TL/DR: I’m looking for black top and bottom that I can wear in my daily life separately and together later when there are funerals to attend. The latest round just got here. Photos are attached here and in the comments. I’d appreciate comments on whether they work for traditional Catholic funeral attire or how I could wear them in daily life.

PS. I’m aware that I don’t have to wear all black at a funeral. If you don’t support my choice, that’s fine.

I’m looking for inspiration photos, links to items to consider and search tips on how to find garments in all-black fabric that has a (black) design on it. I’ve posted about this before, but Rachylou’s thread has me convinced I really must do it: find an outfit for my parents’ funerals before I’m dealing with grief, overseas travel, and a tight deadline while trying to comfort my son. I use the word “funeral” in a very general way. It could be a memorial service, a “celebration of life” or something else. For my dad, it will most likely be a funeral mass. They have purchased cemetery plots in the small town where I grew up, so expectations are pretty clear and straightforward.

My logic is that if I know in advance that this is the purpose of the piece(s), then I can think of them being to honor my dad every time I put them on, before, during, and after the funeral. A second reason, far behind the first, is that if I do feel as many others here report feeling after their parents’ funerals, that I never want to touch those items again, then at least it won’t be as wasteful as moving them on after just one or two occasions.

The advice I’ve been given was to look for separates one could wear to an office. The separates idea makes a lot of sense to me, but office attire is just so far from me that I can’t imagine those items ever getting any use whatsoever. The sheaths in finds are about as close to office attire as I get. One of them would work with a black blazer, but not for my dad’s funeral.

I want to get either a black sheath that “looks like me” because it has jaquard or tonal stitching or some other beautiful detail that gives it that edge, and then a blazer to go over it OR a 2-piece dress, also with a little something extra. These are pieces I expect to last, so I want lovely natural fibers, and I’d like them to be produced as sustainably as possible. For cotton, that means low water usage. I’m not sure what it means for silk or wool. (Wool is unlikely because it’s very tricky for me anyway) Linen is lovely, but since I can’t know the time of year I will need to wear these items together, I don’t think linen is what I want.

I went shopping recently and struck out. The dresses, even though they fit fine, just felt dead to me. If you can suggest items in my closet I could use to wear a black dress happily, please do. Otherwise I’m going for separates. The peplum top seemed to be half the solution, until I learned that there is no matching skirt and the SA pointed out that it is navy, not black.

I don’t expect to take action on this immediately, but will do so sometime this fall. If I get a thing or two by Advent, I’d like to try mixing them in with colors for Christmas.

In a non-fashion note, I’m thinking of Murph11’s suggestion to write down wishes for your funeral ahead of time, so relatives aren’t scrambling at the last minute. Have you done that? My son knows that I want whatever happens with my corpse to be comforting to him, so he can do whatever he wants. I certainly hope I don’t go before my parents & sisters, because I can easily picture them taking over arrangements such that they’d be difficult for him, on top of losing me.

Note my finds include lots of things I like, but do not own. A better way to get an idea of what’s in my closet if you want to help me figure out what to wear with black when I'm not going to a funeral is to wade through some of my WIWs from various times of year.

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