Today I will take the plunge and talk about something we rarely talk about (by choice). Funerals are difficult for family members. After the Pretty Little Liars season premiere, I have been battling in my head whether it is appropriate to write about this. But then I thought, “When we are in doubt, we Google it…” so we do expect to find something related to the subject.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, funeral attire must show that you are grieving. In a country like Malta, some are still very traditional. Sometimes family members choose to wear just black for a long time. This is a ‘tradition’ but it is also a sign of respect and sorrow. Unfortunately I attended my fair share of funerals. Not that this is the most important thing but I do notice that while people are there to pay their respects and say final goodbyes, they are not always dressed appropriately for church and for a funeral.
I cannot stress this enough, the clothes you wear are not the most important thing, but wearing the right clothes for the situation is always important. Choosing your funeral attire should be simple; it shouldn’t be something you have to think about (not too much, at least). The focus is not you – you do not need to shine. Here are some pointers for those who are still unsure on what to wear…
A minimum cap sleeve is expected. If you are going sleeveless, a shawl or a bolero is expected. No off the shoulder pieces unless you are then, covering up – I would actually avoid them completely.
In Malta we tend to go for Black. Unless the family states that the deceased would have wanted people to dress as usual, i.e. colourful, it is always safe to assume that Black and White (and Grey) is what you should be going for. A white-shirt and a pencil skirt will always do the trick.
Cut & Fit
Nothing too sexy. You are going to a funeral, not to pick up guys at a bar. Office wear is usually smart enough unless you feel like slipping into a Little Black Dress – A midi dress would be a tad more appropriate than a little one. In MY opinion: no dip-hem skirts or crop tops. No cut out tops and dresses either. A tasteful peplum might be ok. Your clothes should fit you well – a dress that is too short is not appropriate. Go for something smart, I am not sure about baggy trousers… You have to be your own judge, but don’t go to a funeral wearing leggings (AS PANTS…), or even worse, wet-look leggings.
Don’t go for anything fussy. I think plain is always better, especially for a funeral. If you’re wearing patterns, make sure it does not draw too much attention. I think certain lace tops, young people were wearing to one of the funerals were tacky. This is not the place to wear your Saturday night sexy stretchy body. I understand that they are young, and possibly own a neon coloured wardrobe, but a white shirt is more appropriate than ‘ħamalli’ lace.
Flats are ok, but I would prefer kitten heels (No, I don’t think they are hideous…) or a mid-heel. You want to look smart but not too sexy, so stilettos might be pushing it if you are not able to walk in them. Wedges are ok if they are not massive. I would go for black shoes if possible, something elegant, something you can walk in – again, be your own judge (this post is just a few tips!).
Keep it simple. Foundation and a nude lipstick. Maybe add a little bit of blusher not to look completely washed out. If you think you’re going to cry (just being realistic here…), don’t overdo it with eye make up. Otherwise stick to waterproof. I went for just a little bit of mascara and a soft coloured eyeliner on the bottom lash line. In my opinion, this is not the place for false lashes. You do not want to look overdone. You do not want to look like you were more into your looks than to mourn. Don’t go all dolled up, it doesn’t reflect positively on you if you look like you spent an hour doing your make up. Go for a natural or a ‘no make-up’ bare look.
Finally, if you are going for sunglasses, don’t go for anything massive, fancy or with lots of embellishments. Something simple that fulfills its purpose and that’s it.
Men always have it easier. Just wear your suit, a grey or black one; navy blue can be ok too. A clean white shirt and a black tie. If you do not have a black tie, go for some other subtle colour. Nothing too fancy, you can keep your pink tie for some other occasion. Do not put too much gel in your hair either, it’s not that good for you anwyay.
Image source for all of the above: ASOS.com
Onto one last example:
I don’t know if you watch Pretty Little Liars, but in the first episode this season, aired last week, all the “liars” attended a funeral. This is what they wore:
Hanna: While I do like her dress, this was too sexy for a funeral. As soon as I saw it, I could not stop thinking about how inappropriate it was. Don’t get me wrong, I love it… just not for a funeral.
Emily: While introducing a little bit of colour, this dress was a very good choice for Emily. Points for Emily!
Spencer: As usual, Spencer is perfect. Her outfit was smart and there wasn’t too much skin showing. Great choice indeed.
Aria: I felt that her outfit was a bit too much. You do not need to keep your style at a funeral (it’s irrelevant!). Women usually wear the first smart black dress they find in their closets. Maybe the dress was ok (for her, given her style), even though it had a red belt/waistline, but I would have stopped there. The burgundy shoes were (pretty but) unnecessary.
Jenna: I think the lace was overdone here. Were those stockings? Really? (Don’t get me wrong, I DO like them, I just think a funeral is not the place for them.
Mona: She looked great. A very pretty dress, perfect cut, not too much cleavage – it worked out great for her build.
Finally, while I did put a lot of thought into this, you shouldn’t worry too much about it as long as you look smart and keep it simple. If you are attending a funeral, your main focus should be the family, not what you’ll be wearing. As long as it is something respectful and tasteful, the point of going is you being supportive. Be in the best attire possible, not for yourself or for a show, but to pay your respects.
I really hope I did not offend anyone with this post. I am only trying to be helpful here. The numbers show me that unfortunately many of you find this blog post because you just lost someone. My deepest sympathies go to all of you who have just lost a loved one. ❤