Appropriate Attire for a "Celebration of Life"

Roger

Super Member
1,451
Canada
British Columbia
Vancouver
When attending a "celebration of life" of a deceased person (i.e., a celebration of their life), is funeral attire appropriate or would something more...um...lively be better? Often these services occur much further from the actual death than would a standard funeral service (like a month later, for example).
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,400
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
I would think that while it should be tastefully conservative, one's attire at a "celebration of life" gathering should reflect the stated purpose of the event and the person being so honored. I would go with the more lively option.
 

qasimkhan

Senior Member
854
I think the nature of the event and not its actual title should determine what you wear. If it's really just a funeral or a memorial with a different name, then funeral attire would be appropriate. If it's going to be less formal, then dress accordingly.
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
5,955
United States
California
Long Beach
I have unfortunately been to a number of events of this sort in recent years. In such cases, I think it is best to get a clarification from the host/organizer if possible. At one, I was a bit more cheerfully dressed than for a funeral but not by much--lighter gray suit, more colorful tie--and felt I was right in line. At another, I was I was in appropriate funeral attire and again felt I was quite correct. At the third--an outdoor event--I wore a tweed sport coat, a tie and was altogether more casually dressed. Nonetheless I was rather overdressed compared to almost all the other attendees. Some asked if I had come directly from church services.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
3,966
United States
North Dakota
Grand Forks
This is intended to be a celebration. As the others have indicated, wear something fairly formal and yet fairly festive: suit or coat-and-pants combination in darker to medium colors; a light colored shirt (not necessarily white); and a festive (but not impudent) tie. If this were a celebration of my life, I'd want people to be happy. Naturally that's sometimes a tall order, but we do the best we can.
 

Roger

Super Member
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Canada
British Columbia
Vancouver
Great suggestions, guys. I should have noted at the outset that my concern is with "celebration of life" services that take the place of funerals, not something held later after an earlier funeral. I don't know though whether it makes any difference.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
3,966
United States
North Dakota
Grand Forks
Great suggestions, guys. I should have noted at the outset that my concern is with "celebration of life" services that take the place of funerals, not something held later after an earlier funeral. I don't know though whether it makes any difference.
Hmmmm...I thought this was more like a wake. Still, it is called a celebration of life, so I'm standing by my original suggestions.
 

Roger

Super Member
1,451
Canada
British Columbia
Vancouver
Hmmmm...I thought this was more like a wake. Still, it is called a celebration of life, so I'm standing by my original suggestions.
Perhaps like a wake weeks after the fact. So, how about: navy suit, black plain-toe shoes, white shirt, white pocket square, medium-blue foulard tie? As I'm sure you've surmised, I've got one of these to attend in three weeks--four weeks after the death.
 

jekv12

Starting Member
13
I tend to wear a tie with some sort of neat or discreet floral pattern, hinting at (the recent) burial and the natural cycle of life, hope, optimism.