Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Not to Wear to a Funeral

Putting together an ensemble for a funeral is nerve racking. You want to be appropriate and respectful, yet presentable.

Unfortunately, I am attending a funeral this week for a dear old family friend. Thankfully, I have not been in this dilemma too often. I have experienced my share of loss, but luckily instances have been few and far between. I'm not sure if this means I'm blessed to be surrounded by healthy people or I don't have any friends so I can't lose to death what I don't have.

So here's my dilemma... I am fair skinned and blonde. This presents a problem for me in picking out funeral wear. Black and gray are not flattering on me. I know most people, even blondes, swear by a LBD (little black dress) but black has always just been harsh on me. Now I know a funeral is not all about me, I do have some manners, but I prefer not looking like an Addams' family member while paying my respects.

Also, what shoes do you wear? I can't wear heels without falling, but I have an assload of wedges and espadrilles. Are they appropriate? Should you wear open toed shoes? Do I have time for a pedi? These seem like petty questions at a time such as this.

I don't want to look like I'm going to a business meeting either, but I do have a black suit jacket. And wool slacks. But it's summer in Texas so I would be sweating like whore in church for reasons other than the usual ones.

Buying something new just seems like a waste. Or perhaps it's tempting fate to have a 'funeral outfit' as if I'm asking for more people to die just so I can wear my special outfit. On the other hand, I have an old black dress with red and fuchsia rosette flowers that I could wear. It is very matronly. There go my chances of getting laid. Wait, I said funeral, not wedding. Also, I'm married. Dammit.

Interestingly, figuring out what to wear is not my only dilemma. Apparently, I have all sorts of issues.

Not to make light of a somber event, I do have a hard time expressing myself seriously in emotionally charged situations. I have a tendency to make bad jokes or say inappropriate things. I don't like people to be upset or be sad or cry- it's against my nature. Unless they're my children and I'm yelling at them or threatening spankings. I guess I use humor to deflect from dealing with difficult emotions or uncomfortable situations.

Case in point: The last funeral I went to was for another family friend I had not seen in many years. When I saw the decedent's husband, I hugged him, smiled and said "Hi. It's been a long time. So, how have you been?" Epic Fail.

With that in mind, I am nervous about going to the service later this week. My mother has already asked me to be prepared to offer to bring food over for the family if they need it. When she told me this I responded with, "Oh, like bring food to the house if they have an after party?" Oy vey. 

The white glasses makes this ensemble tres chic and funeral appropos.


  1. That's very challenging experience for you, thanks for sharing your story.

  2. I really appreciate the way your mind works. Found this page because I own zero traditional high heeled shoes and two pairs of espadrilles (black...and white) and a lot of colorful sneakers, boots, and snazzy flats. The search continues for etiquette rules on funeral attire... -Lavender N.