What we wear to funerals

OK, we know that this is a bleak subject, but January is a bleak month, and more people shuffle off this mortal coil now than at any other time of the year. Jane tells the story of her English teacher who 'fessed up that the first thing she thought of when she heard her husband had passed away aged 47 was, what on earth am I going to wear to the funeral? Funeral dressing is one of those moments when other people's feeling are perhaps paramount. Much as Jane and Beryl would like to turn up, looking like Monica Belluci in Spectre, they usually manage to restrain themselves for the benefit of others. Jane and Beryl are sometimes disappointed in modern funeral dressing, which is often too casual for their taste and involves an anorak. You may think why does this matter? Beryl who has lost both parents found that that purchasing a dress, proved a helpful distraction, but also meant that she felt more in control on the day, when she had to stand up in front of everyone and deliver a eulogy. 

This is the aforementioned dress. Beryl has other black dresses, but she wanted a day dress that covered the tops of her arms and showed no cleavage, and black dresses are often designed for evening wear. This came from L.K.Bennett and cost £245, which is more than she usually spends, but this gave her extra confidence. This garments has proved useful and she has worn to work presentations. Beryl wore this with very high shoes, because Monica will out. 

Beryl's mother died in January, so a coat was needed for the church. She bought this long velvet one for £59, in the M & S sale. Her mother would have adored it, no doubt calling it a "costume", 
so it seemed fitting.

Jane wore this to a memorial service and wanted to offset a total black look with a bit of subdued colour, and this blush pink was a subtle choice she felt. The dress is from Laura Ashley many years ago but is her failsafe for funeral dressing. The cardi was from a local sale and cost £35, 
and the shoes are by Gina. 

Sometimes Jane doesn't want to wear black at all (quite frankly it doesn't really suit her, she selfishly thinks). Her Nutcracker jacket by Moschino, which was bought second-hand from Foxtrot in Marlborough for £45, is worn with a pair of Banana Republic trews for £42 and has been to several funerals. Wearing colour is often, in our experience, well received on these occasions

In fact, sometimes it is requested that people wear a colour. This is Beryl's answer to this edict: a Precis cerise jacket costing £179 and a M&S scarf to soften the look. This has the advantage of being able to be removed if you suddenly feel conspicuous and if everyone else turns up in black.

Jane and Beryl would not wear these hats to funeral - except their own. Beryl's Gina Davies was £3 from Save the Children and is very Mandy Rice-Davies; Jane's Patricia Underwood straw was bought on the tide of Four Weddings and a Funeral mania in 1994 and was an unmentionable amount of money from Fenwicks. (Jane has just told Beryl how much and she says Jane must be buried in it). 

If any of you feel moved to attend those events, this is the dress code! 

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