What Should I Wear to a Wake?

what to wear to a wake

People get confused about what to wear at a wake. Wake is a very sensitive ceremony hosted by a family who has lost a loved one. The wake is a more formal ceremony than a funeral.

But still, it is a sensitive ceremony, so you need to wear decent clothes. You need to choose decent garments from the closet to wear at a wake. The wake is hosted before the funeral ceremony so that the people who cannot attend the funeral can still give their condolences to the family. 

We have guidelines about what a person can wear at a wake to help you in such critical situations. You just need to adhere to these guidelines, and the problem will be solved.

Clothing for Women to Wear in a Wake

Women have to be very specific while visiting such ceremonies. The wake is a somber ceremony. Women must avoid clothes that reflect happiness and joy. A conservative approach must be followed when deciding your attire as a woman. You can wear black or even complete black. Other dark colors such as gray, navy blue, brown, and blush can also be worn at a Wake. 

Also, avoid wearing alluring pieces of jewelry at a Wake ceremony. Keep all your accessories very decent. Your shoes must also be decent so avoid high heels. Instead of it, try wearing flat or mid-high heels. 

What Women must not wear at a Wake?

Though a wake is a less formal ceremony than a funeral service, you still need to follow decency. Hence, women must avoid wearing the following things:

  • Bright jewelry or accessories.
  • Bright colors and loud prints.
  • Any dress with low cleavage and spandex. 

Perfect Wake Clothing for Men

There are a lot of expectations from men in such ceremonies. A man can wear a formal shirt with jeans, or a formal shirt and formal trousers. A man can also opt for tailored suits. Color criteria for men are the same as for women. Dark colors such as black, gray, and blue colors are highly recommended. The attire of a man must give a complete formal look.

Coming to accessories and shoes, a man can even wear a tie or avoid it. Both the options are valid. The shoe must be formal and polished. Men can also opt for shades and umbrellas if the wake occurs at an outdoor location. 

What must Men not wear at a Wake?

Considering the importance of a wake ceremony, men should avoid the following attires at a wake:

  • A sports cap or anything is written on it,
  • Vibrantly printed accessories, such as ties,
  • Graphics t-shirt.

These parts of attire reflect a joyful mood and look less formal. Avoid wearing these things at a wake can give you a more traditional look.  

Some Exceptional Cases

What to wear to a Wake? This is a question that is often asked by a person who is attending the wake for the first time. However, there are some exceptional cases as well. Awake is a casual ceremony organized for close family members. Therefore, the organizers may decide the theme of the Wake as well. It can be any theme or may be based on the likes of the deceased.

The destination of the Wake can also depend on the likes of the organizers. It can be organized in a restaurant, on a beach, or near a swimming pool. A theme-based wake is entirely an exceptional case. 


A Wake is organized for very close family members and friends only. It happens a day before the funeral service so that closely associated people with the deceased can see and pay tribute to the body of the dead. 

The answer to what to wear to a wake is given in this blog post. Before going to a Wake, adhere to these guidelines very strictly. It can help you dress appropriately as per the wake and avoid unfavorable situations.