What Should Men Wear to a Funeral Viewing?

by William McCoy
Although traditional, all-black attire isn't necessary at modern-day funeral viewings.

Although traditional, all-black attire isn't necessary at modern-day funeral viewings.

Although it can be taxing emotionally to attend a funeral, the family members of the person who has died likely relies on the support from those around them. Although you may offer support through kind words and flowers, you're also showing solidarity through your choice to dress appropriately. For men, dressing for a funeral viewing or any standard funeral-related event isn't an opportunity to express yourself through your attire; it's a time to carefully select a conservative outfit that shows respect.

Suit Color

Men don't have to clad themselves in black from head to toe during funeral events, but this color remains commonplace at funerals and viewings. If you don't want to wear a black suit, opt for a dark or conservative color. Dark blue, charcoal, dark gray and dark brown are suitable colors for a jacket and pants. Dressing in black or gray is the best choice, according to fashion expert Clinton Kelly.

Shirt and Tie

Wear a dress shirt and tie with your suit to project a respectful appearance. Like your suit, your shirt and tie don't have to be black, and while your shirt may range in color from white to blue to gray, it's best to choose a tie that is dark and subdued. Avoid ties with overly flashy patterns or those that feature brash elements such as your favorite sports team's logo or a cartoon character.

Shoes

Dress shoes are appropriate to wear to a funeral viewing and should match the look of your suit. Black, gray or brown shoes are acceptable. When you choose your shoes, consider the comfort of each pair you own. It's common to spend a considerable amount of time standing at funeral-related events, and you don't want to sacrifice comfort for style. Before getting dressed, make sure your shoes are clean and the laces are tidy.

Other Ideas

Funeral viewings may take a wide range of formats, but a dark, conservative outfit shouldn't have you feeling as though you underdressed. At some events, a pair of slacks with a sport coat is suitable, as is a collared polo shirt -- ideally with a subdued color or pattern -- instead of a dress shirt. Remember, though, that dressing down for the event may seem disrespectful to the family in mourning. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure it's freshly washed and neatly pressed.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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