Would you wear a dead man's clothes?

My sister-in-law’s brother passed away a few weeks ago. She’s told me he had some nice clothes that would probably fit me, and she’s dropping them off in a few weeks. Some are new and still in wrappers, but some have been worn before. The new ones are fine, but I’m definitely a little uneasy about the used ones. I don’t think I’ve worn pre-owned clothing since the hand-me-down days of my youth, and the aspect of the previous owner being dead makes it extra strange. So what do you think - would you be spooked out wearing clothes that belonged to a dead man?

I’ve done it. I got a lot of my grandfather’s clothes after he died, and it was sort of a badge of honor for me.

I have. They’re just clothes.

I used my late grandfather’s wallet for a while. I’m not even sure why I got it, as he had grandchildren who were much closer to him, but somehow it fell to me. I kept his driver’s license in it as a memory of him.

Men’s clothing usually doesn’t fit me very well (neither does off-the-rack women’s clothes, for that matter), but if I could find something that suited me, yes.

No problem here. Most of my stuff comes from Thrift stores, and probably are from dead people. I wouldn’t go taking them off corpses, however!


Stuff from second-hand shops is probably from dead people.

No, I have no problem with the concept. Though sadly, my older female relatives were mostly built on completely different lines than I am, so it’s not actually very likely.

I have a couple jackets and t-shirts that were my father’s and I think of him whenever
I wear them.

I would, absolutely, but I do wear thrift store clothing all the time. If you don’t then I wouldn’t necessarily expect your preferences to change because someone passed away – not just because of the “passed away” part, but also because you’re probably used to getting your favorite brand in your favorite color in exactly the right size. If you’re not short of nice clothes right now maybe it would be better if they went to someone else, rather than hang in your closet unused.

I have before, and would again, if they’re clean.

Yeah, when you go to the thrift store the ladies’ clothing is probably from live people but all the men’s stuff is dead, dead, dead. Haven’t you wondered why Goodwill always has, say, ten pairs of shoes in one size? Uncle Rosco kicked off, is why.

I have. It struck me as a bit odd at first, but they were only clothes.

Yup. I got a nice dress shirt from an estate sale for $1.50.

I would wear a dead person’s clothes, and depending on the situation, I might take them even if I wouldn’t wear them and then pass them on to Goodwill. Getting rid of a dead person’s things is incredibly painful, and some people can’t stand to just drop them off at Goodwill: they have to hand them over to someone who also knew, or at least knew of, the person–otherwise it seems too cold, too final. You may be a link in this chain (someone gave them to your sister-in-law, after all), so it may well be a mitzvah to quietly take them and redonate them if you don’t want to wear them: your sister-in-law can truthfully tell her brother’s widow that she gave them to you.

This isn’t always true when people are giving away a dead person’s things. But sometimes it is, and if so, it’s actually kind of hurtful to say “I wouldn’t really wear them: do you know someone else?” So watch for that.

Wear them from a closet? Yes.

Strip them from the still-warm corpse and put them on? Probably not.

Sure thing. It only takes one or two washings to get that formaldehyde scent out of them.

I would feel more like this part of your post:

. I wouldn’t - not because he is dead, but because I can afford to buy new clothing.

But what if you’re in prison garb, having escaped from being falsing prosecuted, and you’re out to find the one eye witness that will prove your innocense, but on your way, an evil guy accidently stepped in front of a car while chasing you, and he died, but his clothes managed to remain relatively free from destruction, and now you need to change out of your bright orange prison clothes?

I’d take them off the still-warm corpse and put them on in this circumstance…

I’d wear a dead man’s skin. I don’t care.

Seriously, this kind of thing doesn’t bother me at all. If you’d wear it while he was alive, what’s the difference after he dies?

Anyone who ever buys clothes at a second-hand store has a good chance of purchasing something with a deceased former owner.

Are you afraid the clothes will be haunted? What exactly bothers you? What do you fear as a worst case scenario? It sounds like you might just be squeamish about wearing second-hand clothes more than anything else.