Guidance for mourning clothes is among the cremation services offered in Cleveland, OH. Although many fashion traditions associated with death have been made more casual, many people still believe there – and they dress in accordance with this belief – are appropriate ways to dress to honor the dead.
Whether you’re having a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation, funeral fashion history will be an integral part of that. In the Western world, black has symbolized bereaved for the last 500 years. It is customary to wear black at funeral or memorial services and then perhaps wear more of it for several months after the death of a loved one.
Although the custom of wearing black as a symbol of grief began with royalty and aristocracy in Europe, eventually it was adopted as the standard color for bereavement.
Wearing black clothing has many times been a social statement. Beatniks, for example, wore black clothes during the 1950’s to distinguish themselves from the rest of the population. In medieval times, wealthy Spanish gentleman wore black velvet as a symbol of status. And the late Johnny Cash took on the moniker of The Man in Black, saying that he wore black to highlight political and social problems, poverty, and tribulation in life.
During medieval times, there were very strict rules for royalty and the aristocracy concerning fashion. This extended to what people wore after a loved one died. Not only did everyone in the funeral wear black, but the immediate family wore black for a society-specified bereavement period. Women who were widowed wore black (and then shades of gray as time passed) much longer than men who were widowed.
In the 1800’s, as the middle class arose, black clothing became standard for all European and American funerals. However, during the reign of British Queen Victoria, very elaborate types of black clothing were made specifically for funerals and worn throughout an extended period of bereavement.
As the Lost Generation raged through the 1920s, much of the very specific type of funeral clothing that had predominated funerals for the past several centuries was replaced by simple black clothing: black suits, hats, and ties for me and modest black dresses for women.
Because black clothing worn by a family who has lost a loved one is a symbol of bereavement, it engenders respect, gentleness, compassion, and kindness. And mourners who wear black clothing to a funeral service or memorial service are also showing honor and respect for both the bereaved family and the person who has died.
Black clothing should be simple and unadorned, since the focus is on the family that’s grieving and not on the mourners.
For men, a dress shirt, black pants, a black jacket, and black dress shoes is appropriate to wear to a funeral service or memorial service. Avoid dress shirts that require cufflinks, as jewelry tends to take attention away from the family. Women can wear a simple black pantsuit or black dress with low-heeled shoes. If the dress is short-sleeved or sleeveless, a shawl or jacket should be worn with it. Small earrings and a watch are okay to wear, but other more noticeable jewelry should not be worn.
Guidance for mourning is among the cremation services offered in Cleveland, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2155 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.