Last post I covered clothing and outfit ideas a person can apply during a significant time of grief. I also mentioned that I’d recently had the pleasure of sharing these tips to the audience of a friends book launch. (The book is largely written about her life and the loss of a loved one) I also covered two other related issues/questions that my friend thought were important and worth discussing on the day.
1. Traditionally, people wear a lot of black to funerals – is it wrong or disrespectful to wear bright colours instead, and around people who are grieving?
In Australia black is still the colour traditionally worn at funerals. Grey and navy are also acceptable neutrals that can be worn in this situation. They’re seen as conservative and less noticeable than colour making them perfect for looking low key at a funeral. The general rule of thumb is to dress as though you were going for a job interview.
Tasteful, conservative and respectful attire is the polite and appropriate way to go. Avoid loud colour – such as neon or obvious busy patterns and prints that may be distracting on the day. The pastel hues would be a suitable and safe option while appearing soft & gentle which would be totally fitting for this occasion.
With that said the family however, may encourage bright happy colours or even the favorite colour of the person who’s passed – in this case conservative clothing may not be necessary.
Women…should avoid wearing overly casual, evening style or too revealing attire. Cover up appropriately by wearing a skirt suit or pant suit – not jeans or mini skirts. Upper body garments need to be a button down shirt, long sleeve tee, knit jumper or cardigan. Good shoes are important too as this will give a finished look – pumps, wedges or closed toe flats are the best choices.
Men…should avoid wearing jeans, track pants, casual tee’s, runners and sports hats/caps. The appropriate men’s attire for a funeral include a suit with a collard long sleeve shirt, tie and belt. Footwear should also be classy with dress shoes or loafers.
2. If someone has either lost or gained a lot of weight because of grief or a difficult time, where do we start if we realise that we need new clothes?
For some people this would be the perfect and appropriate time to have a thorough ‘overhaul’ throughout their wardrobe. For significant weight loss or gain, a clothing update will also be even more necessary.
Once again it may mean purchasing just a few items at once from a favorite store. Having some idea of what you want in your wardrobe will make it easier before you shop. Moving on worn out, ill fitting and old clothes can actually be healing and even soothing during a time of grief. Take a list of what you want and even a supportive friend or personal stylist to assist. Buy what’s really your true heart, and only items that help to bring some joy when you put them on. Your favorite colours will be important here as they have a huge impact on our personality, mood, outlook and memories.