that I and my children were almost the only people not dressed in black or dark grey (some others were in sombre colours). But all without exception were dressed smartly (all men in suits, all women dressed as they would be to work in an office). No leggings.

    I think there are two different categories of leggings these days. A lot of people wear them under a dress or skirt or tunic, and I don’t see how that’s any different to wearing tights (pantyhose? I’m from the UK). But leggings on their own, with a shirt or top that only comes down to the waist, often leaves a VPL and shows every shape of not just the legs but the bottom also. TMI in my opinon, and not appropriate for the office or a funeral.

    • lkb May 23, 2018, 5:46 am

      I am so sorry for your loss, MostlyHere. May your dear husband rest in peace and his loved ones be comforted.

    • NicoleDSK May 27, 2018, 8:05 am

      I wouldn’t wear just pantyhose or tights with a tunic, but I would and do wear leggings. They are a bit more opaque.

  • JS May 22, 2018, 10:17 am

    In this, as in all things, context is key. The leggings Admin describes would likely not be appropriate for a funeral. However, a thick pair of black leggings, paired with a dark tunic and dark ankle boots (for example) and tastefully accessorized, would likely be appropriate for most funerals.

  • dippy May 22, 2018, 10:55 am

    I’m reminded of an episode of the Cosby Show in which Rudi’s gold fish died. The family dressed in black and gathered around the “bowl” for the fish’s send off. Vanessa wore a black leotard and tights.

    She explained, “it was the only black things I owned!”

  • Dippy May 22, 2018, 10:57 am

    I’m reminded of an episode of The Cosby Show in which Rudi’s gold fish died. The family dressed in black and gathered around the toilet for the fish’s final sendoff. Vanessa was dressed in a leotard and tights.

    She explained “these are the only black clothes I own!”

    • EchoGirl May 28, 2018, 3:04 am

      (Comedy aspect notwithstanding) I have to wonder if that’s not part of the issue, if we haven’t pushed the idea that You Wear Black To Funerals so hard that people feel they should choose informal black/dark clothing over formal wear that’s too “light” or “bright”, because they’ve been told that *that’s* disrespectful or wrong. I remember being confused by this myself when I was younger.

  • Twik May 22, 2018, 11:00 am

    I wouldn’t wear leggings as pants to anything non-casual, and certainly not to a funeral.

    But second-guessing what people wear to events is pointless. If they’ve shown up at a funeral with good intentions, and they really consider this to be appropriate dress, I’d let it go. People have different standards these days, and the idea of “appropriate” varies.

    If they’ve shown up impeccably dressed but are stirring up bad feelings among the mourners, they’ve committed a worse faux pas.

    • livvy17 May 22, 2018, 2:25 pm

      Well said. If I got to dress everyone, no one would be wearing leggings as pants, but if I were the chief mourner, and someone wearing them and dropped by to say how sorry they were, I wouldn’t condemn them.

  • staceyizme May 22, 2018, 11:02 am

    It’s a conundrum because our culture is one half “my body, my prerogative” and one half “you’re not wearing THAT…?”. We don’t have many occasions left where clothing is required to be conformist. Basically work/ school (for most of us), weddings and funerals. Some may add church or the occasional gala event in there. Perhaps also graduations, and coming of age events such as bar/ bat mitzvah, sweet sixteen or quinceanera. I don’ t think that leggings would be a good choice for a traditional funeral. Sometimes a little conformity is not only wise but considerate.

  • Princess Buttercup May 22, 2018, 11:04 am

    Leggings are tights. If that is the only thing covering your bottom then you should be at home. If you are out then there should be a long shirt or a skirt that completely covers your pelvic area. This is not a “get with the times” thing, it is a basic common sense modesty thing.

    Personally I don’t much care what someone wears to a funeral as long as they are properly covered. Some want to dress nice out of respect, some are more focused on just being there and dealing with grief than what they are wearing. So funeral part doesn’t make much difference to me. Just that if she was under dressed for public then she got a little reminder if why just leggings are under dressing for public.

  • JD May 22, 2018, 11:05 am

    It seems as if some here are confusing the issue of leggings worn as pants with leggings worn under skirts, tunics, and dresses. It sounds as if most, if not all, are okay with leggings worn under such things.
    I don’t understand when people say it doesn’t matter what one wears. If it doesn’t matter, why do brides get so attached to their dresses? Why do so many occupations require uniforms? Why do studies show that kids in school uniforms often behave and perform better? Try getting a job in finance wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable to the interview. If I was invited to the White House or a royal wedding, I would dress up, because what you wear matters. Dressing quietly and nicely for a funeral does show respect — consider how the family would feel if people showed up in clubbing attire to a funeral. They would feel a distinct lack of respect, I would think.

  • Vicki May 22, 2018, 11:07 am

    While the style of dressing may offend some people, the actions of the wearer should override all. Some people only own jeans or only own leggings. Does this mean they shouldn’t attend funerals or other important events? If they show up under dressed but otherwise behave appropriately, I think their attire should be overlooked.

  • MPW1971 May 22, 2018, 11:41 am

    I had a lady friend who had a very realistic view of event formality – if it was appropriate for her to wear a dress and panty hose (she lived in a climate with a full 4 seasons, so unlike, say, Miami or Phoenix, it wasn’t suitable for bare legs all year round), then her male companion was obliged to wear a tie. She worked at a university with many formal and semi-formal events, but in her role primarily as a researcher her summer attire consisted of flip-flops, yoga pants, and a long, high-cut tank top (preventing too much cleavage while moving or bending).
    Is it appropriate for women to wear leggings to semi-formal events these days? A funeral is semi-formal – it does not require the equivalent of tuxedos for men, and even suits are not required. Many a man will wear a dress shirt and tie, and often a sweater, under their winter coat for a funeral in winter – especially if there is a graveside service. So a woman wearing leggings with a tunic, dress, or even a long coat, is completely acceptable.
    That lady friend’s idea on appropriate dress as a guest for weddings and funerals was simply that one should not be dressing to attract attention to themselves – and read into that what you will – but it seems to make sense to me.

  • Adereterial May 22, 2018, 11:53 am

    Perhaps that was all she had available that was in an appropriate colour? Not everyone has the funds available to buy a funeral-appropriate outfit at short notice. There’ve been times in my adult life that the best I could have done was a pair of black jeans and a cardigan, and buying new clothes meant not eating for several weeks. Hang it, if a particular relative died now I’d not have any time to purchase something and would have to wear what I have already, as the funeral would be held quickly and abroad.

    If the colour is appropriate (either dark colours or as requested by the deceased or their family etc) and the clothes were otherwise clean and free of excessive patterns, offensive or other slogans I’d strongly suggest it’s no one’s place to judge at all.

  • lakey May 22, 2018, 11:59 am

    I think it depends on the fabric, the fit, the style of the top, and the overall look of the completed outfit. I’ve seen leggings worn under skirts, dresses, or very long tops, where the outfit looked dressy. I do think that in those cases they could be acceptable for a funeral or church. I’ve also seen women and teen girls wear them as pants with shorter tops, where they looked like they were wearing tights with no pants. I’m not a fan of this at all. I’ve known of school aides who were told not to wear them unless the top went well to the thigh area.

    All that being said, there really is no way of knowing why someone dresses the way they do, so I don’t let it bother me, other than to notice it and move on. For funerals I am more likely to give people the benefit of a doubt because, as another commenter said, sometimes people are caught off guard and go with what is in their closet. I’ve actually been in the situation of spilling coffee all over myself just as I was ready to leave.

    • staceyizme May 22, 2018, 4:37 pm

      I agree that leggings can be really variable for fit and I learned this the hard way! I tried to buy oversize leggings for my niece, who only wears pull on pants. Even though they were made of a sturdy fabric and should, theoretically, have passed in a casual setting, it just didn’t work! Something about leggings doesn’t seem to translate when it comes to “oh, this could substitute for pants!”.

  • Kali May 22, 2018, 12:00 pm

    My grandmother asked that everyone wear bright clothing to her funeral, so I wore a bright summer dress. My mother passed on that message, but neglected to tell me that she, my stepdad, and sister, would be ignoring it, and didn’t tell any other relatives. I was the only one not in black.

    My mother also told me that my grandmother had left me her rings then went through with my sister to pick their favourites before I came to pick them up. I only found this out because I asked if she or my sister wanted one.

    Sorry, this post just brought up some memories! It’s unlikely, but perhaps this person understood that the deceased wanted bright clothing worn and this was her only option?

  • Pat May 22, 2018, 2:21 pm

    For most funerals, business casual is appropriate. If someone is dressed more casual than that due to time constraints or whatever, I would cut them some slack. However, if someone showed up in a tee shirt with a vulgar slogan on it (as mentioned in one of the comments) you can call me judgmental because in my book that is just plain rude. Also, if you are making a funeral visit, you are doing it for the decedent’s loved ones, so making adjustments to your dress to conform to the venue and expectations of those people and that environment is only courteous. It’s not all about you and your preferences.

  • Linda May 22, 2018, 3:21 pm

    I buy leggings from Soft Surroundings and J Jill. These are not the thin yoga type of leggings and while form fitting, not skin tight. I wear them with tunics, sweaters or a long blouse with boots or flats. It’s a nice look and yes, I have worn them (black) to funerals when the weather is cold. Not once have I felt out of place or had anyone comment negatively. But, I have seen women in the thin, lycra skintight yoga leggings in meetings, church etc. and I do not agree that they are appropriate.

    • SleepIsabella May 22, 2018, 5:32 pm

      In the same boat. There’s a time and place for leggings, especially the thin ones that hide nothing. As a leggings enthusiast, professional or formal wear locations are not the best for the thin yoga type leggings being used as pants.

  • Meredithwiggle May 22, 2018, 3:41 pm

    I would never wear just leggings by themselves (with no skirt) to a funeral.

    That being said, here’s another aspect to the leggings as pants debate- I am a stay at home mom to an almost three year old boy and a five month old little girl. I wear tons of yoga pants and leggings-as-pants. Most of the time I’m at home. If I’m not, I’m probably at the park with my kids or at the grocery store. I would argue that in cases of small children, wearing something stretchy/clinging can actually be more modest because guess what? I spend a lot of time bending over, squatting, sitting on the ground, or on my knees, to interact with my kids. When I’m wearing yoga pants or leggings, I don’t have to worry about exposed lower back or (gasp) butt-crack, I don’t have to be constantly yanking a pair of jeans back up, and the dark colors and material are extremely forgiving when my daughter spits up on me or my son wipes his grubby hands on my legs. I am very thankful for yoga pants and leggings at this season of my life!!

  • ladyv21454 May 22, 2018, 4:15 pm

    I am absolutely in the “leggings are NOT pants” camp – and further, that once you get past a certain age, they don’t look good on ANYONE, even if you wear a tunic/dress/skirt over them. I might ALMOST have given the person a pass if she had worn a dark-colored dress – even a short one – over the leggings. But leggings with just a top? WAY too casual to wear to a funeral. I don’t know too many people who couldn’t manage a dark colored dress or pant suit – even if you have to go to Goodwill to buy it.

    I am curious, though – what was the reaction from the other people in the discussion?

    • Lerah99 May 25, 2018, 10:05 am

      You’ve obviously never been off the bell curve in size.
      I’d LOVE to pick up clothes at Goodwill or any of the other thrift stores around town.

      But I’m a women’s size 30 petite (USA sizing).

      Plainly put, not many women are wider than they are tall, so thrift stores rarely have anything in my size. Thank goodness I live in a large enough metro area that there is a plus sized consignment shop.

      But even then, the stuff in my size can be very limited.

      So I often have to shop at a specialty store like Catherines or Avenue or visit online sites like FullBeauty in order to find clothes in my size. And new dresses in my size are often $80-$100.

      How about we give people a break. Accept that they are doing the best they can with what they have. And give them the benefit of the doubt even if they aren’t dressed to our personal standards…

  • Me May 22, 2018, 7:34 pm

    You should not wear leggings-for-pants anywhere except home. They are called leggings for a reason. 🙂 they are banned from our local school, most businesses, and now–from the sport my husband participates in.

    • MPW1971 May 24, 2018, 11:46 am

      Is it rude to ask for citations? What sport are you talking about – compression fit tights actually prevent injury and soreness.
      Which businesses ban leggings? Are you talking about sales or customer service positions where there is a dress code or uniform? Or are you talking about professional roles where there is little to no interaction with people outside the organization? Are they banned for customers or patrons?
      Your local school – is this another sexist attempt at body-shaming girls at an early age – that their bare arms or shoulders, or short skirts are too distracting to the boys around them? Is it a private school? Do they have similarly strict dress codes for boys as girls?

      They are called leggings because they are worn on the legs.

      • Me May 30, 2018, 7:23 pm

        Oh please, I did not spend my time making any of this up. Leggings only are banned from the sports my husband participates in, as are bikinis. Yes, our school bans them. And yes, my business bans them. Leggings are not pants. Professionals in sports, businesses and schools do not wear them.

  • BagLady May 22, 2018, 10:18 pm

    Setting aside the “leggings are/are not pants” debate, I think there are a lot of reasons why people dress down — or at least don’t bother dressing up — for events where dressing up was once de rigeur, such as funerals:

    1. “Nobody’s looking at me, so why should it matter?” and its cousin, “I don’t want to attract attention to myself/steal the spotlight.”

    People used to dress up to go to the theater, the opera and the symphony. While I love any occasion to break out the fancy clothes, it feels kind of silly to me to dress up just to sit in a dark room where the focus is on the folks onstage, and nobody gives a fig what anyone in the audience is wearing.

    At a funeral, it might feel inappropriate, if someone is a casual friend/co-worker of the deceased or a family member, to dress like a capital-M Mourner. I seem to recall an episode here (don’t remember if it was a blog post or forum thread) where a *very* distant relative who barely knew the deceased came to his funeral in full “widow’s weeds” — black from head to toe, including the black over-the-face veil that I’ve never seen at a funeral except on TV — and upstaged the actual widow. When one doesn’t know the faith/funeral culture of the deceased and/or family, it’s human nature to default to “less is more” in terms of how far to dress up.

    2. Timing. I grew up Catholic in the Northeastern U.S. When someone died, there was a wake (aka calling hours) for one or two afternoons/evenings at the funeral home, followed by the funeral Mass a day or two later at church. Family always dressed for calling hours they way they might dress for church. Callers frequently came straight from work in their work clothes, and whether that was office attire or a grubby uniform, family didn’t care. They were just happy the folks came.

    (Calling hours have shrunk since I was a teen/young adult in the 1970s — now it’s usually one evening instead of two afternoons and two evenings — but the same unofficial dress code still applies.)

    3. Wishes of the deceased or the family. I’ve been to funerals where the family explicitly asked attendees to not wear black, or to wear bright colors, or to wear the deceased’s favorite color, or to dress comfortable/casual. Oftentimes this was a last wish of the deceased.

    I would feel uncomfortable wearing all black to the funeral of a friend, acquaintance, co-worker or non-close relative. It would feel like upstaging the close family, like the “widow’s weeds” lady I mentioned above. However, I have gone to such funerals in a black skirt or pants with a top of a different color, or a dress with a colorful print on a black background.

    It’s all about not drawing attention to oneself at the expense of the family. In the case of Ms. Split Leggings, the attention was inadvertent. If her leggings hadn’t split, probably nobody would have given the fact that she was wearing leggings as pants a second glance.

    JMO and YMMV.

    • Helen May 24, 2018, 8:37 am

      “I seem to recall an episode here (don’t remember if it was a blog post or forum thread) where a *very* distant relative who barely knew the deceased came to his funeral in full “widow’s weeds” — black from head to toe, including the black over-the-face veil that I’ve never seen at a funeral except on TV — and upstaged the actual widow.” If I am recalling the correct submission, the OP of that letter was good friends with the daughter of the deceased and had worn a hat with small birdcage-type veil. The OP stated that she had taken to wearing hats to formal occasions because she was dealing with hair loss due to a medication she had to take for a chronic condition. I also believe she had asked a salesperson for a recommendation of a hat appropriate for a funeral and bought what was recommended. She also apologized to her friend once she realized that not only her hat with a veil, but sleeveless dress in a church ( in the summer) had been frowned upon. I remember it well, because I thought you are damned if you, damned if you don’t when picking clothes for a funeral.

    • MPW1971 May 24, 2018, 11:55 am

      People should be concerned over the appearance of a friend or acquaintance for the right reasons. My aunt commented one Christmas that she saw an old family friend at church that morning, wearing her work uniform (she was a hospital assistant who wore scrubs if I remember correctly) and looking like hell warmed over – speculating that she should have, at least, gone home and changed if she had worked the night before.
      She hadn’t been working – her husband of over 40 years and a lifelong diabetic – had died early that morning. Somehow she managed to compose herself enough to come to church for Christmas Day, as she too was a lifelong devout Catholic.
      Correct observation – wrong reason.

  • koolchicken May 23, 2018, 1:37 am

    I’m in my early 30’s and people act like I’m attacking them personally when I state my firm belief that leggings are not pants. I get it, I’m an anomaly amongst my generation. I don’t care. That said, I do believe they have a place in the wardrobe. I live in a cold, wet climate and sometimes leggings just make more sense than tights or sheer hose. If the weather is too impractical for ballet flats, then why not wear leggings versus tights? No one will necessarily know and if anything, one might argue they’re more practical as they’re unlikely to ladder.

    I wear dresses mostly, regardless the time of year. I feel that one can indeed wear leggings to a funeral assuming you’re wearing them in place of hosiery and it’s not obvious they aren’t tights. However, if you’re not willing to appropriately cover them, please, wear something different altogether.

  • Twik May 23, 2018, 10:18 am

    Basically, the reason why you want to dress “respectfully” is that you can unintentionally send the message “this funeral wasn’t worth the effort of getting dressed up for.” That may not be intended, but if you’re the person deciding what to wear, keep it in mind. If you want to comfort the bereaved, yes, it’s worth making a little more effort than running to the store.

    Like it or not, clothing is a statement, and putting on your most formal wear (whatever that is) is a statement that can comfort those in grief. (I still smile remembering a young friend who came to my mother’s funeral in his best work suit – along with dreadlocks and multiple piercings. The statement was “I don’t always dress this way, but I will for you,” and I appreciated it.)

    If you’re the bereaved, you need to remember that a lot of people consider leggings, jeans, etc. appropriate, and they’re not out to deliberately insult anyone. A grieving face in leggings means more than a smirk in tailored clothes.

  • NostalgicGal May 23, 2018, 11:26 am

    If I officiate a funeral and am asked what the guidelines should be:
    covered from collarbone to above elbow to ankles is the suggestion. Black or dark color. Not skin tight. No midriff. Slacks instead of leggings. Leggings are tights, and under a skirt (mid thigh or lower hem) are acceptable.

    So this also leaves out tube tops, spaghetti straps, worn out ratty ripped jeans, and de-sleeved teeshirts. Most people can come up with the above simple garb fairly easy. Even clean black sweatpants are better than skin tight. Just my .00002 cents worth.

  • Tara May 23, 2018, 12:35 pm

    I don’t think wearing leggings to a funeral matters. When my grandparents died recently, I was too busy grieving at the funeral to notice anything anyone else was wearing. The bereft won’t notice. I think flashy colors are frowned upon because they draw attention to themselves, when attention needs to go to one’s own feelings, or the feelings of the family if you are attending a funeral where you weren’t especially close to the deceased. Black leggings don’t draw attention unless they’re sheer.

  • pennywit May 23, 2018, 4:27 pm

    If any person, whether retainer or guest, at Pennywit Manor dares to wear leggings as pants, those leggings are immediately taken and burned. The person is then forced to wear hideously out-of-style jester’s motley for at least two weeks.

    • Lerah99 May 24, 2018, 9:59 am

      This made me laugh out loud! Thank you for that!

  • Anonymous May 23, 2018, 6:43 pm

    I think the important thing is being there for the funeral, and dress is secondary. I know, dressing for the occasion shows respect, and all, but people live further apart these days, so some people, even close family members, might have to travel for the funeral. The economy is pretty bad right now, and people are busier (often working long hours to make ends meet), so coming to a funeral or visitation, can be quite a feat. We have social media now, so some people might just post something on the deceased’s Facebook page, or the funeral home website’s online guestbook for the funeral for that person, and call it good….when really, posting on social media pales in comparison to the loving arms and physical presence that those closest to the deceased need right after the death.

    I go to a church that shares this view, at least for the regular services (I’ve never been to a funeral there, although I’ve been to a few in other places). But, for regular services, and even holiday services, people come in anything from Sunday best, to jeans and T-shirts, or shorts and T-shirts in the summer. The church wants people to come together and learn about how [Deity-of-Choice] wants us to be kind to each other. They want people to come to the picnics, the cultural heritage days, the holiday bazaars, the “decorate for Major Spiritual Event” evening, the weddings, the coming-of-age events for the young people. They want people to sing in the choir, volunteer at the children’s day camp, visit with seniors who aren’t healthy enough to come to church, et cetera, and people do–it’s a thriving church community. I have a feeling that it might not be, if people were held to a certain standard of dress, because time/money/body barriers (such as, an oddly-sized person struggling to find clothes that fit, or people with children who outgrow clothes rapidly) might make some people think, “I don’t have the right clothes for church, so I just won’t go.”

  • AvalonAngel May 23, 2018, 9:56 pm

    I suffer from severe lymphedema, and have to wear compression leggings/capris almost all the time (the condition is the result of a radical hysterectomy almost three years ago). It’s a serious condition; I have been hospitalized twice because of complications with it, the most recent being last month.

    That said, if I were going to a funeral I would wear a long dress to hide the capris. Same at a wedding.

  • Kristen May 24, 2018, 7:17 am

    Unless it is a clear etiquette violation (I.e white at a wedding) I feel it is incredible rude and judgemental to judge people on their clothes. The trend of over policing what one wears has serious, negative implications for society as a whole (see Leighton, 2018). If you are so easily distracted by others bodies and clothing choices it is very concerning.

    I would hope that anyone in attendance at the funeral was able to not be so easily distracted or had enough self preservation to choose to look away dispite what the person was wearing.

  • FunkyMunky May 24, 2018, 8:39 am

    I was always taught to wear dark colours, but only full black if the deceased was family. Clothing should be appropriate to wear to a job interview.

    Having attended a few funerals recently, I infer that others weren’t given the same instruction.

  • Rinme May 25, 2018, 5:32 pm

    The leggings situation here is a third-hand retelling, with much guesswork involved, so there is no way to determine what was actually worn to that funeral.

    Personally, I don’t judge leggings or any other article of clothing on its own; it’s the overall look that counts. I do think leggings can be tastefully worn to a funeral.

  • WillyNilly May 29, 2018, 5:00 pm

    I am curious if this was actually a funeral (graveside), or really something like a wake/service/viewing at a funeral home. While ideally one should dress up a bit for either, the latter, in my opinion and experience is a lot less formal.
    Sometimes people simply don’t have the time and/or funds to dress up. Death often comes somewhat suddenly, and for everyone else life goes on.
    If you can’t dress up, I think its better to wear dark/subdued clothing that is clean, than to not attend over wardrobe.

  • JudeBC June 2, 2018, 4:39 pm

    Our family unfortunately has gone through some painful losses.

    As a group, we always ask the deceased’s favorite color and include it in our outfits.

    A recent example: our beloved aunt was very fond of purple, and we all wore purple – in a scarf, a blouse, a sweater, and a tie. Every other item of clothing was either black or grey.

    Our mother’s funeral was very special. Every last person attending wore something bright red.
    I honestly cannot recall if any of my youngest relatives wore tights or jeans and don’t care. They showed up in red, and with love in their hearts.

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