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It might seem petty to focus on people’s clothes while mourning the dead, but can we be honest about the fact that what people deem appropriate funeral attire these days has gotten just a tad out of hand?

I understand that overall societal dress has gotten increasingly casual. Few people ever have to wear a suit or tie to their office and at times it’s hard to differentiate someone going to a cookout from a summer wedding guest based on their attire (which is also a problem in my opinion). But there always seemed to be two occasions where putting on your Sunday’s best was non-negotiable: worship service and funerals. Now? Not so much, especially when it comes to the latter.

This topic has been on my mind for some time, but it recently came to the forefront again after seeing photos of individuals at Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s homegoing celebration this past Saturday. There were attendees in shorts, sneakers, and an array of apparel that looked more befitting of an errand run than the occasion of laying someone to rest. And that came across to me as, in a word, inappropriate. I’m well aware of the idea”come as you are” but the liberties people take with that concept have pushed the envelope a bit too far for my comfort. There’s nothing casual about coming together to pay homage to the dead and to display such an arbitrary attitude through your attire at such a ceremonious occasion seems not only disrespectful to those closest to the individual whose memory is being celebrated, but hardly lives up to idea of “paying one’s respects.” If you’ve ever bought an outfit for the club, your birthday, or the grand opening of a can of paint, you better not show up at anyone’s funeral looking like you just rolled out of bed and threw on the first clean pair of clothes on your floor. That’s just disrespectful.

Clutchettes, do you think it’s disrespectful to dress casually at a funeral or should people come as they are?

Image Credit: Getty Images

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  • Me personally, I will never wear sneakers and a T-shirt at a funeral. That is blatantly not right in my view. There is a time and place for everything. Going to a funeral is different than going to the post office to mail off bills. So, I do believe that people should wear dignified clothing to any funeral, religious service (if someone want to go into a religious place), or to various important events. We, as black people, have a long history of loving fashion spanning thousands of years. A funeral is not about us. It’s about the remembrance and the acknowledgement of the life of another human being. It is about showing human dignity to a person who passed away. Also, it is about showing respect fr a deceased person’s family and friends. Therefore, we should wear dignified, appropriate clothing in a funeral.

  • Rizzo

    i read somewhere the funeral was supposedly a ‘sweet 16’ theme. that made me think of a party.

    • Mary Burrell

      I saw that too. They wire pink sneakers and 50’s teen attire

    • Rizzo

      i was a little surprised by this. i know some people do not mourn, but rather celebrate. she was so young. she was just beginning her life.

  • Mary Burrell

    Leolah Brown was just a hot mess all the way around

  • PurpNGold1

    I saw a lot of this and worse at funerals for different family members over the years. Spray painted t-shirts with the deceased face were the worst, but many showed up in jeans, sneakers, casual stuff. There’s no excuse when you and your kids are all rocking new Jordans.

  • Kiki

    This one of my pet peeves. I live near a funeral home and I cannot tell you how many times I have walked pass and seen people looking like they are going to a club! Dressing for a funeral should not be that hard dark shirt, dark pants or skirt, boom you done.