why do you have to wear black at a funeral

For many Americans, black seems to be the most common color to wear as funeral attire. Why is that? And why do some religious and cultural groups tend to wear white to funerals? Much of the color choice within religious groups has to do with personal interpretations about death and the afterlife. The custom of wearing black funeral attire goes back to the days of the when they would wear dark togas as a symbol for mourning. The popularity of wearing black skyrocketed during the Renaissance and throughout the 19
century, especially for women. During mourning periods and funeral services, mourners wore everything from clothing and headdresses, to unique jewelry, such as lockets and brooches, that kept pieces of lost loved onesв hair close to the heart. Interestingly enough, in rural parts of Latin America and the Mediterranean, widows will also wear black for the remainders of their lives whereas other family members wear the color for an extended period of mourning. Faith in a particular religion plays a major role in whether black or white is worn at a funeral.


With, black funeral attire remains popular in the because it tends to be the common choice for Christian mourning and funerals. For the less than four percent who practice Hinduism or Buddhism in the United States, however, the popular color for funeral attire tends to be white, which symbolizes purity. В Therefore, in countries whereВ and Buddhism are practiced more prevalently, it would not be uncommon to witness a funeral where everyone wears white. In вs past, a country where a combination of Shinto and beliefs are practiced, people commonly wore white suits or kimonos. Nowadays, however, most Japanese people have transitioned to wearing black funeral attire like their western counterparts. One religion, Islam, remains neutral when it comes to what color should be worn at funerals. In lieu of a focus on clothing color, attendees are expected to not wear any elaborate jewelry as well as dressing modestly as is standard in Muslim tradition. Essentially, the type of attire expected will vary because every funeral is unique. Have you been asked to attend a funeral wearing any other colors or attire requirements?


Welcome to Now You Know,В вs column that will help you become a fashion know-it-all in one quick read. Each week, heвll take a look at an endearing fashion influence and why itвs relevant right now. Enjoy! Well, this is a bit of a downer. announced plans this week for an October exhibition called ". " This cheekily-titled show will surely be a big draw, a museum exploration of what people wore to funerals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. "Approximately 30 ensembles, many of which are which are being exhibited for the first time," the Costume Institute notes, "will reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the sartorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a century. " As gloomy as this sounds, thereвs actually good reason to be interested. It's the first time in seven years that the Costume Institute will present a fall exhibition, rather than just one biggie in the spring, like this year's far more upbeat. And its shows do tend to be influential on fashion at large, inspiring trends like goddess dressing, surrealism, and, following its 2007 exhibition on Paul Poiret, a taste for theatrical orientalism and loosely draped dresses.


So let's get excited about the aesthetics of death, which, curiously enough, is even the subject of a new museum that opened last month in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn called the, featuring death masks, Victorian hair art, and a lot of taxidermy. The Costume Institute's exhibition will include examples of mourning dress from 1815 to 1915, covering the appropriate fabrics and, its curators note somewhat ominously, the potential sexual implications of the veiled widow. Harold Koda, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, also notes that the mostly black palette of mourning attire will serve as a fashion history lesson, dramatizing the rapid evolution of popular silhouettes over that century. In fact, mourning clothes often had cultural significance, particularly gowns worn by Queen Victoria ( above ) and Queen Alexandra that will be included in the show. Victoria set something of an exaggerated standard for mourning dress, wearing black for about 40 years following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, leading to similar social customs among all classes of her day (some who could not afford to buy an all-black wardrobe simply dyed their clothes black) to wear black for months following the death of a loved one. "Queen Victoria set the funeral dressing standard - she wore black for 40 years after her husband's death. " "Elaborate standards of mourning set by royalty spread across class lines via fashion magazines," said Jessica Regan, an assistant curator, in the announcement, "and the prescribed clothing was readily available for purchase through mourning 'warehouses' that proliferated in European and American cities by mid-century. " Ceremonial attire can indeed be instructive, but if youвre looking for a less depressing subject, perhaps consider an exhibition that opened in May at the in London, "," which traces the history of fashion through bridal gowns.


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