Choosing Burial Gowns For a Loved One

When a loved one dies, many families want to dress them in an outfit they would typically wear if they were still alive. The clothing chosen can be based on the individual’s lifestyle, religious beliefs or personal style. Some of the options for attire include a suit, a shirt and tie or dresses, skirts and blouses. Others choose to dress their deceased family member in a military uniform or an outfit from a favorite sports team.

A funeral home can provide a simple burial gown that is designed to make it straightforward for the funeral director to dress the deceased person with dignity. These garments resemble smart night gowns or pyjamas and can be made for men and women in both traditional and unisex styles. Burial robes that feature religious motifs, such as crosses or the Sacred Heart for Catholic funerals are also available.

The clothing worn for a funeral should be comfortable and fitting, as the stiffening of the body after death, known as rigor mortis, can make it difficult to move and fit clothes on the body. A kilt or national dress may be appropriate for someone with a strong cultural heritage or who wishes to honor their culture at their funeral.

Many charities and companies specialize in making funeral clothes, including special outfits for infants, children and the elderly. Some of these are made from materials that are naturally biodegradable. This is important for green and natural funerals and burial grounds, where the garments need to be able to break down quickly in the ground or water.

For those who are buried in a casket, it’s common to place a few personal effects in the box with the body. These might include a book, a piece of jewelry or the deceased’s wedding ring. It’s a good idea to keep in mind, however, that if a loved one is to be cremated, these items will need to be removed, as the soft metal cannot be recovered after the cremation process.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the clothing you choose for a loved one may be needed for more than just their funeral service. Some people who have been in hospice care or hospitals for a prolonged period may need to be dressed in their own clothes for burial as well as for the visitation and service.

If you are unable to find an outfit that meets your needs, it is often possible for a family member to sew their own burial clothes. Those with sewing skills can purchase sewing patterns and kits for making a delicate funeral gown or bonnet for babies, or they can sew their own simple garment. A variety of fabric choices is available for this purpose, including silks, velvets and wool. For those who are not able to sew, there are companies that will make an outfit for a small fee. A quick online search will reveal the many options for this type of funeral apparel.