What to Wear to a Summer Funeral: Easy Tips & Outfit Ideas

A summer funeral is hard enough; use these tips to help you find comfortable but appropriate looks for paying your respects.

Updated July 20, 2023
Family at funeral

Funerals are never easy, no matter what time of year. If you're paying your respects in hot or humid weather, though, you might be wondering wear to a funeral in the summer that will help you stay cool and comfortable and still looks appropriate.

Thankfully, there's enough sensible seasonal fashion out there that you'll be able to find outfits that will help you look your best without being overheated, so you can stay focused on the service and celebration of life.

Women's Summer Funeral Outfit Ideas

When you're faced with a summer funeral, don't dig through your boxes of winter clothes. Instead, gravitate towards these respectful, but cooling, funeral outfits.

Short Sleeve Knee-Length Dress

A sleeveless or short sleeve knee-length black dress is perfect for a summer funeral. While ideally you could opt for a dress that looks more formal than something you'd wear during the day, you can transform any work ensemble matching the description with a belt or other jewelry. Shoes and styling are up to you.

And while some might pressure you to into a collarbone neckline, don't feel like a v-cut is inappropriate. Think of this way - if you'd go clubbing in the dress, it's probably not the right choice.

short sleeve black dress

Sleeveless Blouse With Skort or Skirt

The 90s are calling and they're here to tell you skorts are your summer funeral friend. Pair a nice black skort with a flowy dark tank top that has a high neckline, like a boat neck, to keep it respectable. Cute, strappy sandals maintain an elevated but comfortable look. This works particularly well if you don't want to wear all black, and if you want to try to pair separates in your closet together into a good outfit.

sleeveless top and skirt

Sleeveless Maxi Dress

A good quality black maxi dress can be really comfortable on a hot day. There's nothing like feeling a cool breeze under the loose blanket that is a maxi dress. For a summer funeral, choose one with a high neckline, such as a halter neck, in a darker color like black, navy, or eggplant. Ballet flats and a dressy necklace take the outfit up a notch from your standard summer day look.

woman maxi dress

Sleeveless Jumpsuit

You might not think to wear pants in summer, but light, flowy ones can be comfortable in the heat. A jumpsuit cuts out the need to buy multiple pieces, which is especially handy if you have to travel out of town for the funeral.

Woman with long brown hair traveling

Men's Summer Funeral Outfit Ideas

Men's summer funeral options are less varied from other seasons than women's are. Your main focus should be on elevating your choices from a typical summer wardrobe into something more respectable.

Polo Shirt With Slacks

A nice golf shirt or polo in black, charcoal, or navy blue paired with black, navy, or gray slacks is a cool summer funeral look. This ensemble can work whether you're in your 20s or your 70s. While you're looking through the closet, don't forget to choose a dressier shoe style like a boat shoe.

Man wearing grey suit pants and polo shirt

Button-Up With Rolled Sleeves and Slacks

If you're a more traditional guy, you can wear the typical button-up shirt and slacks. To keep cool, roll the sleeves up to just below your elbow. If the funeral is more formal, you can tuck your shirt in, or leave it hanging out if it's more casual.

man in a black shirt and grey pants

Dress Shorts With Shirt and Tie

Men's dress shorts are an option, though they're probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The trick for men in wearing shorts to a funeral is to make sure they're longer, loose without being baggy, and are made of a luxury looking fabric (stay far away from polyester or spandex blends). Pairing the shorts with a button-up shirt and tie helps make the outfit look more business casual. And to maximize the cool-down factor, pick a formal shoe you can wear without socks.

man in shorts holding jacket on shoulder

Short Sleeve Button-Up With Slacks

Another classic option for men is to pair a short sleeve button-up shirt with slacks or dark khakis/jeans. Since short sleeve button-ups look more casual, make sure yours fits great and looks high quality. If you've got to attend a funeral in a pinch and need to pull something straight from your closet, this is the perfect outfit to choose.

young man wearing shirt

Gender-Neutral Summer Funeral Outfit Ideas

If you fall somewhere in-between or outside the gender spectrum, you're not exempt from needing a few cooling summer funeral outfits. Whether it's a femme or masc kind of day, these funeral outfits will always work well.

Tank Top and High Waters

It's hard to stay completely covered up in the summertime, so when in doubt, bearing a little shoulder is ok. Pair a dressier tank top with your favorite high waters and a sockless shoe you love to wear for a formal, but more cooling summer funeral outfit.

Man wearing a black tank top

Dark Overalls

Overalls are making a huge comeback, and you're not limited to just jean materials; you can pick from corduroy, leather, linen and more. Take your trusty pair of dark overalls, layering a sensible shirt underneath, and a sandal or heel, and you're ready to go.

Woman wearing dark overalls

Tips for Choosing Summer Funeral Attire

While proper funeral attire expectations don't change much from season to season, materials and cuts absolutely do. Summer funeral outfits are a whole different ballgame, and you should consider these tips when picking out your ensemble.

  • Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or chambray.
  • You can wear sunglasses, but try to choose an all-black pair.
  • If there's an outdoor portion, a dark-colored sun hat or umbrella is appropriate.
  • If you normally wear shapewear to formal events, pick an outfit that you'll feel comfortable in not wearing it. It's usually too hot in the summer to have a second skin on.

Things You Shouldn't Wear to a Summer Funeral

Sometimes, it's easier to figure out what you should wear by thinking about what you shouldn't. Narrow down your outfit choices by staying far away from these pieces:

  • Flip-flops
  • Plunging necklines
  • Mesh anything
  • Athletic wear
  • Bathing suits/coverups
  • Graphic tees

Pay Your Respects With Appropriate & Comfortable Summer Styles

The last thing you need to add to an already stressful and emotional event is wearing clothing that makes you hot and uncomfortable. In summer, it can be necessary to wear less clothing for funeral events and activities. To keep cool and respect funeral etiquette this summer, choose items that cover your chest, midriff, and thighs while leaving some skin, such as your arms or calves, exposed to catch those summer breezes.

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What to Wear to a Summer Funeral: Easy Tips & Outfit Ideas