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What does one wear to one's spouse's funeral?
Married Life / 10:51 AM - Wednesday March 18, 2009

What does one wear to one's spouse's funeral?

My husband is dying. It's only a matter of days now and under the advice of friends, I've pre-planned the service. We won't be having a full funeral, but a memorial in one of the funeral home's reception rooms. The question is, what does one wear? I'm a short, fat, pear-shaped lady who looks ridiculous in a suit and like a walking bundle of laundry in a dress. My dear husband hated both anyway. I want to show respect for him. I love him very much. Any of my outfits that he liked would be utterly wrong.

So what would be right?

Update: March 26, 2009.
My beloved Ian left this earth on Friday, March 20. My thanks to all who suggested I preplan everything because I have been too devastated to make the decisions that were necessary. As horrible as it was before, knowing that his time was so short, it has been so many, many times worse since. No one prepares you for this kind of pain. I delegated much of the work to friends who had been asking what they could do to help. I even asked one to shop for me. It was all finished days before he passed away and I was able to sit with him, hold his hand, tell him how much I love him and, I hope, ease his leaving of this world. I am so glad I followed your advice. Now I am able to focus on dealing with the terrible grief and not have to think or plan or worry. It's all done.

Update: March 18, 2009.
Thanks to all who responded except one. My friends have surprised me with several pieces that could make a perfectly acceptable and respectful outfit that will be comfortable and appropriate. One less thing I have to think about.

- Asked by dannyjane, A Creative, Female, 66 or older, Who Cares?

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First of all I am so sorry that your husband is dying. Second, this is your husband and it is your business what you wear. I would wear what I felt most comfortable in and not worry about what anyone else said. Wear what he liked to see you in the best (if it can be worn in public!) and be as comfortable as possible. That day will be way too stressful and painful for you to try to dress to please anyone other than yourself. Nothing is utterly wrong. What you wear isn't up to society to dictate, it is up to you. My step mother wore boots and jeans to my daddy's funeral because that was what he liked her to wear. The only thing that would be utterly wrong would be for you to wear something both of you hated in order to please others. Please him and yourself. Again, you have my sympathy. I cannot imagine how horrible this must be to go through for both of you.

- Response by tootcat, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Retired

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I'm sorry. I'd go with his favorite dress on you. Nobody is going to be judging your fashion sense here. Wear it out of love for him.

- Response by llafsroh, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Science / Engineering

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wear what ever he would of liked to have seen you's about you and him,not what the others think sweetie.

- Response by honeywillow, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, Edmonton, Who Cares?

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How about a nice pair of black pants. Palazzo type.. loose fitting. And a nice top. That would be appropriate and yet dressy enough.
* I am very sorry to hear about your husband. My deepest sympathy and prayers with you and your husband. Take care.

- Response by almostsinful, A Married Girl, Female, 36-45

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Wear anything business-casual. You can never go wrong with black..

My condolences :(

- Response by jillopo, An Alternative Girl, Female, 29-35

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First I'm sorry for your loss ((HUGS))
I have to just say why would it be wrong for you to wear something he liked you in??
I wore my first husband's favorite thing too. It was a red dress. Not your traditional black.....

Long after the fact I thought about it probably was not appropriate and perhaps I should have worn black?? Ahk B/S That thought did not last long.
Was your husband happy to see you in jeans? Or a Hawaiian hula skirt??

- Response by seasons4, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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A basic black outfit is always appropriate for a wife to wear at her husband's funeral and for a few years afterward.

- Response by greenwind, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, Construction

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I'm very sorry for your dear husband's terminal illness. May God's love comfort you in this very trying time.

I would think that a memorial service would be less formal than a full funeral so you should have greater flexibility from traditional customs if that concerns you. This isn't a matter of 'right' or 'wrong.' If you're from a region of the country where those customs are strongly held, you may wish to find a happy medium between the customs and what you would prefer.

Best to you.

- Response by wheezerman, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Wear something he would have liked. If you don't have any favourites in black or other dark colours you can always wear an armband if you want to.

Don't feel bad about taking time away from his bedside to deal with other concerns neglecting your own needs isn't going to affect the outcome. Anyone who has been through a similar situation will recognise the need to refocus now and then.

- Response by justapuss, Female, 46-55, Athens, Self-Employed

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I'm sorry to hear about your husband, don't worry about what to wear. Just wear what you feel is comfortable for you and don't worry about what others think. Right now is a difficult time for you and wear something that you feel is comfortable and what he would want you to wear.

- Response by hulagirl55, A Sportif, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Wear what he wants you to wear...screw tradtion...make him would take a back seat to what my hubby wanted!

- Response by divatoonami, A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45, Administrative

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