What to Wear to a Visitation or Funeral? 100+ Outfit Ideas!

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Attending a visitation is a moment of reflection and respect. It’s an occasion where your attire should echo the solemnity of the moment, honoring the memory of the departed and offering support to the grieving family.

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What to Wear to a Visitation

If you find yourself uncertain about what in your wardrobe would be suitable, worry not.

I wrote this guide to provide you with thoughtful tips and outfit ideas on what to wear to a visitation, ensuring that your presence is both graceful and considerate.

Let’s explore the nuances of dressing for this significant occasion, embracing a style that speaks of empathy and reverence.

Important Terms

Before we proceed, here’s a quick rundown of important terms and their differences:

  • Funeral Visitations – A funeral visitation is when family and friends gather to offer condolences and support the grieving family. It is commonly held at a funeral home or church, focusing on interacting with the family and sharing important memories with the deceased.
  • Funeral Viewing – A funeral viewing is when the deceased’s body is displayed in an open casket. It is a chance for the family, friends, and acquaintances to bid their final goodbyes and offer their condolences. It is typically held before the funeral services.
Funeral Visitation Outfits
  • Funeral Services – Funeral services refer to the ceremony and ritual that honors the deceased’s life. This may vary depending on the person’s culture and religion, but it is usually composed of prayers, songs, eulogy, readings, and other services commemorating the person’s life.
  • Graveside Service – A graveside service is a ceremony that typically happens after the funeral services. It is held at the burial site of the deceased, wherein family and friends witness the burial of the body or the ashes.

What to Wear to a Visitation – Female

Ladies, when discussing visitations dress codes, here are two things you should remember: dress modestly and avoid bright colors. 

Check out these outfit ideas I have compiled for you that exactly embodies these two things:

Dark-colored Dress

It is common practice that guests avoid loud colors and patterns when going to funeral visitations. That is why dark-colored clothes will be one of your safest bets when in doubt.

Etsy Conservative Black Dress
Alternatively, opt for flat closed-toe shoes instead heels.

Dark-colored clothes, especially dresses, exude formality and solemnity, perfect for a respectful visit to offer condolences to the family.

A black dress can be a great choice, but not those skimpy LBDs. Choose modest outfits at all times when going to visitations, hun.

Add the following accessories to elevate the look:

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:21 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Midi Skirts

Another outfit that offers comfort and a polished appearance is a midi skirt. It is sophisticated and allows ease of motion.

Etsy Linen Skirt Button Trimmed A Line Skirt With Pockets

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Mix it up with the following elements:

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Slacks

Opt for slacks if you’re not too fond of dresses and skirts. It is a great alternative with the same level of classiness and refinement as dresses. 

It offers a respectful and stylish ensemble that allows you to pay your condolences with a sense of grace.

Pair it with the following elements to finish the look:

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sweater

Funeral homes are typically chilly, so a sweater can be great for visitations. It adds an extra layer of warmth, perfect for a balance of comfort and formality when offering solace during emotional moments.

Etsy Elegant Warm Knitted Sweater

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350

Match your sweater to the following accessories:

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Knee-length Dress

Although wearing dark-colored ensembles is common, you can wear clothes in moderate or muted colors. What’s important is that your dresses or skirts don’t go way above your knees.

That is why knee-length dresses are also ideal for funeral visitations. It displays a great balance of timeless and classic design, appropriate for paying respects at the funeral.

Accentuate your knee-length dress with these accessories:

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sunday Dress

One of the greatest tips I can give when choosing what to wear to a visitation is to dress like you’re going to church. This is where Sunday dresses come into the picture.

Etsy Elegant Vintage Stunning Sundress

Sunday Dresses are designed to be modest and respectful, which makes them an ideal choice for occasions like funeral events.

Complement your dress with the following:

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Pencil Skirt

Another type of skirt that is ideal for funeral visitations is a pencil skirt. It is modest and comes in various colors and fabrics, allowing you to choose a color that perfectly aligns with the tone of the visitation.

Combine it with the following elements:

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Wear to a Visitation – Male

Gentlemen, when going to visitations, leave your casual wear at home and opt for formal clothing or more dressy clothes.

Take a look at these outfit ideas:

Suit in Dark Colors

For a visitation, dark-colored suits can be ideal. It offers a great balance of solemnity and formality, perfect for the respectful atmosphere of a visitation.

Complete your look with the following elements:

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Dress Slacks

A great alternative to a full suit is dress pants. It offers the same level of refined and professional appearance.

Etsy Summer Men Casual Pants Elastic

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350

Accessorize with these elements:

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 23:22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Button-Down Shirt

A button-down shirt is also a great option for its versatility. Choose dark or neutral colors and pair them with sleek dress pants.

Etsy Premium Satin Stretch Shirt for Man

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350

Finish the ensemble with these:

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Can You Wear Casual Clothes to a Visitation?

It’s best to avoid extremely casual outfits and opt for formal attire or business casual. Strive to look presentable and sleek to show respect and support to the bereaved family.

Funeral Visitation Outfit Ideas

Here are some outfit ideas appropriate for somber occasions like funeral viewing:

Save your flip-flops and athletic shoes for a different day and choose dressier shoes. Ladies, choose comfortable shoes like stylish ballet flats. Gentlemen, wear black shoes or boat shoes.

Are You Supposed to Wear Black to a Visitation?

While black is a traditional color often worn as funeral attire for visitations or memorial services, it’s not mandatory to wear black or dark-colored clothing.

Attires for Funeral Visitation

Clothes with subdued colors or neutral tones are also appropriate funeral outfits. The key is to avoid flashy colors and choose clothes aligned with the occasion’s solemnity.

Do You Dress Up More for Visitation or Funeral?

Visitations have a more relaxed dress code, while funerals typically call for a more formal approach to clothing choices.

Outfits for Graveside Service

Avoiding casual clothing and going for formal wear demonstrates respect for the event’s significance and reflects a reverence for the deceased person.

FAQ About What to Wear to a Visitation

Can I Wear Jeans to a Visitation?

It’s advisable to avoid wearing jeans as it is too casual for the occasion. For formal events like visitations, choose semi-formal or formal outfits like dress pants or slacks instead.

Can I Wear Shorts to a Funeral?

No. Shorts are generally considered inappropriate for funerals or visitations due to their length. Opt for formal pants to show respect for the occasion.

Can I Wear Blue to a Funeral?

Yes, absolutely. You can wear muted shades or dark blue for visitations but avoid loud and bright blues.

Can I Wear White to a Funeral?

Yes. While darker colors are more common options, white-toned clothes can also be appropriate. You can wear a white dress or a white formal shirt with black pants. But again, it still depends on the religion and customs of the family.

Outfits for Funeral Visitation

Key Points About What to Wear to a Visitation

Getting ready for visitation may get stressful sometimes, knowing how you want to be respectful and show genuine support for the bereaved family.

Now that you’ve reached this part, let me reiterate once more the key points when choosing what to wear for a visitation:

  • ALWAYS dress sleekly and conservatively. Dressing formally or semi-formally’s the proper etiquette when attending funeral visitations. Leave your skimpy or overly casual attire at home.
  • AVOID bright and loud colors. Darker colors are recommended, but you can opt for neutral or moderate colors.
  • AVOID wearing high heels or stilettos. During visitation, you may have to wait in line depending on the number of visitors, so choose comfortable shoes, such as closed-toe shoes. You may also have to trek uneven terrain during graveside service, so wear shoes that wouldn’t get stuck in the ground or cause you to get outbalanced easily.

Above all, the best way to know how to dress is by asking the family or funeral director if there are certain etiquette guidelines for funeral attire since dress codes may vary depending on the family’s tradition and religion.

Funeral Visitation Attires

Just like how we believe in our hometown that wearing red during visitation disturbs the deceased person, other cultures may also have different beliefs.

What’s important is how you genuinely honor the deceased person’s memory and support the family during this difficult time.

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