Dress for a christening

How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: August 2, 2020
How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism

If you have been invited to a christening or baptism, you are surely wondering what kind of outfit is appropriate for the occasion. Is there a dress code? Should you wear office clothes? As a general rule, you should always dress in clothes that you feel comfortable in and that are true to your style.

When attending a religious event such as a christening, however, you must keep in mind a few tips to avoid dressing inappropriately during the celebration. In this oneHOWTO article we'll answer the common question: How do I dress for a christening or baptism? Stay with us and keep reading!

You may also be interested in: How to Dress your Baby for a Baptism
  1. When is the christening or baptism?
  2. What should you NOT wear to a baptism?
  3. What should women wear to a baptism?
  4. What should a man wear to a baptism?
  5. Hair and makeup tips for a baptism
  6. What accessories to wear for a christening or baptism
  7. Final tips on dressing for a christening or baptism

When is the christening or baptism?

Before you go out looking for the right outfit for the baptism, remember that this type of ceremony can be held at any time of year.

Spring is the most popular season for baptisms, meaning that the weather can vary quite a bit. You may be lucky and have sunshine and pleasant temperatures, but you must be prepared to deal with rain or cold. When considering what to wear for a baptism, choose a layered outfit that you can wear in any weather. Ideally, you should wear a thin jacket and closed shoes in case the day turns out to be a cool one.

If the event is held in the summer, avoid wearing very short skirts, dresses or shorts, as well as revealing necklines or sleeveless shirts. A christening is a religious ceremony, and modesty to an extent is expected of all guests and participants regardless of their gender: when in doubt, dress conservatively.

No matter the season, baptisms are day events and are usually celebrated in the morning. Therefor, discard evening suits and gowns; light-colored, subtle clothes will be better.

Learn how to dress your baby for a baptism to make sure everybody looks fantastic for this memorable day!

What should you NOT wear to a baptism?

Dressing for a christening should not be the same as dressing for a wedding. In most cases, a baptism is a semi formal event, normally celebrated during the day (although some christenings are held in the evening). This means that you have to be elegant without going over the top.

Women must avoid long, fancy evening or night dresses and dark or very saturated colors. Because it is a church event, very short hemlines and low necklines should not be worn to a baptism. The same applies to anything loud: neon colors, very high heels, rhinestones and sparkles will be frowned upon.

Do not use a large amount of accessories in a baptism: you can wear delicate and subtle necklaces and bracelets to accent your outfit and add a sophisticated touch. On the other hand, sumptuous hairpieces should be avoided, as you'll be taking the spotlight away from the baby and their parents.

The rules for men are not as obvious; you do not have to wear a suit unless you feel comfortable in one, and you should not wear very formal suits or in very loud or inappropriate colors. Gold embroidery is fine for the Oscars, but not for your nephew's baptism.

As a general rule, it is not appropriate to wear jeans to a christening. However, all events are different and if the baby's parents do not want to enforce a semi-formal code you can get away with dark, elegant jeans. Here you can learn more about how to combine colors in menswear.

What should women wear to a baptism?

In the case of womenswear, you cannot go wrong with a knee-length or midi dress or skirt with a blouse, a sophisticated long jumpsuit, or a chiffon or silk shirt with palazzo or Capri pants. If you wear a sleeveless top you should bring a scarf or thin jacket to cover your shoulders inside the church.

Since a baptism is a celebration of new life, the most common colors are light, pastel shades such as butter yellow, beige, powder blue, pink or mint green. You can wear white to a baptism if you want to. If you are the godmother, here you will find specific tips.

How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism - What should women wear to a baptism?
Image: WorldLuxRealty

What should a man wear to a baptism?

As for menswear, there are more outfits for a christening beyond the classic suit. The safest outfit choice for a baptism is a well-cut shirt, a blazer in any color, and dress pants. Chinos are also appropriate.

Avoid black or dark gray, and choose your favorite medium or light shade instead. For a baby's baptism, we recommend light gray, blue or beige, and non-neutral shades like burgundy or green. If you wear a very formal or neutral suit, you can liven it up with a colorful, more cheerful tie, or even a pair of cool socks.

Here you can learn what color shoes to wear with suits. Although there are luxury high-top sneakers you could consider if you know the baby's parents' style and preferences, they may still be a risky choice. To play it safe, wear dress shoes.

If you still have doubts about the dress code for the baptism, get in touch with the parents or other guests and ask what they are going to wear.

How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism - What should a man wear to a baptism?
Image: Fiestah.com

Hair and makeup tips for a baptism

Unlike in weddings or cocktail parties, long hair is not usually worn in a formal updo. Instead, consider curling your hair, or sweeping it to the side and wearing it loose. Hair ornaments, colorful scarves, half updos or loose, bohemian braids are also a great choice for a baptism.

If you wear a beard or a mustache, groom it well for the day of the baptism. Long, thick beards are fashionable now, but that is no excuse to look unkempt. Here you can learn how to sharpen your beard and how to maintain a long beard for more tips.

As for makeup, we recommend going for a natural, elegant look. Choose nude or pastel shades, and add luminosity to your skin with highlighter. Of course, makeup is not mandatory. If you are not used to going without makeup but you want to try it out, take a look at our article on how to look good without makeup - hydration is key!

What accessories to wear for a christening or baptism

If you are going to a christening or baptism service, your accessories should be tasteful and appropriate. A small clutch would be an ideal purse or handbag to bring. Don't bring anything oversized.

For headwear, you will need to be aware of the denomination of the church. Some Christian denominations expect women to wear hats in church. However, these should be tasteful and not anything too large. In practical terms, this could stop other guests from seeing the service.

However, most denominations will not require you to wear a hat, so don't feel pressured unless it is absolutely necessary. Hairpins and hair-clips are usually recommended since it might be better to have hair tied up. Again, this is practical as well as a good idea for the service.

In terms of jewellery, do not wear anything garish. A tasteful gold chain and/or bracelet would be ideal. You may think wearing a chain with a cross is best, but this would also depend on the type of religious organization you are attending.

How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism - What accessories to wear for a christening or baptism

Final tips on dressing for a christening or baptism

It is important to know that many Christian organizations may be a little conservative, especially when it comes to dress. They would not expect someone to dress the same at a baptism as you would going out to a club, for example. However, we should also note that many churches are becoming less strict.

In terms of the service, it is usually more important that everyone is together. Most churches would rather than people attend and witness the event rather than kick them out for dressing inappropriately. The best thing you can do is to speak to the parents and see what you should expect from them.

So, how do you dress for a christening or baptism? Do you have any tips? Share them in the comments section if so!

If you want to read similar articles to How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism, we recommend you visit our Weddings & Parties category.


  • Another aspect to consider is the relationship that links you to the baby.
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What did you think of this article?
Janet Holstad
Our niece was 14 years old when she was finially baptized! Their parish does baptisms on Easter sunday at easter mass and has a dress code for the baptism attire for the kids.All of the boys had to wear a suit and ty and the little girls,preteen and teen girls had to wear a poofy,white,short sleeve,knee length dress with a matching bonnet,lace anklets or white tights and white patent leather shoes.A white undershirt with a cloth diaper and plastic pants had to be worn under the dresses.The niece chose to wear the lace anklets with her outfit and the plastic pants she had over diaper were white and in adult size.The husband and i are her godparents and the husband wore his suit and ty and i wore a beige colored,below the knees dress with pantyhose and heels.The niece looked very nice and pure in her baptism outfit for the day!
Jennifer Reyes
is it okay for me or is appropriate to wear a chiffon long dress for my baby's christening
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jennifer,

As christenings most often take place in a church, the individual place of worship may have a dress code, but we can't see why chiffon would cause offense to any religious denomination. The only other issue would be offending the family of the baby, but since that's you, we'd suggest allowing yourself to wear whatever you want. Congratulations and we hope you have fun!
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How Do I Dress for a Christening or Baptism