How to Dress Your Deceased Loved One for a Viewing


Posted on February 14, 2019 by

If you’re holding an open casket funeral or viewing for your deceased loved one, you’ll want to consider what outfit would best suit them for their final event. Choosing the right outfit for your loved one’s funeral doesn’t have to be a daunting task, even if they haven’t made their clothing preferences clear before death. To help ease the process, there are a few simple guidelines that you should follow when choosing a final outfit.

Consider the Deceased’s Wishes

If your loved one left any documentation or statement of funeral wishes, check to see if it mentions any final outfit choices. If it does, simply dress your loved one in accordance with what they specified. But if they did not leave any specific clothing instructions, it’s up to you to make the choice and decide what they would have wanted.

It is likely that you or someone close to the deceased will have an idea of what the decedent loved to wear. So try to choose an outfit that reflects who the deceased was in life. Do your best to match the personality and character of the deceased.

For example, if your loved one was a modest person, avoid dressing them in flashy or bright clothing. Try to choose a favorite pattern or outfit–and avoid any experimental choices. Consider their personal style and, if possible, choose an outfit from their closet.

Religious Requirements

Different religions have different rules, so be sure to consider religious requirements regarding what to bury your deceased loved one in. For example, religions such as Islam, Judaism, or Hinduism require specific cultural dress and hairstyles.

Check with the deceased’s church or religious leaders to determine if there are any specific requirements that your loved one’s final outfit needs to meet.

Bring Special Items

When choosing your loved one’s funeral outfit, you should also consider what personal possessions or jewelry they may have wanted buried with them. Wedding and engagement rings along with other sentimental pieces of jewelry can be included in their final outfit and removed prior to burial or cremation.

You can also include items such as photographs, books, and other sentimental items. Make sure to provide these items to the funeral director prior to the burial date and tell them if they should be removed and given back to the family before the final disposition takes place.

Use Your Best Judgement

You might not find any information on what the deceased wanted to wear or have any religious guidelines to follow. In these cases, follow your gut. If they never wore suits and ties or dresses, pick out an outfit that best represents who they were in their everyday life.

For more comprehensive resources on planning your loved one’s funeral, be sure to check out Funerals360’s free funeral planning resources and funeral vendor search tool.

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