Baptism is a beautiful, important part of any religious Christian’s life. It’s one of the holy sacraments, meaning it’s a very formal occasion, and you should be dressed appropriately for it. However, it can sometimes be tricky to choose the right outfit, especially for children.
I’m bringing you some great outfit ideas appropriate for a baptism that will have you looking incredible yet formal, as the occasion itself demands. I’ll recommend some outfits for women, men, and children, as they are usually the ones being baptized.
You can remain stylish and fashionable even if you are dressing for a formal occasion. You should always be aware that it’s a religious event, so being dressed appropriately has a bit more meaning, and you should give it some thought. Let’s start with the outfits.
Black & white combination – women’s classic
This might not be the most imaginative or daring choice, but it’s the safest bet you can make. Going for an all-black outfit can be great, but if you don’t play it right, you might look like you’re going to a funeral instead of a baptism.
On the other hand, going with an all-white outfit can be surprisingly wonderful, but then again, you have to know how to wear it. Otherwise, you’ll look like a bride. That is why many women choose to go for a black & white combination. It gives you some freedom of choice when it comes to your outfit and always looks elegant and formal enough for such an occasion.
A black & white midi dress can highlight your figure and make you look more slender and tall. You must never go with an above-the-knee cut when choosing a dress because they never go hand-in-hand with church events.
What a black & white dress can also do for you is enable you to play around with colorful details. For instance, bright red heels, red lipstick, and handbag will be those colorful details you need to complete the outfit and avoid looking bland and unimaginative.
If you don’t feel right in dresses, this color combination works great with trousers as well. If you choose white formal pants, go for a lovely black or dark-grey blouse that buttons up to the top. Avoid having a cleavage in church, as it’s considered highly inappropriate. A black polka dot tunic also works well, especially if you break it with bold accessories and jewelry.
On the other hand, black trousers are possibly the more common choice. That opens up a lot of opportunities to play with when choosing the top of your outfit. You can go with a white sleeveless buttoned top, and carry a black cardigan or a bolero with you for the ceremony. The more skin you can cover in church, the better.
Floral midi dress – great for both young and mature women
If you are worried about being too formal or too informal at a baptism, go simple. Choose a floral midi dress, as it’s a custom choice that always works for church occasions. It has an excellent ring for baptisms, as the flowers represent youth, beauty, and vibrant life. The only issue here is that you probably won’t be the only one wearing this outfit.
That’s why you should think carefully about the details you make to complete the outfit. Instead of going with your typical heels, opt for beautiful high sandals tied up around the leg and ankle. It’s a choice that looks spectacular and is entirely appropriate for the church.
Try to avoid wearing too brightly-colored accessories, as they can make the entire outfit look off. It’s safer to go with pastel colors that match the dress’s floral pattern, so try to focus on that before choosing the jewelry you might wear.
Eggshell white dress – representing new life
White dresses are perfect for a baptism. The only thing you should be careful about is not looking like a bride. You can accomplish that by choosing a bit darker shade of white. For instance, eggshell dresses will go a long way for you when it comes to baptism outfits.
If you feel bold, go for a maxi dress with beige high heels and a matching purse. Choose a hairstyle that highlights your neck, where you should go for a beautiful necklace or pearls.
All the one-colored outfits look wonderful at such an event, so you shouldn’t be scared to go white, too. If you want to mix it up a bit and highlight your youthfulness, choose a midi dress and a pair of white sneakers. It’s formal enough to go to church in, yet informal enough to emphasize your youth.
White color represents new life and a new beginning, so it’s the perfect choice for a baptism. Of course, if you can play it right.
Pastel one-piece jumpsuit – make styling more effortless than ever
If you prefer wearing pants over dresses and colors over blacks and whites, there are still ways to express yourself and look decent for a baptism. The easiest choice you can make is to wear a pastel one-piece jumpsuit.
Depending on what color you choose, match the surrounding details accordingly, and you’re good to go. They are comfortable, beautiful and will make your life so much easier when getting ready for the event.
I believe the ideal choice here would be pastel colors, as they are milder and won’t make you stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd. For instance, a light blue jumpsuit with silver jewelry and handbag looks terrific but calm enough so that you don’t become the center of attention.
Are jeans appropriate for a baptism?
Most of us feel the most comfortable wearing jeans, but there’s this whole debate about whether they are appropriate for church or not. Well, both answers are true, and it depends on what kind of jeans we are talking about.
For instance, dark slim-fit jeans with a long-sleeved blouse are decent enough for church, and you’ll feel comfortable once the ceremony is over. This outfit also works with white or black jeans too.
However, if you choose acid-washed, bleached, or ripped jeans, you shouldn’t go to church in them. They will look inappropriate, and it might rub off the wrong way for some more religious attendees.
Suit and leather shoes – men’s safe bet for a baptism outfit
If you’re a guy, your safest bet is almost always a suit. It looks formal and attractive at the same time, and if it’s a fitting suit, you’ll look your best possible self in it. If it’s a baptism we’re talking about, the only color you should be avoiding (apart from those dreadful bright-colored suits) is black. Black suits are for funerals, and baptism is basically the opposite.
The safest choice is to go in a grey or navy suit with black leather shoes. You can also go for brown shoes, but you should make sure to match your accessories accordingly. The piece where you can play around the most, though, is your shirt. It plays a massive role in the entire outfit, especially if it’s a summer baptism, where you’ll surely take of your suit’s jacket.
Obviously, most men’s safest bet is to choose a plain white shirt and then play around with colorful accessories, such as a necktie and a handkerchief in your front pocket. It looks elegant, clean, and highly appropriate for a baptism. If your wearing both a tie and a cloth, make sure to match them in color to avoid looking like a rainbow.
During colder months, it’s a nice idea to wear a matching vest underneath your jacket. It will keep you warmer, and you’ll look smart.
If you don’t want a white shirt, make sure the color of your choice is mild and not too bright. You want to go formal and not pop in everyone’s eye.
Dark denim and white sneakers – for guys that don’t like suits
If you don’t like being in a suit and wearing leather shoes, you’re not the only one. They can be a bit uncomfortable and make you anxious to get out of, which is why it’s better to go for a different option. If you’re going for jeans, make sure they aren’t ripped or bleached.
Dark denim (even black) is always a great choice, especially if you know how to make it look more formal than it is. If you are opting for sneakers, try to avoid colorful models. Pure white or pure black sneakers will look neat and elegant.
That neutral base of the lower part of your outfit enables you to express your style more with the top part. You can opt for a shirt-only outfit, with a beautiful wristwatch and a bow tie or a necktie. You can match the color of your jeans with a vest or a jacket.
Chinos & blazer – smart for church, casual for the party after
You should always double-check with the host what the dress code is. If they want a more formal dress code, this combination might not be suitable. But, if they are going for a smart-casual code, then wearing chino fabric pants and a blazer is the best choice you can make.
Chino fabric is light and beautiful, making it more than suitable for the church. Go for leather brogues for footwear. They look stunning when paired with the chinos.
Remember that baptism is a joyous event, meaning you should be bright and happy, and so should your outfit. So, a nice blazer and t-shirt can look quite cool, but it’s always safer to wear a buttoned shirt and a necktie.
What’s great about this outfit option is that it will enable you to feel more comfortable after church. During the ceremony, keep the necktie on to complete a more formal outfit. Once you head back to the party after church, take the tie off and be more comfortable to have fun, dance, and enjoy.
Just make sure that you check if there’s a specific dress code with the host before choosing a bit more casual outfit such as this one.
What should my child wear to a baptism?
It’s essential to dress your children appropriately for baptism, too, be it they are only attending the ceremony with you, or they are the ones being baptized. Let’s take a look at some outfits for both cases.
Outfits for kids attending a baptism
If you have a little girl attending a baptism or christening with you, you can make several sweet choices. A classic combination is a beautiful dress in bright colors, combined with a pullover if it’s a colder time of the year.
Make sure to go for cute shoes as well, but always have comfort as a top priority. Sure, you want to dress your child appropriately, but you want them to feel comfortable first, especially for ceremonies that take some time and standing, such as this one.
Another great choice is going with a blouse, and either a skirt or trousers. It is formal enough for church attire, yet comfortable enough so the kids can play at the party later.
Boys usually should wear a buttoned shirt and pants with sneakers. Khakis, chinos, corduroys, and dark jeans work pretty nicely. For footwear, go for sneakers, but try to go for a more elegant pair instead of the same sneakers they play in outdoors. You can always carry change clothes with you for the after-party.
Outfits for kids being baptized
Most people get baptized while they are still babies. You should know what kind of clothes should your baby wear when being baptized, too.
Babies are usually dressed in white ceremonial gowns. Both boys and girls are dressed in identical gowns, meaning they are unisex. However, if the gowns aren’t a common practice where you live, you should always go for a white and bright outfit for your child’s baptism. Even if they are a common practice, you can still choose a more modern yet appropriate outfit.
For instance, you can go for pure white coveralls and add a cute little bowtie on it for little boys. Some nice white shoes will complete the outfit beautifully. If you want to go for a one-piece, but it’s too hot for coveralls, choose a little romper – a one-piece suit with short legs and sleeves. Again, avoid dark colors because the event is supposed to be bright and light.
Recently, there’s a new kind of outfit trend for baby boy baptisms. You can choose a silk outfit with a buttoned shirt and pants. You can add a little necktie and sneakers. It’s a comfortable, ordinary outfit for your baby, but the bright color and the shiny silk material make the entire outfit look a lot more formal and ceremonial. And the best part is, your kid can still wear the clothes after the baptism.
Baptism etiquette for hosts and guests
There’s a chance you haven’t been to a baptism before, so you don’t know what is expected of you. Or, perhaps you are the one hosting your first baby baptism, so you might not know how to approach it. Don’t worry, I drew some of the main lines for you to follow, and you’ll be good in any case.
Before I get into the etiquette of the event itself, it’s important to note that you should first contact your church to set up a date before handing out any invitations. You have to make sure the date you want is available before you start organizing anything.
Once you set the date, you need to decide who to call. Of course, you should invite the godfather/godmother first. You should always go for family members first, and then friends, depending on how many people you plan to invite.
Send out individual invitations, as it feels a lot more personal and kind. Ask for RSVPs to make your life easier and know how many people to expect. You can make invitation cards, e-cards, or simply ask them to come in person.
Arrive at church with your child early, or at least on time. Reserve seating in the church for your guests because baptism is usually done at the end of a regular mass, meaning there might be people attending that are not your guests.
After the ceremony, host your guests to a lunch or dinner, depending on the ceremony’s time. You can do it at home, or at a restaurant, whatever you prefer. Send out thank-you notes later because all the guests will probably bring generous gifts as a christening tradition.
The first thing to ensure after being invited to baptism is to RSVP. Always confirm if you are coming or not to help the host know how many guests to expect. Note that this is a formal, religious occasion, so you should act accordingly. Don’t get drunk, don’t clap at church, and try to behave as the customs request, even if you’re not religious yourself.
You should always bring a gift for the child for the christening. It is a tradition lasting for centuries, and even if the host didn’t specify to bring a gift, you should still do it. The most common gift is golden jewelry or money for the child, but if you’re unsure, you can ask the hosts if there’s something they’d rather have you buy.
It’s essential to stay in line with what the host planned. If they wanted a more formal celebration, act accordingly and avoid drinking too much. If they wanted a casual, party-like celebration, it’s okay to let loose a bit, dance, and enjoy a lovely time.
Tips on further reading
- How Much Money Should You Spend For Baptism?
- what to wear to a babptism
- What is an appropriate baptism gift