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Do I need to wear black to a funeral?

(34 Posts)
smellymelly Sat 06-Aug-05 12:27:04

It may seem a weird question, but I am going to my bf's funeral and I feel quite strongly that she may prefer us to wear a bit of colour. (she was only 31).

I do appreciate black shows mourning etc.
But will her family be upset if I don't mark her death with black clothes? They know me well, but I think if I asked them they may think it is a bit shallow.

I have been only to elderly relatives' funerals, and I would only wear black then, so I think this might make a difference because of her age, maybe?

Please tell me what you think?

mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 12:33:56

purple used to be the official colour up til queen victoria I think!
I believe you should wear what you like. This is a sad time but maybe you should celebrate her life if possible rather than mourn her passing iykwim.
I would chat to her family too. People appreciate this when bereaved

Fio2 Sat 06-Aug-05 12:34:41

my sister was 21 when she died and we asked people not to wear black as she would have wanted it as a celebration of her life not a mourning of her death iykwim

think when it is someone young rules go out of the window

i would say do whatever you feel right. I am so sorry about your friend, 31 is no age

Fio2 Sat 06-Aug-05 12:35:59

I also dont think her family will mind eityher way, most people are not as stuffy as they used to be

elastamum Sat 06-Aug-05 12:38:12

Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.

When my Dad died lots of people came to his funeral, some in black but certainly a large number in other colours.

We were delighted they came and not all all bothered about how they were dressed.

Unless the family are very strongly traditional I dont think they would be offended.

mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 12:40:28

I was just going to say that!! the fact you are there is so comforting. The church was full to bursting at my Dads and I was so proud that so many people wanted to come and say goodbye! Wouldnt have cared if they were in clown suits!!!

Chandra Sat 06-Aug-05 12:42:15

I once went to a funeral with a very dark muted burgundy/terracota top and black trousers and suit, as the colours were not summery or pinks, or whatever, I thought it was OK, besides and most importantly, that person was my friend and I really thought that the dress was not important as what I really wanted was to say goodbye to him. Sadly, in the middle of the mass I over heard a couple of young woman saying "How dare she to wear red to a funneral???!!!" Obviously I was mortified and spent the rest of the funeral feeling very inadequate, and also angry that some people who barely knew my fiend had dare to criticise me.

Since then I wear white and black, or greys. Just to keep the stupid people quiet and allow myself to say good bye in peace.

mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 12:43:20

it was them that lacked respect!

franke Sat 06-Aug-05 12:57:00

Smellymelly - I think you're being very considerate and think it right that you sound out the family first, as it could be a sensitive issue. Did your friend perhaps have a brother or sister you could talk to about it who will exactly understand your intention and reasons for wearing brighter colours?

I'm so sorry about your friend and the manner of her death. Awful for you to have to deal with this.

Twiglett Sat 06-Aug-05 12:59:13

Personally I would say that the predominance of what you wear should be dark or sombre colours and that any colourful clothes, unless specifically requested in the funeral notice, would be out of place


Dior Sat 06-Aug-05 13:02:26

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mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 13:05:10

Is it not a mark of respect to be there?

Dior Sat 06-Aug-05 13:10:51

Message withdrawn

Dior Sat 06-Aug-05 13:11:11

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mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 13:14:33

I just feel that you should be able to wear what you like and say goodbye to your friend as you think is appropriate!
I am quite old too!!!;)

hunkermunker Sat 06-Aug-05 13:17:32

I went to a funeral recently where the lady had known she was going to die and had specifically requested that people not wear black to her funeral. She was in her seventies. People didn't go mad with colour, but they did wear darker shades of more cheerful colours.

If the family haven't specifically requested mourners don't wear black, I would ask them, but not just go ahead as they might be upset (or not them, but elderly relativs, maybe) - yes, the fact you are at the funeral shows respect, but some people are very funny about this kind of tradition.

I am so sorry you have lost your friend - I read your thread after she died and often think of you

babysteffee Sat 06-Aug-05 13:29:48

I've never been to a funeral as an adult and haven't a clue what I would wear tbh. I think I would wear black to older relatives and friends, or dark colours and for younger friends I would ask other friends or the relatives family what they were wearing.

I don't think the family will think you're being shallow, chances are someone else will want to wear something different and are thinking the same; and if they would prefer you to wear black, they will appreciate that you sought out their views and at least you'll know their wishes.

A friend of a friend died last year at age 17 and everyone who went to the funeral wore bright pink, but I think that's an extreme case.

hunkermunker Sat 06-Aug-05 13:32:41

Are they like the ones on the corner of my card, just silver? If so, Hobbycraft do them

Flossam Sat 06-Aug-05 13:33:13

My friend who died at 19 had a colourful funeral . Her coffin was decorated beautifully too by our friends. I don't think it would be an inconvinience to just drop them a quick line seeing if there are any dress requests. Sorry for your loss and I hope your day goes well.

lilibet Sat 06-Aug-05 13:35:35

I would wear darker colours, but as someone said, when it was my Dad's funeral, I was so thrilled (perhaps not the right word!) that people had come I can't remember what anyone wore.

I think that people of my mums age (78!) can get a bit offended and theink that it shows a lack of respect, and so for the older members of your friends family I would stick to dark colours.

Sorry for your loss

hunkermunker Sat 06-Aug-05 13:36:38

OMG, I'm SO sorry - I didn't mean to post that there! (Thanks, Flossam for the heads-up - pg brain indeed!)

lucy5 Sat 06-Aug-05 13:39:32

I unfortuneately have had to attend two funerals of young friends, both were 21. The first was a very formal affair and the second informal, his fave music playing etc but we were actually asked by the family not to wear black. Unless someone tells you I would stick with tradition as a mark of respect to the family.

mumtosomeone Sat 06-Aug-05 13:54:52

what were you thinking of wearing?

smellymelly Sat 06-Aug-05 13:58:58

Well, the problem I have is I have very little in black, smart or appropriate wear, as I have been a Mum for nearly 6 years, (ie not working) or anything that might do, is packed, as we are moving to France.

I think I may agree with having to keep it black unless the family ask us not to. It defintely sounds the best thing to do.

smellymelly Sat 06-Aug-05 14:02:57

Thankyou Hunkermunker, for your thoughts, and the others on here who have read my other thread.

I am very angry about it all at the moment. It is really hard to come to terms with it all.

I hope me worrying about what to wear doesn't sound shallow. I'm just wary of doing or saying the wrong thing to the people that matter.

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