The choice of what clothes a loved one will be dressed in for their funeral is an important aspect of the grieving process. Many people choose to dress their deceased loved ones in clothes they would have worn during a regular day or night, with age appropriateness and sensitivity being key considerations.
Some families will choose to use their loved ones’ own clothing, while others will purchase burial outfits from funeral homes or retail stores. The type of outfit chosen will depend on a variety of factors, including budget and personal preferences. Choosing the right clothing for a loved one’s funeral can help to capture their personality and provide comfort to those in mourning.
A traditional suit or formal shirt and trousers are popular choices for men. Women may also prefer to wear a simple dress or nightgown. For babies, some charities and companies create handmade baby funeral gowns.
If the deceased left specific instructions on what they wanted to be buried in, or if family members have an idea of what their loved one likes to wear, it can make deciding on a burial outfit easier. For example, if your elderly female loved one was fond of wearing nightgowns during her final days, a nightgown is a perfect choice for her burial attire. For young children, a casual t-shirt or sports jersey is an appropriate option, as long as it’s age-appropriate.
A robe is another suitable option for adults. This type of garment is typically softer and more comfortable than a dress or suit, and it can be easily adjusted. It also has the benefit of allowing for easy removal after the funeral service, making it ideal for those who want to keep their loved ones close following the funeral.
In the 17th century, women often used their wedding dresses for their funerals. This is likely due to the fact that pregnancy and childbirth were common causes of death, particularly in the 17th century. People have since moved away from such tradition, but many still like to keep the outfit they want their loved one to be buried in as intimate and symbolic as possible.
One of the first places to look when deciding on an outfit is your loved one’s closet. You may be surprised to find a gown, nightgown or other dress that will suit their style and personality perfectly. It’s also a good idea to include some sort of traditional cultural clothing if the deceased had a strong affiliation with a particular culture.
Some funeral directors offer a selection of burial garments in a range of fabrics, and they can be an excellent resource for helping to guide a family’s selection decisions. Some are designed with false shirt fronts and other embellishments that make them more resemble day wear or evening wear, while others are crafted from natural fibers that are better suited for green funerals in woodland burial grounds. Those in charge of arranging the funeral may also be able to recommend a seamstress who can produce an outfit that best reflects and honors your loved one’s personality and taste.