What to wear to a funeral when the family requests no mourning wear?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Veremund, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    Has anyone been in this situation before?
     


  2. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior member

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    Unfortunately no mourning wear is only really half the answer, you still really could do with knowing the level of formality of the event.

    Generally it means to avoid the black suit, black tie, black shoes, white shirt, white pocket square and instead introduce some colour - ie celebrate the life not mourn the death. The last one I went to was early spring so most the guys were just in normal navy or mid grey suits, a few novelty ties but more just normal silk print/weave numbers and plenty of brown shoes and colourful pocket squares. As always, for women it made a much bigger difference than the guys
     


  3. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    "No mourning wear" is a rather nebulous request.

    I'd wear a dark suit, white shirt, and conservative necktie.

    If challenged on my choice of clothing (ridiculously poor manners, that), I'd explain that I'm wearing "businesswear," or "churchwear," or somesuch.

    If the family of the deceased have some specific dress code in mind - everybody wear a purple bow tie, everyone wear tennis clothes, everyone wear jeans and t-shirts, etc. - let them come right out and inform people as to that dress code. I'll either comply with their wishes, or explain that circumstances prevent me from attending the funeral.

    But "no mourning wear?" What does that even mean in this day and age?
     


  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Given that funeral apparel these days starts its bidding at cut offs and Jesus Boots, it would be better to ask the family what they actually mean. Few men keep a 'funeral suit' these days and mentioning black suits here would earn you a stoning. I would think the most formal would be a suit and tie, no dark colours and a patterned tie.

    Mourners at my funeral will be instructed to be entirely informal, jeans and tee shirts most welcome. I see no point in treating a funeral in a different way to anything else in a social context. Your clothes make no difference to the one important person at a funeral - the dearly departed. The rest of the flummery is simply a crutch for everyone else.
     


  5. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    [email protected] if clothes make no difference to the deceased, why do you plan to leave instructions?
     


  6. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior member

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    Is that the person thats important at the funeral? Outside some minority religious views of needing to release the soul from the body or such surely a funeral is really about the living not the dead?

    As you dont want to be a burden on the living? As you want a laugh whilst your still alive by giving instruction that your funeral should be a "vickers and tarts" fancy dress affair?
     


  7. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    This makes some sense, but if you really didn't want to be a burden, better to let them dress as they want rather than instruct "be entirely informal."

    Quote: This does not, given his premise that what people wear to a funeral makes no difference to the deceased.


    I make no claim about whether it makes a difference to the deceased, but if you're going to claim it doesn't, might as well be consistent.
     


  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    @GBR - I have the traditional black suit and black armband that is traditional for funerals.

    in this specific case, it's best to just ask a family member who is in charge whether what you plan to wear is appropriate, and if not, could they tell you what is, and not argue. After all, it's not really an occasion on which to stake your sartorial ground. Probably even less so than a wedding which is not yours.

    Should this be in the menwear advice section? in many ways, it seems that that would be the right venue for this question.
     


  9. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    I've been to a non-trivial number of funerals over the years, but can't recall ever seeing anyone not in military or law enforcement uniform wearing a black armband at a funeral. Of course, customs do differ widely, so I'm not suggesting you're wrong to wear a black armband, LA Guy. And I realize that mourning armbands were in fairly common use thru the mid-20th century.

    As for this thread belonging in the menswear advice section... a large percentage of the threads on SF have to do with someone wanting advice on how to dress, so technically the menswear advice section could dwarf everything else here. Then again, I see nothing wrong about a question having to do with mourning attire being asked in the Classic Menswear forum.
     


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