Why Do People Wear Black To A Funeral?

If you are wondering why people wear black at a funeral, you are in the right place. For as long as we can remember, we have been constantly told and used to wearing black at a funeral that it just becomes a habit. Black is standard for people to wear at a funeral because it symbolizes mourning and a somber occasion. The color black also shows respect for the deceased, and wearing other colors can be a “slap in the face,” according to some religions. The color black for funerals has been long accepted as proper funeral etiquette for thousands of years, and we have become accustomed to it. It is prevalent all over the U.S. and Western nations to dress up in black. See below for the history and more information on why people wear black to a funeral! 

The History of Wearing Black To A Funeral

Historians believe that the color black was even worn way back in the day of the Roman Empire. Ancient Romans would wear their togas in dark black to show their respect for a loved one. They would mourn the deceased in what was known as a toga pulla, a name for their black toga—ever since then, wearing black to funerals has become a ritual in most nations today. Take a look at some frequently asked questions about why people wear black to a funeral and what are respectful colors for funerals.

FAQ About Why People Wear Black To A Funeral And Other Appropriate Colors

Do I Have To Wear Black To A Funeral?

Black is the safest bet, but you don’t have to wear a solid black outfit. Consider other darker and solid colors when thinking of what to wear at a funeral. Dark gray, navy, and dark blue are other acceptable options for a funeral. Women can wear a solid navy dress, and men can do a navy suit or collared shirt with appropriate pants. Choosing the right color is always respectful towards the deceased and their family, but at the end of the day, your kindness and appreciation are most important for being there and showing your support.

What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing To A Funeral?

When deciding what to wear to a funeral, it is always important to think twice before putting on an outfit that may be considered inappropriate. It is best to avoid any bright colors or crazy patterns. Colors like blue, red, and yellow can come off as offensive. Red signifies celebration in most cultures, so it is best to avoid wearing it to a funeral. Darker and neutral colors are always the best for showing respect and not taking the attention of the family and their deceased loved one. Although times are changing, it is still important to look appropriate and modest when showing respect. 

What Does "No Black At A Funeral" Mean?

"No black at a funeral" means the loved one had made a special request before they passed. Either they or their families wanted to ensure that people wore happier and uplifting colors over traditional black and dark ones. Black is prohibited for this type of funeral as it is a way to honor and remember the deceased person through bright colors and memories. Wearing colored clothes and casual attire is a way to connect with the deceased person and feel like they are still with you on a regular day. It takes away from some of the mourning of the funeral day and brings an uplifting atmosphere. 


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