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Attire at funerals should be respectful

Looking at recent celebrity funerals, you would think it is a fashion show rather than a personal and intimate event of saying goodbye to a loved one.

Clothing for these events have you questioning whether it is appropriate or just “new age”.

Martin’s Funerals gives examples of what proper funeral attire is, and what should best be avoided.

The best colours to wear to a funeral will always be black or dark shades of blue, green and grey. It is best not to wear patterns, floral or otherwise, on your clothing.

Avoid sequins and flashy materials such as silk.

Never wear bright colours, as it may seem disrespectful.

In some cultures, however, bright colours and white symbolise mourning. If you are not part of these cultures, stick to the muted, dark colours.

Keep in mind what you would wear to church or a job interview. Keep everything covered – you don’t want to make the other attendees uncomfortable.

Do not wear shorts, flip-flops or baseball caps. Never wear casual clothes that may seem disrespectful or distasteful. Wear formal attire to the most extent.

Wear comfortable shoes. This is especially important when going to a gravesite. You don’t want to trip or fall trying to walk on uneven ground in high heels.

Stick to flat shoes that are closed and dark in colour.

Wear neutral make-up and never make it shiny or bright. If you have to wear jewellery, keep it to the minimum. The best is to wear pearls, but keep it simple with a single string necklace and earrings.

If you are going to wear a tie, keep it a solid colour and not patterned. Avoid brightly-coloured and pictured ties. The same goes for pocket squares.

The only exception to these basic funeral attire rules is when the family requests specific clothes to be worn to the funeral.

Some may ask attendees to wear only red, white or the deceased’s favourite colour. Others may request informal clothes, as they want to keep the event casual and comfortable.

Only when you are specifically required to do so are you allowed to wear these types of clothes.

The most important thing to remember, is that this day is completely about the deceased and saying goodbye. It is not about you or showing off your wardrobe.

Disrespectful clothing or behaviour will only upset the family and close friends of the deceased.

If you are still uncertain about what to wear, ask someone attending the same funeral or memorial service for help and guidelines.

Be extra sure – it is better than upsetting someone unintentionally.

The most important thing to remember, is that this day is completely about the deceased and saying goodbye. It is not about you or showing off

your wardrobe.

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