By Rebecca Thomas,
Business student, Essex University
As NAFD members with a business going back many generations will know, the professional clothing of a funeral director has always been steeped in ceremony and formality. However, changes in attitudes in modern times could stand to alter the face of what members of the industry wear to carry out their duties.
As the treatment of a deceased body is seen as ceremonial, this has been reflected in the choice of professional garments throughout history. Modern funeral directing grew from the
tradition of coffins being built by craftsmen, often carpenters and upholsterers. However, prior to this during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and Henry VII, heraldic funerals for nobility and Royalty sought to preserve the status of the dead in death as well as in life and, according to the Heraldic Society, it was this position in society that dictated what was worn by those arranging the funeral.
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