Nothing says, “I control my own destiny” like planning the outfit you’re going to be buried in. But everlasting style no longer means stuffy, buttoned frocks or stiff suits. Comfort is currently all the rage when it comes to eternal resting attire.
“When I first started, everybody was buried in suits and dresses,” Caleb Wilde, a funeral director and author of Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life, told Racked. Wilde said he’s seen a huge shift in what the deceased are buried in since his career began almost 15 years ago. More people are now choosing personal style like a lucky t-shirt, a favorite team’s hat or slippers over formal or customary clothing.
He suspects the aesthetic divide between the World War II generation and Baby Boomers is the main reason people are ditching tradition for individuality. While the Greatest Generation was more religious and concerned with upholding appearances, Baby Boomers are more into entering the great unknown dressed in something that reflects who they were on Earth. “Now that we’re starting to see the boomers die, it’s individual expression that’s key,” Wilde said.
Adding to the trend that burial clothes have become more personal, Wilde also hopes families and loved ones will grow more comfortable with dressing their deceased loved ones themselves. “It’s an act of love to dress your dead,” said Wilde. “And I think that’s one thing we need to give back to families.” But hopefully, you have plenty of time before figuring out what outfit should define you for all eternity, or who might put you in it.