Style Psychology | The Science Behind Funeral Wear

Friday, May 3, 2019


My friend- whom we'll call Phoebe for the sake of this post- once tasked me with helping her find a dress for a loved one's funeral. I obliged, itching to do anything to help. When I asked Phoebe what we were looking for she had only one request: something cheap, so she could toss it after. 

I, on the other hand, have a designated "funeral dress" hanging in my closet that became the funeral dress by accident. When my grandmother passed away, it was one of the only nice black dresses I had so I reached for it. I've tried to wear it since, (it's an Express, after all) but it just didn't feel right. And so the funeral dress was born, albeit a bit morbidly. 

Turns out, memories are very much attached to the clothes we wear. 

They can evoke certain emotions & if they're negative ones, we're less likely to wear the clothes again. So it makes sense that no matter how much I may want to wear that Express number on a day out, I just can't bring myself to do it. 

It's psychological. 

I’m very fascinated by this idea of ~the funeral dress~ hanging in a closet, waiting to be worn again, but hoping it won’t have to be. When I’m going through my dresses and reach that one, there’s a feeling of sadness that hangs over me for a second. It’s gone as quickly as it comes as I flip to the next dressbut it's there. 

I'm curious to know what you do when it's time to dress for a funeral. Do you have a designated piece of clothing or are you a one & done? 


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