Many people think that funeral outfits are sombre and dull, but the truth is, there is a great deal of choice in what one can wear to a loved one’s memorial service. If the deceased left instructions on their final attire, then it’s easy to choose an outfit that reflects their wishes. Otherwise, it can be a difficult decision. Often, the deceased’s religious beliefs will help guide the choice of burial clothing.
A classic black dress is a popular choice, as it exudes elegance and solemnity. It also coordinates well with most caskets and coffins. Other popular choices include blouses or tunics paired with jeans or pants, and sweaters or dresses worn over a blouse or shroud.
For infants, there are also a variety of options to choose from, such as crocheted or knitted white dresses with little detail, or baby bereavement gowns. Several organizations make these gowns in sizes that range from two to eight pounds, as well as garments for the tiniest preemies weighing less than one pound.
There are also a number of artisan designers who create funeral outfits to suit various tastes, from floral and lace gowns to embroidered ones with false shirt fronts to resemble day or evening wear. Others are made of natural fibers, such as calico or bamboo, which can be a good choice for green or woodland burial sites.
While choosing the right clothes for a loved one’s burial is a personal and emotional task, it is also an opportunity to reflect on his or her life. Many people enjoy displaying an outfit that reflects their loved one’s personality, interests, or favorite things. For instance, an avid gardener may have a special floral apron to go with the flowers and plants he or she will be buried with.
If the deceased has a specific cultural background, incorporating traditional apparel into their burial outfit can be a lovely way to pay tribute. For example, a kilt or kurta can be a beautiful choice for someone who has a strong connection to his or her Scottish, Kurdish, or Iranian heritage.
If the person was an elderly woman who had a clear idea of what she wanted to be buried in, it can be a comfort for family members to have her outfit ready. Some women choose to be buried in pajamas and slippers, while others prefer a satin quilted nightgown or even a negligee. One woman who planned her own funeral was buried in a pink silk dress, along with matching hat and jewelry. The resulting look complemented the mahogany casket that held her body.