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Wearing white to a funeral--is that allowed?


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Edited:

Okay, I knew I was probably reaching with that question. I will go buy something appropriately somber. Thanks for the input--I do appreciate it.

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Dh's family is having a small memorial for dh's mother, who passed away about a month ago (with all the proper covid precautions of course--limited number of guests, masks, no food, the whole shebang). 

The nifty black outfit I ordered arrived today and it looks horrible. 

Is it okay to wear a white sweater with a navy floral skirt? Or should I rush out and drum up something more somber?

Thanks.

Edited by Harriet Vane
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Sorry for your husband's and your's loss.  I would find something dark to wear. People are in mourning.

 

 Unless you are close enough to his family where you explain things. I would definitely consult with your husband too. 

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I would rather wear something frumpy and dark than something white to a US funeral.

(In some cultures, white is the mourning color, but I assume that's not the case in your family.)

Edited by SKL
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Maybe it depends on locale, because I would wear what I have available without a second thought.  Especially for a small memorial during covid where it isn't necessarily easy to run store to store.  

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Do you have a darker sweater or blouse that might work with your navy skirt?  A blazer or sweater you could wear over the white blouse?  A friend or neighbor you could borrow a dark cardigan from?   If not, I think you should ask your dh what he thinks you should do, since it's his mother's funeral and his family that will be there.  

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I have seen people wear black slacks with white blouses to good effect. I might add a dark shawl or scarf in a complementary color if I wasn’t wearing a jacket tho.

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I'm born and raised in the deep south, and I'd be clutching my metaphorical pearls a bit if a DIL wore white to a funeral. I'd assume it was a subtle snub to the deceased. Not fair at all, just deeply ingrained culture. 

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6 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

I'm born and raised in the deep south, and I'd be clutching my metaphorical pearls a bit if a DIL wore white to a funeral. I'd assume it was a subtle snub to the deceased. Not fair at all, just deeply ingrained culture. 

Yes.  I'm not from the South, but my mom taught me to wear dark clothing to funerals.  Period.  When Mom died, a relative wore a lovely yellow suit to her funeral, and I was very surprised.  I know it was not intended as a snub - they adored each other - but it was very much outside my previous experience to see a bright color at a funeral, and especially at my mom's, who had always been so careful to dress in dark colors.  I think the intent was to celebrate her life, but it still felt jarring to me.  OP, I again encourage you to ask your dh or his sister, if he has one, so you don't accidentally step on anyone's emotional toes at an already difficult time.

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In the specific US culture I was raised in, that would be totally fine.  If I were attending a funeral outside of that culture, I’d definitely go for dark colors. In other words, I’d only wear white if I was certain it was okay, and if I was at all uncertain, I wouldn’t.

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I think your outfit sounds lovely and perfectly appropriate.

I cannot imagine noticing or judging what people wear to a funeral, though. My thoughts would certainly be on bigger matters.
 

I'm sorry for your loss.

Edited by MEmama
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I’ve worn white to Buddhist funerals, white is the color for mourning. Otherwise, dark colors or black is more appropriate.

Edited by SDMomof3
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Wear whatever you want.  Well, maybe not a red skin-tight dress with cleavage showing or the daisy dukes my extended family wore when a great uncle died, but other than that, wear whatever.  White would be pretty to me. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Sorry for your loss.

I was going to say to go ahead with some white.  I never noticed what anyone wore to my loved ones' funerals.  However given the responses here I'd go with dark, just in case.  That said, I'd hate for you to risk a trip to a store during covid.

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I don't think dark colors are universal (for the US) anymore. My sister wore a red print dress to our father's funeral in 1991. Red was his favorite color. At a more recent funeral, the daughter of the deceased wore slacks and a brightly-colored printed t-shirt.  I don't generally remember what people wear at funerals; the only reason I remembered the friend's t-shirt was because upon arrival I had a brief, uncalled-for, nasty moment of thinking she was dressed too casually for the occasion.  🤦‍♀️

But as in most things, it is likely regional/cultural. 

 

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I’m sorry you have to rush out and find something else to wear.  After reading this thread, I would do the same. It makes me sort of sad to think that people might judge others by what they wear to a funeral, or think it represents snubs to the deceased, etc, but I understand it’s cultural.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

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1 hour ago, happi duck said:

 

I was going to say to go ahead with some white.  I never noticed what anyone wore to my loved ones' funerals.  However given the responses here I'd go with dark, just in case.  

 

1 hour ago, Spryte said:

I’m sorry you have to rush out and find something else to wear.  After reading this thread, I would do the same. It makes me sort of sad to think that people might judge others by what they wear to a funeral, or think it represents snubs to the deceased, etc, but I understand it’s cultural.

 

This is how I feel, too.  It's really unfortunate. 

And I am also very sorry for your loss.  

 

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I gave a reading at a funeral in a coral dress.  I have no idea if anyone took issue with it.....nor would I care.  I had traveled there in a last-minute emergency overnight drive and did not have time to go shopping.  I did the best I could with what I had available.  I think my time was far better spent supporting other loved ones of the deceased than trolling the mall for something more "appropriate."  It did not even occur to me that this would be a thing.  I was too involved in that funeral to even notice/remember what others were wearing but the last one I attended locally had people in all colors and all level of formality (or not).  That one was local and as a general rule, the culture here tends to less formal.  The family was just happy for the support.

I also remember wearing a maroon dress with a white jacket to my grandmother's funeral when I was 9.  Again, we drove 24 hours to get there.  My mom was not going to fuss with clothing.  We wore what we had an all was OK.

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Hindus wear white for funerals. 

We have no idea about western clothes etiquette for funerals so we follow black clothing which is mostly British in origin for etiquette, when we went to funerals of christian friends here. One of the few times I wear hose and a skirt. DH wears a suit. 

But there is no hard and fast rule I am sure and you can wear what you want.

Sorry for your loss. 

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At the last funeral I attended almost all the mourners--at the request of the deceased--wore brightly colored Hawaiian shirts or other colorful garb.

That's California for you.

I would not cross my mind for a moment if a person at a (non-Hawaiian themed) funeral wore white. Not for a second.

The important thing is being there. 

Sorry for your loss.

Bill

 

Edited by Spy Car
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I'm from a metro area in the Southwest.  You can wear anything of any color including traditional black.  Sometimes funerals request specific attire like pink for breast cancer awareness, bright colors because the deceased loved that (my daughters pediatric neurologist's funeral,) white because the deceased is from certain parts of Asia, or something that is a specific to the deceased. 

It's deeply offensive that someone would cast judgement on or imagine an interpretation of what another person is wearing at a funeral. 
 

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4 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I'm from a metro area in the Southwest.  You can wear anything of any color including traditional black.  Sometimes funerals request specific attire like pink for breast cancer awareness, bright colors because the deceased loved that (my daughters pediatric neurologist's funeral,) white because the deceased is from certain parts of Asia, or something that is a specific to the deceased. 

It's deeply offensive that someone would cast judgement on or imagine an interpretation of what another person is wearing at a funeral. 
 

Offensive, yes. Personally I don't believe in obligatory stuff, whether wardrobe or attendance of events or whatever. We all do our best, and we recognize each other's best intentions. For the record, at my funeral I want everyone to wear whatever feels comfortable. 

But that said, this is my husband's mom, who we both loved very dearly. I want to do whatever is "appropriate" for dh's sake and for my dear sil. If that means wearing black then so be it. 

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