Getting ready for a funeral seems like a slam-dunk. Pull out your black dress or black skirt and top and slip out the door. Right? That’s what most people do. But why? Why is black so significant to North Americans when it comes to death?
Well, it started with Queen Victoria. She started wearing black as a sign of mourning and others followed. People typically wore dull black and then moved to other darker and then muted colors as the mourning time passed — typically 2 years. That’s a long time. Nowadays, with black signifying “sophisticated” and “sleek”, the other meanings attributed to black such as “darkness” and “death” don’t seem to hold as much weight — except for at funerals.
And yet, to me, it doesn’t seem to be the most appropriate color to wear to every single funeral. The person we are memorializing for the day could have been the most dynamic person we have ever met, full of life and energy. Why would we want to commemorate them in black? It is quite appropriate to wear a different darker color such as navy, charcoal or dark brown. Most Asian countries wear white to funerals since white signifies spirituality and peace. I like that.
Why can’t we remember our loved ones and honor them by wearing their favorite color? Or wearing a color that signifies to us what they meant? I mean, when I die, I don’t want people to wear black to my funeral. I want them to wear white. I want to see my loved ones and friends in full, head-to-toe white – beautiful and peaceful. Uplifting and spiritual. Or my favorite color green…full of life and vitality. No black please — well, you could certainly add some cute black accessories and shoes and I wouldn’t mind!
I don’t think wearing color to a funeral is bad. What do you think? What color would you want people to wear to your funeral?
And, in case you need to attend a funeral, here’s some black-alternative dress ideas:
- Brown ruched faux wrap dress, $98. Also comes in navy, black, and a variety of other colors!
- Reversible navy wrap dress, $195. This is such a versatile dress with a faux wrap on one side and a crew neck and ruching detail on the other (shown.)
- Elliott Lucca Snakeskin satchel, $178. Multi-snakeskin is a workhorse as a bag color.
- J Crew Black suede sandals, $198. J.Crew has an amazing assortment of stylish shoes and these have a low enough heel that make standing for hours bearable.
- House of Harlow round sunglasses, $125. Clearly, the bigger and darker the better.
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