What to Wear to a Catholic Funeral: 5 Catholic Funeral Outfit Ideas

Funerals hold a poignant significance in our lives, providing a final opportunity to pay homage to the deceased. Having been involved in the planning and attending of various Catholic funerals, I often field questions about the appropriate attire for such an occasion. To address this query, I’ve compiled this detailed guide that discusses suitable outfit choices for men, women, and children at Catholic funerals.

Catholic Funeral Outfit Ideas

The Dress Code for a Catholic Funeral

Official guidelines from organizations like The Art of Dying Well and the Good Funeral Guide recommend formal wear for attendees of Catholic funerals. Formal attire, as per Collins Dictionary, comprises any smart ensemble suitable for a work or business setting. This is backed by the biblical instruction in 1 Timothy 2:9, which advises us to choose clothing that is modest and unobtrusive.

Men’s Outfit Choices

The gold standard for male attire at a Catholic funeral is a suit. It’s a dignified and formal choice, accepted across the board in Catholic circles. For those who don’t have a suit, a pair of dress trousers coupled with a formal shirt is also appropriate. Essentially, any attire suitable for a business or corporate setting will suffice.

When it comes to hues and patterns, subdued, unobtrusive dark shades are the go-to choice. Bright and flashy colors can be distracting and are considered inappropriate. For instance, striking shades like neon pink, red, yellow, or orange should be avoided as they draw undue attention.

Women’s Apparel Guidelines

Women attending a Catholic funeral should consider wearing a formal dress, a skirt suit, or a combination of a skirt and a blouse. Dark colors like black, grey, and navy are usually the most suitable. The key here is to maintain a sense of dignity and modesty in your clothing choice. Flamboyant and attention-grabbing attire doesn’t fit the somber atmosphere of a funeral. Revealing clothing is frowned upon in the Catholic faith and should be avoided.

5 Outfit Ideas for Teens

Black Dress Trousers, White Button-Up Shirt, and Black Dress Shoes:

Black Dress Trousers, White Button-Up Shirt, and Black Dress Shoes

This look is both timeless and respectful. The formality of the ensemble adheres to the occasion, while the color scheme evokes an appropriately solemn mood.

A Simple, Dark-Colored Knee-Length Dress with a Cardigan:

A Simple, Dark-Colored Knee-Length Dress with a Cardigan

This outfit is modest and elegant, steering clear of any flashy or see-through materials.

Dark Slacks or a Skirt Paired with a Conservative Blouse and Black Shoes:

Dark-colored slacks or a skirt with a conservative blouse and black shoes

This is a versatile, respectful choice that allows comfort during the services.

Dark Suit with a Modest Tie and Dress Shoes:

A dark-colored suit with a conservative tie and dress shoes

This outfit makes teenagers look mature and considerate, particularly if the funeral is for a family member.

Long-Sleeved Knee-Length Dress in a Subdued Color, Accompanied by Black Shoes:

A long-sleeved, knee-length dress in a dark or subdued color with black shoes

This outfit strikes the right balance between formality and modesty, and is an excellent choice for teen girls.

What can kids wear to a catholic funeral?

For children, the rule of thumb is to stick to formal outfits. Boys can opt for dress trousers, a button-up shirt, and perhaps even a tie, while girls can choose a modest dress or a knee-length skirt with a blouse. Despite the typical child’s preference for vibrant colors, it’s best to choose more muted tones to align with the atmosphere. Footwear should be formal and comfortable, preferably black. Toys or stuffed animals are best left at home.

What color should you wear to a Catholic funeral?

Ideal colors for such an occasion are black, grey, navy blue, dark brown, white, green, and purple. While there’s some flexibility in color choices, the overall aim should be to mirror the somber mood of the event. For example, a suit in navy, black, or grey with a white shirt is a solid choice for men, while women can opt for similar color combinations in their choice of dress or blouses.

What accessories can you wear to a catholic funeral?

For men, a tasteful wristwatch and black formal shoes are sufficient. Women can consider a minimalist necklace, modest earrings, and perhaps a simple bracelet. Hats or scarves are optional. Men should refrain from sporting hats indoors or unbuttoning their shirts excessively. Likewise, women should avoid overly flashy jewelry and high-heeled shoes that make noise.

Can you wear bright colors to a catholic funeral?

Bright, flashy colors are generally considered inappropriate at a Catholic funeral. The aim should be to avoid drawing attention away from the funeral service and respect the mournful environment. Steer clear of colors like hot pink, neon green, bright orange, electric blue, or vivid red as they clash with the ambiance of the event.

Should you cover your head when going to a catholic funeral?

For men, it’s generally considered disrespectful to wear hats or cover their heads inside the church. However, for women and children, a simple hat or scarf is permissible, especially if weather conditions warrant it.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be adhering to the traditional norms and expectations of attire at a Catholic funeral, ensuring that you show respect and decorum on such a significant occasion.

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