Why Do People Wear Black To A Funeral?

Black is a common color for people to wear at a funeral because it symbolizes the mourning of a loved one and the somber occasion. Black also shows respect for the deceased and the wearing of other colors can be known as a “slap in the face”. The color black for funerals has been long accepted as proper funeral etiquette for thousands of years that we have become accustomed to it. It is extremely common all over the U.S. and Western nations to dress up in black.

Historians believe that the color black was even worn way back in the day at the Roman Empire. Ancient Romans would wear their togas in a dark black to show their respect for a loved one. They would mourn the deceased in what was known as a toga pulla, which was basically another name for their black toga. Ever since then, wearing black to funerals has become a ritual in most nations today. Take a look at more questions about proper colors for funerals.

FAQ About Proper Colors For A Funeral

Do I Have To Wear Black To A Funeral?

Black is definitely the safest bet, but you don’t have to do a solid black outfit. When thinking of what to wear at a funeral, consider other darker and solid colors as well. Dark gray, navy and dark blue are other acceptable options for a funeral. Women can wear a navy solid dress and men can do a navy suit or collared shirt with appropriate pants.

What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing To A Funeral?

It is best to avoid any bright colors or crazy patterns. Colors like blue, red, and yellow can come off as offensive. Red especially, signifies celebration in most cultures so it is definitely best to avoid wearing it to a funeral. Times are changing, but it is still important to look appropriate and modest when showing your respects. 


Planning a funeral is no fun for the families of loved ones. If you need assistance in planning funeral services near Boston, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us today and see how we can help you. 

© 2022 Hamel, Lydon Chapel and Cremation Services of Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility