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by Abigail Van Buren

Subdued Colors at Funeral Are Way of Paying Respect

DEAR ABBY: I have a question that you've probably never been asked before. Is there a dress code regarding "proper attire" for a funeral?

Most everyone has worn black at most of the funerals I have attended. I don't particularly like black, however. I prefer bright colors, so that's what I have chosen to wear.

Why is it that this so-called tradition is so entrenched that no one wants to break it? -- WONDERING IN EAU CLAIRE, WIS.

DEAR WONDERING: In the United States, black is generally considered the color of mourning. When someone attends a funeral, it is either to pay respect to the deceased or to show support for the grieving family. At a time like this, it is considered improper to draw attention to yourself. That is the reason most people forgo bright colors and instead wear colors that are muted or subdued unless instructed otherwise.