What To Wear To A Visitation

If you’re new to the idea of visiting a deceased person in a funeral home, or just haven’t done it often enough to know what to wear, this article is for you. Visiting hours are usually held in the evening and can last from several hours to an overnight vigil.

Visitation clothing will differ slightly from what you might wear to a funeral. It is appropriate for both men and women, and if there is an afternoon visitation as well as an evening one, then wearing something light-colored may be best.

The most important thing you should know about what to wear to a visitation is that there are no rules.

Although there are no rules, it is common to dress up when attending a visitation. Always note the location of the visitation — a more formal setting calls for more formal attire. For example, if the visitation is held at a funeral home or church, you should dress up in nice business-casual or semi-formal attire.

Visitation Clothing Guidelines

When deciding what to wear to a funeral visitation, consider the following:

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for an informal gathering or 30 minutes before for a formal event. Late arrivals are disruptive and disrespectful regardless of what you’re wearing.
  • You’re not required to wear black or white; however, black and dark colors are commonly worn to convey mourning and respect for the deceased’s family members.
  • Similarly, women typically don’t wear bright reds and pinks since they can be seen as too suggestive during such somber occasions. Both men and women might choose grey instead of black during hot summer months since it’s more comfortable in warm weather without compromising formality and etiquette.

For example, if you live in a more conservative part of the country where suits and neckties are still common attire, this would be a good time to put one on.

The best way to think about this is to go through your closet and look for the nicest outfit you own. Don’t be afraid to dress it up a little bit more than normal. If you live in a more conservative part of the country where suits and neckties are still common attire, this would be a good time to put one on. If you work in an environment where dressing up is commonplace, then wear what you normally wear for work. If suits aren’t part of your regular wardrobe, then put on the nicest clothes that you have.

For women, it’s important to keep in mind that funerals are not generally considered appropriate venues for showing off your body or wearing skimpy clothing. There are some exceptions to this rule (such as if the deceased had been planning his/her own funeral with specific instructions), but err on the side of modesty when choosing what to wear. You can certainly wear brighter colors than black if they’re appropriate for the occasion, but don’t go overboard with loud prints or neon colors unless those were specifically asked for by family members or other close friends of the deceased person.

If you’re concerned about what to wear to the funeral, remember that the same guidelines apply.

The only major difference is the setting that these events will be held in: a funeral will most likely take place at a church or funeral home, while a visitation is more likely to happen in someone’s home. This should help you get an idea of what type of clothing would be appropriate. It may be worthwhile to err on the side of caution and wear something slightly more dressy than you think would be necessary for either occasion, as this will help ensure that you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

If you’re concerned about what to wear to the funeral, remember that the same guidelines apply. The only change is that perhaps your suit and tie can replace your blazer and sweater combination; just do your best not to clash with those around you.

For example, if you live in the Midwest or anywhere else with cold winters, a coat and tie even in summer months will ensure you’re more than appropriately dressed for a visitation.

Even if the visitation is held at a funeral home, it’s still a form of church and you should dress accordingly. Unless you have a very casual church, you don’t want to wear jeans or shorts. You also can’t go wrong with wearing a jacket, but this is not required if the weather doesn’t support that type of clothing.

What not to wear are flip flops and hats. While ladies may be able to get away with an open-toed shoe, it’s best to stick with traditional shoes like pumps or flats and avoid anything too flashy.

Men should steer clear of t-shirts, shorts and tank tops no matter what time of year the visitation is held.

In some regions of the south, guests at a funeral or visitation are expected to wear their Sunday best.

In some regions of the south, guests at a funeral or visitation are expected to wear their Sunday best. In this case it means wearing a suit and tie for men, and a nice dress or skirt, heels and stockings for women. In other areas of the country the dress code is more relaxed: business casual is appropriate in these instances.

Whether you choose to wear your Sunday best or business casual, the most important thing is to be respectful. Dress in clothing that is clean and appropriate. Think of it as dressing up for church—you wouldn’t want to show up in jeans or with an offensive graphic t-shirt on your torso!

If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear to your friend’s funeral, just think of it as dressing up for church.

The dilemma of what to wear to a funeral is a common one. While it’s not necessary to break out your Sunday best, you also don’t want to look like you’re going on a picnic.

A simple rule of thumb is that if the deceased was religious and you would normally dress up for church in their honor, it’s appropriate to do so at their funeral as well. If the deceased was not particularly religious and you can’t think of any other reason why they might have wanted people to be more formally-attired than they normally are, then feel free to wear something more casual.

To be safe, focus on cleanliness rather than worrying about every aspect of your appearance being absolutely perfect. If you’ve been living out of your car for the past week or are obviously hungover from an all-night drinking binge, then perhaps take some time beforehand to shower and brush your teeth—but otherwise, just make sure that there isn’t anything about what you’re wearing that’s visibly dirty or torn up and call it good.

Unless the visitation is in July or August (or unless the deceased had an unusual sense of fashion), black pants with a jacket and tie should be sufficient for men attending funerals; if this seems like too much trouble, then simply dressing as nicely as possible without breaking out a suit will get the job done. For women attending funerals, black skirts or dresses usually work better than pants; however, if wearing a skirt feels too uncomfortable due to weather or chafing issues (and this will depend heavily on how tightly-fitted your skirt is), then pants are acceptable as long as they still look nice enough for church (i.e., no holes).

You can always choose something nice looking but less dressy than a suit and tie.

You can choose to dress a little more casually, but still have an outfit that looks nice. A shirt and slacks will work for most men, while a skirt and blouse, sweater and slacks, or dressy pants and blouse will be appropriate options for women.

Examples of dressier outfits include:

  • A nice skirt or knee-length dress with a blouse for women
  • A long dress for women
  • Jacket and tie for men
  • Sports coat or blazer (No tie) – this is a good option if you want to wear something that looks nice without being too formal or wearing a suit.

For funerals held at churches or funeral homes that require business attire, it’s best to err on the side of caution with your outfit. You may want to consider wearing black shoes instead of brown ones; black shoes are considered more formal than brown ones in most situations._

Remember that there are no rules when it comes to what to wear to a funeral or visitation as long as your clothing is clean and appropriate for the occasion.

When deciding what to wear to a visitation, keep in mind that you can usually dress up or dress down. The choice is yours; just remember your clothing should be clean and appropriate for the occasion. Some people may choose to dress down for a visitation because it gives them an opportunity to grieve more openly and comfortably. Others find it helpful to dress up as a way of honoring their loved one while also giving themselves closure. Since there are no hard-and-fast rules about what is appropriate, go with your gut feeling and whatever makes you feel comfortable at this time.


There isn’t a single right way for everyone to dress for a visitation. The bottom line is that the most important thing you should know about what to wear to a visitation is that there are no rules. If you’re still unsure of what will be appropriate, ask the funeral director or family member organizing the event if they have any recommendations or suggestions. If you receive something specific, then consider following that advice. However, if you live in an area with cold winters and struggle with what to wear in summer months, don’t let fear prevent you from attending a visitation in casual attire. As long as you show respect and make an effort to appear presentable, your clothing choice shouldn’t matter much at all.

Leave a Comment