Can I Wear Jeans to a Funeral?

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Thursday, December 21, 2023

Clothing etiquette in the workplace has changed much over the last few decades, and as fashion changes, so does what is deemed acceptable. While jeans may not have been appropriate for many corporate workplaces, they can be commonplace today. When it comes to funerals today, not everyone wears fully formal attire. In the workplace or at a funeral, it is more about the type of jeans you choose to wear. Paired with a nice button-down shirt or blouse, the right pair of jeans could be acceptable funeral attire. Below, we will discuss what types of jeans might be appropriate to wear to a funeral. 

No Ripped Jeans

It should not come as a surprise that ripped jeans could be the first to go. Ripped jeans are generally very casual wear. 

Faded or Distressed Jeans

Changes in color from fading or distressing can look less professional or formal. Because of this, jeans with faded or distressed colors should be avoided.

Baggy vs Tight

While you don’t need to wear skinny jeans, baggier pants are less formal. Pants with a closer fit are best. Always wear pants that fit well at the waist, and use a belt if needed.

Avoid Embellishments and Designs

Pants with rhinestones, patches, and embroidery are a good idea to avoid. These tend to be more casual, or even ostentatious.

Best Jean Colors for a Funeral Setting

Your classic blue jeans may be a bit too informal for a funeral. Navy, indigo, or black jeans are much more appropriate. Some companies offer tan or brown jeans, which can often mimic slacks in appearance. These can also be appropriate, as long as they aren’t too bright. Generally, white jeans or other unconventional colors are probably best left at home. 

Dressing Up Your Outfit with Jeans

Making sure that you look appropriate for a funeral is important. If you are wearing jeans, consider putting more effort into your shirt and accessories. This can include several different options. Below, we will break down options for male-presenting, female-presenting, and unisex concepts. 

Unisex Dressing Up

A dress belt can go a long way in dressing up your jeans. Jewelry that is not flashy or showy can be a welcome addition. A blazer, suit jacket, or cardigan is a great add-on.

Male-Presenting Clothing Options

Button-down, long-sleeve shirts with collars are generally the best option for men. If you are not wearing a suit, shirt colors might include dark gray, black, or navy. Consider adding some appropriate cufflinks to the shirt. You may also want to add a tie to your outfit. If you do, go with a business-appropriate design in dark colors. Dress shoes or nice boots are the best footwear. If you have to wear athletic shoes, choose a dark-colored, newer pair that looks clean. Wear dark dress socks as well. Be sure to trim facial hair for a cleaner look.

Female-Presenting Clothing Options

A formal or dressy button-up blouse is a great place to start. Black high heels, dress shoes, or dressy boots are appropriate shoes for a funeral. Dark-colored hose or stockings can be a nice addition. For makeup, choose a clean, reserved look with muted tones. 

Funerals and Set Dress Codes

Today, most families do not set a specific dress code for their funerals, but some may choose to do so. They may communicate this with you ahead of time, such as putting it in a social media post along with the funeral details. If the family specifically asks for a formal dress, you may want to leave your jeans at home. If no dress code is mentioned, you can likely follow the above directions for picking the right pair of jeans. Dress codes may be more specific if the family is following their religious or cultural funerary practices. But at your average American funeral, the above directions can fit well into the semi-formal funeral-wear. 

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way. 

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