...still family-owned.

What to wear to a funeral?

According to Brett Gow, ‘Almost anything you want, as long as it is respectful’.


Brett is a 3rd generation funeral director and Managing Director of Alex Gow Funerals, Brisbane’s oldest and most respected funeral home.


“A lot has changed. 40 years ago, most funerals were held in churches officiated by clergy, and it was a very formal affair. Suits for gentlemen and black frocks for ladies, were the standard. Even children wore button-up shirts, ties and trousers or Sunday-best dresses. It was a different era and a different generation of attendees.


Today, it is not as formal. The respect hasn’t changed, but with 75% of funerals moving out of the churches into local chapels, crematoriums and even outdoor settings, people seem to be dressing more casually to match the venue that has been chosen”, Brett said.


As a guide, if it is an indoor service, dress up a little. For gents, if you have a suit, wear it, otherwise, dress shirt and trousers is fine. Ladies should consider a nice dress or pants & a nice shirt will look smart. Business attire is always a good choice.


Try to avoid things like torn jeans, boardshorts, sportswear, tee shirts and men’s open footwear. If it is an outdoor garden service or something more personal like a beach or park funeral experience, smart casual to suit the weather conditions is usually acceptable. 


We also encourage attendees to discuss the dress code with the persons arranging the service. We have seen funerals where everyone has been asked to wear a floral shirt as that is what the deceased loved. We have also seen services where everyone wore pink to farewell a breast cancer victim. It can be very moving if you want to personalize things.


It is obviously an individual choice, but the aim should always be to dress respectfully and concentrate your attendance on creating a wonderful farewell and supporting the family of the deceased.


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