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February 26, 2010


Mary Grovine

I know what you mean. I'm sure nobody dares say anything. These days, their mothers probably dress the same way. If you said anything, they'd ignore you or tell you off. The clothing wouldn't change. People today do what they want.


Just as you meant no offense to the young mourners you chastised here, so I mean no offense to you when I say I think you SUCK at going to funerals. Who goes to a funeral and has the nerve to critique the dress of other mourners?! In my opinion, you're the one who is beyond tactless here.


Oh, you are absolutely right. So many young people have not been taught *at all* how to dress. I've noticed in professional situations, that some young women do not think excessive cleavage to be amiss when standing in front of an auditorium full of people giving a presentation.

Robin Goodfellow

But they haven't been taught how to attract "men" at all. Grown "boys", sure, but not men :P

(A man wants a lady who thinks enough of herself, and him, to think that he may want her for more than her body)


I think that it is actually very difficult for girls and women to buy formal, dressy clothing that is modest. Many of these girls are just buying what is available in the stores. I noticed this when my family and friends tried to buy fancy dresses for our wedding. They had to work extra hard and be very creative to find anything. Modest dressy clothing for women is simply not available. And it goes without saying that modest wedding gowns are almost extinct.


Actually, finding modest formal clothing is not hard if you actually LOOK. There are modest formal/wedding dress stores out there, if you just LOOK hard enough.


While I may "suck" at going to funerals, you, Talia, certainly do not "suck" at getting your point across! My point was not so much to criticize the particular girls and their dress, but a culture that doesn't hand down to its young people helpful and healthy ways of grieving.

When my husband lost his father, he read up on grieving traditions and decided to wear a black tie to work for a period of time. During that time he felt consoled by this simple but dignified custom, and when it was over he felt a great catharsis. He was very thankful for this and a few other traditions during that difficult time.

My fear for those girls is not that they are being tactless by dressing that way, but that not knowing how to dress appropriately at a funeral is an indication that they are not being guided through something as difficult as the grieving process. Our culture has all but lost a shared “language” of grieving, and we are the worse for it.

M. Landers

As a woman who has grieved the loss of a husband myself, I can say from at least one small anecdotal point of experience that social customs -- and therefore social expectations -- surrounding grief can be as much a hindrance to healing as a help. At that moment of grief, the 'language of grieving' which would suggest that it is proper to dress/act/speak/socialize in a particular manner *can* very much be a consolation, as for your spouse ... but it is not by definition so. As it would happen I am a part of a religious culture which does have some very particular guideposts for grieving and for socializing with the bereaved, and -- looking back -- I can earnestly say my own grieving process would have been far more comfortable had I been left to do things "in my own way."


i actually kind of have to agree with Talia here. Sitting at a funeral and being judgmental about what other people are wearing is just as inappropriate as these ladies' choice of dress may have been. I don't think the way you dress reflects the way you grieve anymore and many times people choose not to wear black at funerals anymore because they'd rather celebrate life. I would think being at funeral, listening to a eulogy would put things into perspective, especially if its at all religious. Like, don't judge others based on what they're wearing. You're at a funeral, maybe put yourself in check.


...Or how about the sheer irony of how their dress represents their priorities and even being at a funeral isnt enough to wake them up to what may be truley valuable and sacred in life.

life is short.


It's not a matter of judging, it is a matter of a particular mode of dress having the potential of being very distracting and seen as possibly disrespectful in such a somber situation.


I think the dress issue is circling around a more fundamental question: what is the reason for going to a funeral in the first place? In addition to honoring the memory of the dearly departed, our presence is meant to say: "I am here for you" and "what can I do to help YOU?"

And I think Alexandra is picking up on the fact that offering to help people handle a tragic situation while at the same time, asking them to pay attention to our bodies, is a mixed message.


i understand the point but, funerals are often unexpected and maybe these people are more involved in being sad than going shopping to find something appropriate to wear for a funeral. Maybe they're spending their time with their families and not at Macy's looking for a specifically modest dress. I am annoyed by the way people dress all the time, at school, at work, in the grocery store but, at a funeral, i think we need to look at the bigger picture here.


Some of the comments have stated that is is difficult to find modest formal wear. While this might be the case, I would think that modest business wear would be easy to find and that a plain black business-length skirt or dress pants, with a black, white, or grey top (maybe a blouse) would be fine. Failing that, if they simply wore flats, tights, and a black or grey sweater (buttoned up) with their less modest dresses, they would be able to blend in with the rest of the mourners. The excuse that it is difficult to find modest dresses really is no excuse.

Leah Apter

I do agree with you about how people should generally know what to wear to a funeral, and that there is a problem if these girls are dressing "sexy" intentionally, but I don't think it is their fault. Just as you said, they are always taught to dress "sexy sexy sexy". In my opinion I see it as more of a self-esteem issue. In our society we are constantly told whether in a straight forward manner or more of an underlying message, that we should always look as good (perfect) as possible. And hearing that these girls were dressed sexy to a funeral doesn't come as a shock to me. If they didn't dress this way they might not feel good about themselves, and that's alot to ask of a teen growing up in this generation and society! So I think the bigger question is, why is looking good so important so much to the point that even though they might be seriously grieving about their loss, they still feel they have to pay attention and look good "sexy" even if they are going to a funeral. I don't know the ages of the girls we are talking about, but I do know that most women or even young women who are aware of what is going on around them, know the difference between "sexy" and appropriate. Just like you wouldn't wear a backless dress to a job interview, all the more so people should be sensitive to their attire for someones funeral. Like I said before, I don't think it is a conscious thing ;that they want to have the attention on them, I think it has more to do with wanting to feel good about themselves and NEEDING the attention in order to feel okay about themselves even in a situation like a funeral.


Funerals aren't always something for which you can plan, particularly if the death was sudden and unexpected (i.e., the person had not been ill for a long time). The young are oftentimes very short of cash, so it's not always possible for someone to rush out and buy a more appropriate dress to wear to a funeral. The girls at the funeral most likely selected their nicest dresses - which happened to be party dresses or even prom dresses by the sound of your review - and felt that was the correct thing to do. Which would be more appropriate, a short, dark cocktail dress, or a 'modest' dress in a loud or bright color?

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