What to Wear at a Wake

Many people worry about appropriate clothing for a wake as death is a sensitive issue. While choosing your wake outfit, the most important thing is to show respect to the deceased and the family by dressing in a way that conveys sympathy and mourning. You also have to be aware of the culture, tradition, and religion of the decedent’s family.

Let’s have a look at some appropriate attire you can select to maintain the decorum of a wake event.

What is a Wake

what to wear to a wake

A wake is generally an informal gathering hosted by the family of the deceased and is held before the funeral. A wake involves family and close friends. It’s a time to share memories about the person who died to console the family and share grief in a relaxed environment. It can be organized anywhere – at home or a restaurant or a church hall.

What to Wear at a Wake

A wake outfit should be similar to a formal work outfit. Your clothing should reflect the calm and conservative environment. If there are no specific instructions from the family, it is best to stick to muted colors and modest styles. You can wear all black, but that is not mandatory. Keep your accessories and makeup minimal.

Appropriate Wake Dressing Ideas for Men

  • Black or dark suits are always appropriate
  • A long sleeve white or blue shirt with a collar
  • Neutral color dress pants
what to wear to a wake for men


  • A black, blue or grey tie with a subtle pattern
  • A dark belt and a tucked-in shirt
  • Consider a blazer
  • Polished black, brown, or grey loafers, oxfords, or dress shoes
men wake outfit ideas


  • Dark dress socks
  • A basic wristwatch
  • Avoid jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc


how to dress for a wake for men



Appropriate Wake Dressing Ideas for Women

  • Black dress or suit
  • A neutral color suit or dress in grey, brown, or navy is also acceptable
  • Skirt suit
wake outfit ideas for women


  • Choose subtle patterns such as lace or pinstripes
  • Cover your shoulders
  • Dress or skirt should be knee-length
  • Light color pumps with a medium heel or flats


what to wear to a wake woman


  • A classy handbag in a neutral color
  • A simple pearl necklace or diamond stud earrings always look sophisticated
  • Natural makeup to complete your look
wake dressing tips for women



Seasonal Wake Outfit Ideas

What to Wear at a Wake in Summer

Choose smooth and light fabric like cotton or linen for both men and women in summer. For men, choose lightweight khaki slacks paired with a collared button-up or polo shirt. Wear dress shoes or loafers in dark colors.

For women, a dress should be knee-length. You can wear a sleeveless top with a silk or satin shawl or cape as a cover-up. Chiffon tops with formal pants are also acceptable. Avoid anything too revealing.

what to wear to a wake in summer



What to Wear at a Wake in Winter

For Men, wear a nice wool coat and accessorize with gloves, scarf, and hat in winter. Waterproof boots are a good option if the event is organized at an outdoor venue; you should wear normal footwear for an indoor service.

For Women, choose a black or neutral color trench or wool coat and winter boots. You can accessorize with a beautiful scarf.


what to wear to a wake in winter



To summarize, wear clothes that reflect respect for the deceased.  A wake is a time to remember the one we have lost, not bring attention to ourselves. So the ultimate rule of dressing for this occasion is to remain modest. Hope this guide helps you solve your struggle with what could be an appropriate wake outfit.




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