What to Wear to Celebration of Life: The Ultimate Guide

This past week, one of my best friends lost their mother to cancer. It was a devastatingly long battle, as she managed to beat cancer twice but had to surrender gracefully this last time. In lieu of a traditional funeral, she had asked for a celebration of life exactly one week after her passing, and so I am about to head out the door to this celebration of life event hosted by my friend and her family. I will be honest: I have never gone to one of these before. I’m used to the traditional funeral attire in the West, and so I had to consult many people to try and figure what to wear to celebration of life, and I thought I’d share with you.

What to Wear to Celebration of Life?

what to wear to celebration of life

This may not be the first place you stopped to get advice, and that’s OK. Everyone has an opinion, but here’s what I’ve come up with consistently in my research on what to wear to celebration of life.

Bright Colors are Still Not Okay

The title of the event is a bit misleading, largely because you cannot dress like you’re going to be having a jovial celebration of any kind. Unless the hosts give you specific instructions, you need to avoid bright colors and patterns at all costs. yellow, pinks, and reds are all going to stay in your closet today.

Neutrals are Safe

I wanted to stay away from dress in all black, because while the event is still focused around honoring a loved one, it is slightly less mournful than an actual funeral or memorial service would be. My outfit today is black trousers and a grey sweater, and I think any combination of neutrals would work. Grey, beige, brown, black, and ivory would all work nicely if paired properly, though I would hesitate to wear only ivory or white in an outfit.

Dress for Church

You might not even be going to Church, you may have never stepped foot in one, but the point is: dress modestly. Don’t go in to a Celebration of Life baring your shoulders, back, or cleavage, and don’t wear anything that goes above the knee.

What is a celebration of life dress code?

Celebration of life what to wear is a legitimate question. The answer is pretty simple, would you wear certain clothes to a funeral? If the answer is no, then you wouldn’t wear those clothes to an event like this. Wearing something black to a celebration of life seems to be the easiest answer to this age old question.



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Hi, I'm Dale. Some of the things I like to do are box, lift weights, and spend time with my beautiful wife Crystal. I also enjoy watching shows on Netflix or playing video games with my son when I can find some free time.

2 comments on “What to Wear to Celebration of Life: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. I strongly disagree. Black for a funeral service, yes. But Black for a Celebration of Life is a definite NO. The point of a CELEBRATION of Life is to celebrate the life of the person who has passed on. The family does NOT want a gloomy funeral, hence the celebration of the person’s life. It’s about celebrating the person who has passed away. If they were happy, funny people, black is definitely OUT. Some people DO wear bright colors if the deceased had a lively bubbly personality. But if one wants to play it SAFE, wear something neutral like beige, tan, light grays, light blue grays, even light pink. That’s what I see anyway. I will be attending a celebration of life shortly and I plan to wear all beige.


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