What To Wear At A Wake | Attire For Men & Women According To Seasons

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Smriti Razdan
Smriti Razdan
Smriti started her journey by attaining a degree in computer applications. She loves to indulge in reading undiscovered stories only to draw profound explanations about life and its existence. She welcomes you aboard on her expedition of finding herself. Smriti writes her content with a smile on her face hoping to transcend it to her readers.

We all know what are the best outfits for all the cheerful occasions, but do we know what to wear at a wake? Maybe not. It’s so confusing to decide what to wear at a wake, a full black dress, or something else. If you also have to attend a wake and cannot decide how to dress, then this article will surely help you out. 

When you are deciding what to wear at a wake, you have to consider your relationship with the deceased. Sometimes, families recommend you to wear something in particular at a wake. There are times when the family asks the mourners to wear sports clothing or a shirt that says something, depending upon the likings of the deceased. 

What to wear at a wake can be a little tricky. You want to be respectful to the family and show that you are with them in their grief. Dark-colored clothes are the right choice for such occasions. However, there are different attires that you can wear at a wake for summers and winters. 

Let’s not keep you waiting. Below are all the attires that men and women can wear at a wake in summers and winters. 

What To Wear At A Wake in Summers | Men & Women

Your attire depends upon the theme of the wake. If the family wants it to be like a normal wake, then you’d have to wear formals. However, there are many families who choose to differ on such formal themes. 

Needless to say that your clothing should be modest and classy. Check out all the choices that you can wear at a wake. 

What to Wear at a Wake | Men’s Attire for Summers

Men can choose from a number of options but if you don’t have all the items then you can opt for a basic shirt and formal trousers anytime. 

  1. Shirt and Suit Trousers with a Tie
What To Wear At A Wake in Summers
Source: Urns | Online

In summers, you don’t need to go overboard wearing heavy three-piece suits. A neutral shirt with dark-colored trousers will be enough. Don’t forget that you have to be comfortable at all times. Opt for a monochromatic tie. A navy blue or black colored tie would be perfect. 

  1. Dress Shoes
Dress Shoes; What To Wear At A Wake
Source: Rolling Stone

When it comes to shoes, opt for formal leather shoes, the ones that you wear to formal meetings. Make sure you polish them before going to a wake. 

  1. A Basic Wristwatch
Accessories to wear at a wake
Source: Gentleman’s Gazette

As it is a subtle occasion, you should look sophisticated. A basic watch will look just fine with any formal pants and a neutral t-shirt. 

What not to Wear 

  1. Shorts & T-Shirts
Shorts for men;
Source: Men’s Journal

Even if it is a summer wake, you cannot go in wearing shorts. It will not look appropriate at all. Refrain from wearing t-shirts as well. You are there to respect the deceased’s family and wearing any clothes that don’t suit the occasion will not do any good. 

  1. Graphic T-Shirts
Graphic shirts
Source: Made-in-China.com

Graphic T-shirts are also a big no. Nothing funky or casual will look good. So, instead of wearing graphic t-shirts or anything like that, opt for options that are more neutral and dark-color. 

  1. Vibrant Ties
Source: Turnbull & Asser

Since wake is usually a formal occasion, you cannot wear ties that are red, green, yellow in colors. Basically, nothing too bright or nothing that grabs people’s attention. You can choose basic navy blue ties. 

  1. Bright Colors

No one is supposed to wear bright colors at a wake. Many families want the occasion to be a little casual, in that case, you can wear pastel colors, but nothing too bright. They will inform you if there’s any dress code besides formal, otherwise, it is only business wear that is best suited for a wake. 

  1. Jeans
Source: www.mme.hu

You might want to wear comfortable jeans, but unfortunately, it is not appropriate to wear them at a wake. You have to look for pants or trousers. 

What to Wear to a Wake | Women’s Attire for Summers

It is said that women have innumerable choices to choose from on every occasion. However, a wake is limiting. You have to look for the darker clothes in your wardrobe and choose items that go with the somber atmosphere of a wake. 

  1. Blouse and Skirt
Women in Black
Source: Pinterest

A basic dress for women to wear at a wake is a knee-length skirt with a blouse. It will be the best option for you if you have to attend a wake in summer. A nice dark blue skirt with a neutral shirt will be great. 

You don’t have to go in all black if you don’t want to. Although, no one will have any objection if you wear black. After all, it is a wake. 

  1. Dark-colored Summer Dress
What To Wear At A Wake | Attires For  Women
Source: ahabatcr.org

If you are a woman, you have many choices in dresses. Just like you should wear a knee-length skirt at a wake, you can also wear a knee-length dress. Most probably a dark-colored one. You will be comfortable in the summer dress and it will suit perfectly on the occasion. 

  1. Suit Trousers with a Blouse and a Jacket

If you don’t want to wear a dress or skirt, you can go all formal. Choose normal trousers, a blouse, and a jacket to complete the look. Pair it with a nice pair of heels (nothing too flattering) and you are ready to attend a wake.

What Not To Wear At A Wake
Source: Korban Funeral Chapel
  1. Wear Subtle Patterns

If you don’t have any monochromatic clothes it’s alright. You can wear patterns and checks until and unless it is not filled with bright colors. You can wear pastels if you don’t have any neutral shades. 

What not to Wear

  1. Colorful Patterns
What Not To Wear At A Wake
Source: SieteNotas

Do not wear anything colorful at a wake. We dress according to occasions and it just doesn’t seem right to wear colorful patterns at a wake. 

  1. Avoid Sleeveless Dresses
Sleevless dress for women
Source: Lulus

Dresses with sleeveless arms and low cleavage are not considered a good option to wear at a wake. Since it is a traditional occasion, opt for conservative clothing options. 

  1. Flashy Accessories
Flashy Aceesories
Source: Beautygeeks

Flashy accessories like big shiny rings, golden watches, or a huge silver necklace won’t be a perfect choice to wear at a wake. You can wear minimalistic accessories like a small pendant in a bronze chain. 

What To Wear At A Wake in Winters | Men & Women

Winters have a different set of clothes. When we talk about what we should wear at a wake in winter, it can be totally different from the summer outfits. If you are to attend a wake in winter, make sure you carry an umbrella just in case there’s some rain or snowfall. 

What to wear at a Wake | Men’s Attire for Winters

The choices have always been limited for men, but there are still plenty of options for you. A wake is a particular occasion for formal attire (mostly), so you definitely cannot go there wearing your Bahama shorts. The points below will help you decide what you want to wear, something that compliments the occasion as well as is comfortable.

  1. Business Attire 

Traditionally, a black suit with a white shirt and a dark tie is the best option but if you don’t like it, then that’s alright. Any dark-colored suit will do, including dark blue, suits of grey shades. 

Men in suit
Source: From Squalor to Baller

You can also wear formal suits with lighter shades of black. All your clothes should be clean, well-ironed, and free of any wrinkles. 

All business clothes (suits/shirts) should fit you properly. It won’t look good if you wear oversized clothes to a wake. 

  1. Dark Colors
Men in Black Suit
Source: Next Luxury

As you might already know, dark colors are the only good choice for clothes to wear at a wake. You can stick with solid colors. When it comes to ties you can opt for darker shades of green and red as well. 

  1. Dress Shoes

Dress shoes are almost compulsory to wear at a wake, for everybody. If you don’t have black oxford shoes, then you can also try wearing cap toes, derby, and monk straps at a wake. 

Polish your shoes well before wearing them. Wear dark-colored socks and make sure the color of your shoes matches your belt. 

  1. Modest Accessories

Most of the time, accessories enhance the whole look of the outfit. Cufflinks, rings, and other small pieces of jewelry make your look modest and classic. 

If you wear glasses, make sure they have solid frames and have a conventional style in them. 

  1. Dark Colored Sweaters
Man wearing sweater
Source: opac.gdctral.ac

A suit is not the only option to wear at a wake in winter. You can wear a dark-colored sweater with neutral-colored pants and you’ll be ready to attend a wake. Any grey sweater or dark maroon sweater will also do. It is a great option if you don’t want to wear a suit at a wake.   

  1. Long Dress Coats
Man in Black Suit
Source: Shopee

You can wear a long coat above a suit, a sweater or even a shirt. They will fit perfectly with the vibe of a wake. Even if you are wearing something bright below, a long dark coat can compensate for the bright shirt/suit underneath. 

  1. Leather Gloves with Scarf
Gloves and scarfs
Source: Real Men Real Style

In typical winter weather, you can also wear Leather Gloves. Gloves and scarves will keep you warm even when it is cold outside. Although wake doesn’t involve any outdoor ritual, just in case there is, you’ll be all protected against the weather. 

What not to Wear 

  1. Hats

Wearing hats at a wake might make you go a little overboard, so try not to wear them. Also, if you are wearing formals, hats will not even go with your look so why deviate the attention from your clothing to your hat?

  1. Flashy Accessories

Diamond rings, high-tech watches, or gold chains might not do it this time. So, if you are into them, try to avoid wearing them at a wake.

  1. Flip Flops, Sandals, and Sneakers

As we already told you, a wake is a formal occasion, so any kind of informal shoes like sneakers, flip flops, and sandals will not be the best choices to wear at a  wake. 

What to Wear at a Wake | Women’s Attire for Winters

Winter outfits for women have as many options as there are in summers. The idea is to wear something dark or subtle that will match with the somber aura of a wake. Here are all the clothing options for women to wear at a wake in winter. Check all of them out-

  1. Business Jacket and Skirt
What Not To Wear At A Wake
Source: Death & Dying – LoveToKnow

Just like men, women can also opt for a business jacket and a skirt. Pair it with dress shoes and you’ll have a perfect outfit to wear at a wake. 

  1. Dress Slacks and a Blouse with a Jacket
What To Wear At A Wake
Source: talitaferraz.com.br

You can also try wearing a blouse with a jacket along with dress slacks. This is a good go-to option just in case you don’t have a dress to wear at a wake.  

  1. Dark Skirt with a Sweater Set

If there’s nothing you can find in your wardrobe, then just opt for a dark skirt with a sweater. You won’t grab the attention and it won’t be confusing for you to pair what with what. Just go for darker shades. 

  1. Minimal Accessories

Ladies, as it is an occasion occurring because of someone’s death, wearing flashy jewelry or accessories won’t look appropriate. A simple watch can be worn, but nothing that catches eyes.

What not to Wear

  1. Colorful Dresses

Don’t wear any colorful dresses as it is not any cheerful occasion you are attending. Your dressing should be dark. 

  1. Avoid Wearing Dresses with Low Cleavage

Any dresses or blouses that have low cleavage or expose skin too much are definitely inappropriate to wear at a wake. Try to dress in a more conservative style. 

Wrapping Up

Don’t show up at a wake being all glam. It won’t be appropriate to catch all the eyes because nobody wants to grab the attention while mourning for someone. So, style yourself accordingly. There are different clothes for summers and winters, make sure you have at least the minimal clothing requirements to wear at a wake. 

You can also share this article with someone who has been invited to a wake recently. 

Featured Image Credits: Jewelry Keepsakes


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