Dress for a Funeral

Updated on June 07, 2013
M.A. asks from San Francisco, CA
22 answers

My FIL has passed away. I am wondering how to dress my toddlers and baby (his grandchildren)? I don't have anything black. Should I go out and buy black?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

Just put them in something nice. It needn't be black, and it needn't be overly "dressy." They're kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Whereas the majority of adults at funerals I attend still wear black, the children do not. "Sunday Best" is appropriate for them.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Wear something somber and conservative.

Dress the kids nice.

Don't go out and buy anything. Wear what you have already. What I would call "Church dress".

My condolences to your husband on the loss of his dad. Good luck to you and yours.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just dress them in neutral tones--nothing too summery.

I am sorry for your loss.

ETA: I disagree that no one wears black to funerals anymore. I go to at least 1 funeral a year and it is still the vast majority of the attendees that are in black.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Absolutely not. They are children and anything nice should be just fine.

I personally would not put the girls in tutu's.. even though they are in style, but the equivalent of an Easter outfit would be perfect. DO keep in mind, they are young and will still need to be able to play before and after, so be prepared.. Extra clothing they can change into after the funeral. Take some activities if they are going to sit with you through the services.. maybe even some dry snacks. ..

Terribly sorry for your loss.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

First, I am sorry for your family's loss.

No, you do not need to put them in black. For young children, it's really not appropriate. I wouldn't dress them in neons or very bright colors, but when my grandmother passed away we had the kids in "church clothes". If possible, I would STRONGLY suggest a babysitter rather than taking the children, at least for parts of it.

We have (unfortunately) experienced a lot of death in our immediate family in the last four years. We do NOT take the children to the wake. It's a very emotional time and you cannot explain it to a young child, nor can you ask them to be quiet. We have taken the children to church/memorial services, but not to a cemetery... the sitter has taken them to the lunch/reception place and we meet them there.

Your husband will need your attention right now, so if there is someone available to watch the children, please consider it. You don't want to be chasing around small children when you should be sitting with your husband and making sure that the siblings and your MIL have what they need.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

They don't need to wear black. Just normal dress clothes, like they would wear to church.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just dress them nice. For my dad's my boys wore wrenglers and a plad buttom up shirt. They don't have to be in black. My youngest who was 3 almost 4 at the time was not even in the service someone came in and watched the little ones. He passed 7 years ago today.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No - soothing colors would be fine. Church-like or special dinner type clothes are fine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

I think the days of wearing only black or navy to funerals are over. Yes, some do still wear the traditional black/navy, but it is not a huge deal if someone isn't wearing dark tones. No one is going to be upset if your CHILDREN are wearing colors. They are children! Dress them in something they are comfortable in. It will be a long process for them. A lot of waiting...

Or you could see if a friend/family member with small children might have something you could borrow. I wouldn't go out and buy something unless you are in need of something nicer to wear - any summer weddings they will be attending as well? Do you go to church often? and have plans to have them wear it again.

I am sorry for your loss. I think helping your children (not to mention husband) through the death of someone so close has more important issues than what they are wearing. I wouldn't worry if you don't have any black...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Goodness no! No need to but black for a toddler and baby.
Put on their "nice" stuff. Clean & neat is fine.
Don't stress. It doesn't matter what the kids wear.
Sorry for your loss. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

No you don't need to be in all black. When my Father died last year we choose to honor him by asking the men to wear "Hawaiian" shirts and the women to wear something light/summer/spring - these were things that would have made him happy. For the younger Grandchildren, we had them in khaki shorts and fun tops.

Was thee any special outfit or look that Grandpa liked for the grandkids? If so dress them in that.

I have also been to funerals that the family all wore Green (it was the person's favorite color).

You really need to think about what your FIL would want and depending upon how the rest of the family is dress accordingly. But do NOT go and by something just for the funeral.

I am so sorry for your loss

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I have dressed my toddler in dark (kinda dressy) jeans and hiking boots with a sweater. It doesn't matter so much on the kids, especially the little ones. For myself, unless there is some other family theme, I might dress in the favorite color of the deceased, as a final tribute. Maybe you can do that for the children.

Hug to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm sorry for your loss, mom. I hope your husband is okay. You don't have to go buy anything. Just wear what you have as long as it's not "cheery" looking.

It's okay to wear casual "Sunday" clothes on the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

No one wears black anymore except the old Italians. Wear whatever you have. Although I would think about a sitter for a toddler and baby. Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

I would dress your children is wonderful, bright Spring colors. While many people wear black to signify mourning, it's not really required. You can wear any color you like. I would simply dress as if you're attending Church on a holiday... nicely but not formal... and maybe just a little more subdued.

I attended a funeral a couple of years ago where my husband's uncle requested that all of the adults wear bright rainbow colors because he wanted people to celebrate him and not be sad. He wanted children to smile and laugh and talk loudly during the funeral mass. He wanted happy songs like, "Joyful Joyful" played during the mass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No. They can wear brown, navy blue, forest green, etc....but I would never take them to the funeral for any reason. They do not have any need to be there. They can join the family for the family meal or family time.

Dress them like they are going to church but just not cheerful colors.



answers from Boston on

Sorry for your loss. No, no black required for children. Anything that's dressy is fine. My kids have been going to funerals since birth. For my boys, they've either worn navy, black or grey suits (because we have a lot of them for some reason) with a colored shirt and tie or something like khakis with a dress shirt and tie, with perhaps a vest or blazer if we have one. Our daugther has just worn a dark or neutral dress or skirt - black, navy, gray, off-white or even something colorful that she's worn for Easter or Christmas as long as it wasn't too partyish. For babies and toddlers, anything dressy will be appropriate. Don't worry about colors - if you celebrate Easter and dress them up, whatever you had for that holiday is probably fine.



answers from Philadelphia on

While black is tradional I think its just such a sad color. When my parents talked to me about their arrangements my mom made a point to inform me how things needed to go... she wanted to be hurried in her pj's and slippers with a trashy romance novel and NONE of us were to wear black! She died in the summertime so I passed the word around and most people wore light blue because it was her favorite color. We also did a celebration of life not a "funeral". When my husband died I put word out no black he was a red kinda guy and pretty much everyone listened except his parents which is understandable. So I say if you plan on them going let them be comfortable and cool its not their dress people will remember!


answers from Boston on

So sorry for this loss.

You don't have to put the kids in black - adults don't necessarily wear black anyway. I would put them in normal clothes, just nothing with really goofy sayings or any super-hero stuff. Don't worry about the color. Some people try to put their toddlers in jackets and ties, and the kids fuss and it's a waste of money. You should not be spending this time shopping when you have other things to deal with. If they have anything that says "Grandpa's special boy" or anything related to your FIL, I'd say that's okay since it honors their grandfather. Otherwise, any colors are okay.

Nobody expects children to observe the adult customs, and in fact, many people will find it a hopeful sign to see the next generation. However if you are going to be distracted trying to keep the kids quiet and not running around, I'd say it's okay to leave them at home. They will get nothing out of the funeral. If it's an open casket, I'd really think about not bringing them - too much to explain at an early age and sometimes it's even scary for little ones. If it's not scary, sometimes you worry about what they're going to say! You could also bring a babysitter who can take the kids to another room if necessary - it's better than a disruption and the kids being miserable.

Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Sorry you your loss. I think denim and white is appropriate. I dressed my son (who was one) in a white button down and dark jeans for my great aunt's funeral. It was because it was about the dressiest thing I had for him and we didn't have $ to buy something for him to wear once. I also noticed my niece was in a white shirt and a denim jumper and white hat for my husband's grandpa's funeral. I think it's too much to dress the kids in all black.



answers from Sacramento on

Dress them in something grandpa would have liked.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions