Funeral Fashions: Can colored clothes be worn?

by EPI Staff on August 5, 2010

Q: At a funeral I recently attended, I was startled to see several women wearing brightly colored dresses. The styles of their outfits weren’t inappropriate, but I’ve always thought you were supposed to wear black or another somber color to funerals. Is color a new trend?

A: While you’ll never go wrong with black, my informal survey suggests that, these days, bright colors are considered appropriate if the clothing is in good taste (no Hawaiian shirts, please!). It really comes down to respect and personal choice. Some women I talked to said that, to them, a funeral service is a celebration of the deceased person’s life, and therefore they wouldn’t wear black. One woman told me that she donned a red dress for her best friend’s funeral because it was her pal’s favorite color. Ultimately, your decision should factor in the expectations of the bereaved family and the location of the event (is it a religious service or at a place of worship, or a eulogy at a funeral home or other venue?), and your own views about death. Still not sure what you should wear? When in doubt, dress conservatively and use color only as an accent.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Camille August 5, 2010 at 6:47 am

I have recently been to two funerals. Both of which I dressed conservatively in a black dress. My husband wore a dark suit. At both, we were the only people dressed that way….. ALL of the other people were dressed extremely casual. I actually didn’t care for the casual dress personally and I was shocked at first. Some of the people were even dressed in shorts and casual tops! They looked like they were going to go golfing or to a picnic! I will stick with my choice of dress as I feel it is most appropriate, but times are changing.

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Vanna Keiler August 6, 2010 at 8:34 am

I think the answer to this question was a good one, but agree with Camille more on sticking to the traditional dark colors. Unless you know the grieving family very well or don’t have dark colors in your wardrobe, in my opinion it subtly signifies solidarity and respect for the grief the family is facing. I believe it is simply put, a symbolic gesture to wear black at a funeral, to show you are there only for the deceased and their family members. Better to err on the side of caution than show up as the only one wearing bright, out-of-place attire.

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Suzanne Zazulak Pedro August 9, 2010 at 5:09 am

I have found that people have “celebration of life” events honoring the departed whereby emphasis is placed on the happier moments rather than the somber. The individuals’ favorite colors, flowers and any other symbol of their love of life is celebrated. Again, as in a more revered funeral, matters of good taste is to be adhered.

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vortexmagic September 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm

LESSONS FROM GOD : WEARING LIGHT COLOURED CLOTHES why, in Hospitals, funerals, parties, every day wear, marraiges etc BENEFITS OF Wearing white or light coloured clothes

Around us are many Around us are many dimensions
(In our Sacred Sukhmani Sahib Astpadi 10 Babaji talks of many dimensions In these dimensions are many elemental and spirit creatures). 10 ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਭੂਤ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਸੂਕਰ ਮ੍ਰਿਗਾਚ ॥ Ka▫ī kot bẖūṯ pareṯ sūkar marigācẖ. Many millions are the evil nature-spirits, ghosts, pigs and tigers. ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਾਤਾਲ ਕੇ ਵਾਸੀ ॥
Ka▫ī kot pāṯāl ke vāsī. Millions upon millions are the dwellers of the under-worLD

One reason for wearing white is the spirits do not like attaching to white AREAS! They prefer to attach to people wearing dark colours especially Black. In Tradition Tibetans and Indians always wear white at funerals.

This is because there are many astral entities floating about in funeral parlours, hospitals and they attach themselves to the family members who are wearing black clothes and become Over emotional. This allows tears in the aura and the Spirits jump in side these people

Its now a dangerous trend to wear Black all the time
It means one is enveloping themselves in a barrier which does not allow any goodness to come in.

Angels normally stay away from people who wear black The Crown Chakra (this is the Divine gateway in the Crown of the head for Divine energies to enter) becomes further blocked wearing permanently black hats or turbans.

Think about this, White reflects all that comes to it. White stands for purity (It is not by chance that Hospital staff wear white or that babies traditionally wear white)

which is why most Gurus wear white—- WHY imagine being in the presence of
many devotees who come to the Guru for help for salvation They bring their problems with them. If the Guru wore Black or dark colours he would absorb all their negativity, and become ill in no time. They also tend to wear Reddish colours as these enhance the Third eye- perception.

Black absorbs all that comes to it, this also acts as a sponge, Give me your problems I will absorb them (Black)! Wear Black in sunlight and you will roast as the Heat VIBRATIONS absorb easily. Hence Black is the most absurd colour for funerals & Hospitals :

It attracts all sorts of Dark moods and energies and influences just when you need extra protection and RETAINS all this.
Experiment wear black and white alternatively SIT with a depressed person and feel what happens to you.

In certain contrasts Black garments act as a Vacuum cleaner for Bad vibrations This also applies to your walls Dark colours absorb and retain Depressive energies. Many women wear black head to Toe this is very dangerous

I asked Babaji for more guidance on this in meditation, I was shown a example where a woman completely enclosed in Black clothes is pregnant- Her child in the womb has very little chance of absorbing Purity= The woman is enclosed head to toe in Black this covers the Baby and saturates it with Dark Vibrations. Is it surprising why most of them grow up aggressive ?

I was in a church and glanced up in the beams of the Church and was shown by Babaji an elemental Spirit waiting to pounce into someone which it did, the receptor never knew what had entered her. Because she had not practised meditation & her Qi energy was blocked & she was wearing the wrong clothing & was over emotional. Poor woman would now be under the influence of an intruder inside her. She would be prescribed anti depression drugs !

(This one reason Babaji says Practice Attachment and Detachment, Everyone is born and dies. And the soul is normally reborn again within the same family. Normally about 25 souls are reborn again and again in the same family to work out their Karma )

Our only attachment should be to God.
From a spiritual perspective what is the best colour of clothes to wear to a funeral? From a spiritual perspective, any sober colour other than black can be worn by relatives and well-wishers in the event of the death of a person. It is preferable to wear lighter colours such as white and pale blue as they are more sattvik/safe.

Wearing black attire is common in many societies and cultures, however from a spiritual perspective it is most likely to be detrimental to both the family and the person who has passed away.

Since the colour black is tamasik/dangerous in nature, it has maximum capacity to attract and transmit negative and distressing frequencies in the environment, i.e. to the extent of 70%. This means, out of all the possible negative vibrations (ghosts included) that there can be in the environment, the colour black can attract up to 70% of them.
Along with this, the surviving relatives who are mourning are generally in a depressed state, also adds to the raja-tama frequencies in the environment.

The combination of these two factors makes it conducive for ghosts to possess the mourner through the medium of his black clothing and weakened emotional state. As a result, the overall increase in raja-tama also affects the subtle body of the deceased, increases its distress and impedes its onward journey in the afterlife.

This is why its Important not to become emotional at funerals/ this opens our Aura to Spirit possession

On the other hand, wearing white coloured clothes for funeral repels the raja-tama frequencies and attracts sattvik frequencies. This makes it less conducive for ghosts to possess mourners and give the subtle body of the deceased any distress.

The continued wearing of black throughout the period of mourning only makes matters worse and also prolongs the state of depression. The negative vibrations of black continue to retard the progress of ancestors and aid the activity of ghosts.

The subtle bodies of the deceased ancestors, who cannot move forward in their journey in the subtle realm, stay in their family’s homes. They can cause problems for the surviving members of their family. The problems that they cause are a plea for spiritual assistance to help them move on in the afterlife.

And also when someone dies its best to ask God to allow their attachments to our physical world and all the relatives to be dissolved, otherwise the departed soul can remain in a state of BARDO and attach to one of the relatives who it loves. In Tibet, & certain parts of Indian we have enlightened Gurus/ Teachers who are able to take the soul to the right Dimension.

This the reason Babaji says practice attachment and Detachment so that when our time comes to leave this body we do not become attached to this world and become a Ghost.
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Kathy November 5, 2010 at 2:59 am

Several years ago, I read that the two occassions women must a dress or skirt are for weddings and funerals. I still believe this to be true.

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Sandy March 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

HELP – ASAP Please! A member of our Red Hat Society will be buried tomorrow AM. Would it be appropriate for us to go as a group in full Red Hat attire (purple dresses and a red hat)? My personal opinion is that we should do so to identify ourselves as representatives of a club she belonged to. Some feel we should not wear the red hats.

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Alicia March 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I think you need to think about two different things. 1. What would the departed have wanted? 2.Would this disturd or please or cause no reaction for those closest to the departed?
Ettiquette is about making others comfortable. It is particularly true in cases of greif where emotions are running high and people are already sadded and dealing with a lot emotionally. If you and your fellow red hat society ladies are 100% sure the descesed member would have gotten a kick out of it and her nearest and dearest will be pleased not offended then go for it. If you are anything less then 100% sure I would stick with the more conservative choice.

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Graceandhonor March 29, 2011 at 1:39 am

Unless all of your members agree, best not to wear the hats. However, if the family is for it, do. By the way, this is a good time for remaining members to make their final wishes known about this to your group and their families.

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Pam Hartman October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Go for it! Let the Red Hats rule the day!

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Rusty Shackleford March 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

I would say the red hats are not appropriate. Not to assume anything, but my understanding is that the Red Hat fashions can get a little crazy at times. Its important to remember that the Red Hats were just one aspect of your friend’s life. I am a firm believer in conservative attire w/neutral colors for funerals (black, gray, navy blue). Perhaps the Red Hat Ladies could wear a red lapel pin to show their membership.

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Sandy March 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Thank you all for your speedy reply and for the excellent points you brought up. I thought I’d let you know that we did, in fact, wear full Red Hat Society attire. There was a large contingent of Red Hatters and before we entered the church, I read my inquiry and your responses to the other RH-ers. Most of them knew Doris, the deceased, much better than I did, and they all thought that she would not want us to leave our hats in the car. (FYI: without consulting one another, each of us had opted to take our most conservative hat and to leave the gaudy costume jewelry at home.) It was apparent that we had made the right decision when the family told us how delighted they were — and Doris would have been — to see us all there in our RH finery. Before the service began, there was a slide show of pictures from the various phases of Doris’s life — including one of her and some friends all decked out in purple dresses and red hats. Further confirmation that we had made the right decision.

Once again, thank you for your responses.

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Julia October 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I have to say I am more conservative on this one. In my experience, grief is often overlooke in American society — we are uncomfortable with life’s more somber moments and try to overlook them in favor of smiles and bright colors. But seriousness can do so much to not only honor a person, but provide a space where the family and friends do not have to put on a happy face. I know “celebrations of life” are well-meant, but they should not replace serious behavior in the aftermath of such a painful event.

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Deb May 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Tomorrow I will be attending my Great Aunt Carm’s funeral – she had lived a very full 99 years and as her health declined these past couple of years…her passing is with joy, that she is on to heaven and free of any pain or suffering, to choose what to wear, I am going to wear something in the lighter shades, in good taste and what I’d wear if I was going to visit her. It just makes sense to me, to leave the “wear black” tradition aside in this situation, yet if this were a business associate or along those lines, definitely would move more towards traditional black/dark attire.

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Travis H April 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I looked up this article because I had a funeral to go to today.

I went, and I ended up wearing a blue shirt underneath my black jacket. Found out the colour didn’t really matter because many people wore coloured shirts. I seen some women with coloured dresses, but it wasn’t any bright colours.

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JS May 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Try finding a black outfit whose cut/design/material/etc. appropriately expresses the “celebration” feeling you want, and you can accessorize it with appropriate jewelry.

There is a reason human societies develop traditions following death: having a ritual helps many people with the grieving process. Black clothing is an important part of the traditional funeral in many western countries. Assuming that this is the type of funeral you’re going to please wear black or something appropriate like the Red Hat example.

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chasety May 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

Good Morning. I am 21 years old and in next Thursday, I will be attending my 47 year old father’s funeral. throughout my life he loved letting me express myself via color and style. Once I headed to college and didnt see him as much anymore, I’d always come home different than before and he loved my style changes. From my hair to my nail polish he loved it all. I am planning to wear a black dress, dark red shoes, and pearl earrings to the funeral because red and black we’re his favorite colors and he loved my pearls. My mom says me wearing red, in any form, is inappropriate. I disagree, but am I wrong?

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Elizabeth May 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Dark red shoes will not be noticed in the least. I have been to a few funerals recently, and I was surprised to see people wearing clothes of all kinds, not just black. Pearls are totally fine for a funeral, too, in fact I think they are quite perfect.

However, I will say, perhaps you should wear different shoes just to make your mom happy. She’s probably grieving a lot right now, and I’m sure you are too, and if you can make things easier for each other that would be best. You can know in your heart that she’s technically wrong and being a little irrational, but you can also decide just to let her win this one as a kindness to her.

I’m truly sorry for your loss.

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google July 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here
by searching for America Today

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