What Not to Wear to a Funeral

How we dress for funerals these days is often dictated by the wishes of the deceased. So for some funerals, it is entirely appropriate to wear bright colours and summer dresses (in the warmer months, naturally).

Most of us would consider wearing a dark suit and sober tie for men and women a simple dress or skirt with jacket or coat. Black is the traditional colour of mourning, but navy, deep purples and charcoal greys are also appropriate. The question of a hat remains a tricky one. You can probably get away without one – but you need to be respectful if you are attending a religious service where covering the head may be required, for women.

Leaving politics aside, I’ve just watched the funeral service of Margaret Thatcher. By anyone’s standards this was a formal event and so I was interested to see how the women, in particular, would dress for the occasion.

I was almost “relieved” to see that Sam Cameron wore a hat. Her “pussy-bow blouse” was a nice touch, if it were indeed worn as a tribute to Maggie’s own personal style. But yet again she got it wrong, this time with her nude shoes. Black shoes would have a looked better with her outfit and were generally the order of the day.

Carol Thatcher looked entirely appropriate – except her handbag looked as if it were a business briefcase – far too large, and unfortunately, her substantial fascinator was clearly giving her some problems, as she had to keep readjusting it throughout the ceremony and at the steps of St Pauls.

Some of the other choices left something to be desired.

For a formal funeral, it’s a firm NO to the:

Small black feathery fascinator – perched on the head.

Dual toned hats – particularly black and white where the white detail is more prevalent than black.

A hat with flamboyant feathers – while Catherine Jenkins looked beautifully groomed her hat was far too jaunty and her companion’s red floral decoration was not appropriate either.

Neither was the lady who’s outfit was entirely appropriate but spoiled with bright red accessories, red gloves etc.

As for the lady who chose to wear a floppy summer sunhat – without a crown. Yes it was black – but words fail! She would have been more appropriate without.

When it comes to funerals ask yourself “is it appropriate?” Jeremy Clarkson’s companion (his daughter?) had a large brown saddlebag style handbag with her black outfit – no hat and hair that looked like it hadn’t been washed in a few days. She was filmed checking her texts/email after the service while still in St Pauls – I only hope she had the mobile switched off/on silent during the service. But that’s another issue…

For pictures click here

There is a more information about appropriate attire at this web site.