Funeral directors and their wardrobe
Have you noticed in the March Madness basketball games how every male coach is wearing a logo quarter-zip pullover, casual trousers, and athletic style shoes? The days of college basketball coaches wearing a suit and tie seem to be over. . . . no longer will we get to see an irate coach throw his sports coat and tie off in disgust.
I noticed that change happening during the pandemic influenced seasons when games were played with no fans in the stands, only for the television audience. It’s a trend that has continued even though there are now fans in the stands. And, it now seems to have reached an accepted standard at this point in time.
It made me wonder, what has the pandemic induced years done to funeral director dress around the country? The other day I saw this quote in The Hustle and it made me wonder even more if casual dress will be the norm for funeral directors in the near future:
“The way we live — and what we wear — has changed in the last three years. One moment we were getting dressed for the office every day, and the next we were calling jeans “hard pants.”
The article went on to say that over the past three years fashion is changing — “people are unwilling to feel uncomfortable in their clothes, with an estimated 81% of people prioritizing comfort over cost or style”.
This article from Tie Mart mentions “Funeral directors almost always wear a suit and tie, even on days without a wake or funeral. A meeting with a family could happen at any time, so there really isn’t much chance for a casual workday. As far as shoes, you’ll want to invest in a comfortable pair—you’ll be on your feet a lot.”
That advice seemed to be great advice in my days as a male funeral director. However, I’m wondering if it is still in vouge to expect that from male funeral directors of today? I certainly think it is appropriate as a business’ dress code not only instills some sense of reverence but it can create an impressionable image that helps build a business brand.
In my day on any funeral day I always wore, and expected my male staff to wear, a coordinated suit with a white shirt and tie. I’m of the opinion that it showed professionalism, reverence for our work, and a respect for the families we served. I always “dressed down” for non-funeral days. . . but dressing down meant possibly a non-white shirt, a tie, and maybe khaki pants. . . .certainly not an open collared or untucked shirt and tie-less as some business people of today.
The article from The Hustle mentioned that clothing companies that are stressing “practicality and comfort” are increasing their sales. For instance they mentioned Lululemon increasing sales 28% and, according to this article from Yahoo, the “Athleisure” market will be worth over $660 billion by 2030.
I’ve noticed the general casualness of dress in the business environment in the past few years. Untucked shirts seem to be a trend in some areas outside of the funeral home. Casual shoes seem to be the norm for men nowadays.
I’m not against any of the casualness. However, I wonder is there a set of standards still maintained by funeral directors in our society? I notice that pilots and bankers still seem to be wearing ties. . . . will that standard continue for male funeral directors or are we moving into an “anything goes” and is accepted realm?
Related — Haute-Comfort: Consumers choose comfort over style says new research. Forbes
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Families locked out of dead relative’s phone face ‘grisly problem’ accessing fingerprint, FaceID. Video story and print article. CTV News Toronto (Canada)
- For those who want a more environmentally friendly exit, movement offers “Green Burials”. Spectrum News
- Exploring the Green Burial. The Presbyterian Outlook
- Longtime Siouxland funeral home service sold to Canadian company. Video story and print article. CBS/Fox TV – Sioux City (IA)
- Alameda Coroner’s Bureau works to return human remains to cremation service customers. Radio voice and print article. KALW Radio – (CA)
- Funeral homes struggle with staffing shortages. Northern Ontario Business (Canada)
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