The baptism or christening of a baby is a happy occasion, so although it’s still a formal event, there’s room for a little playfulness in your attire. Let the nature of the celebration, and the venue where it will be held, set the tone for how far you can push the boat out with your personal sense of style.
Not sure what to wear to a baptism or christening? Whether you’re a proud parent, member of the family, godparent or friend, our guide will help you welcome the new baby into the world in style.
Keeping with tradition
Regardless of dress code, a smart suit is almost always your best bet. This is especially true if the baptism takes place in a church as part of a full religious ceremony. A tie isn’t always necessary, but many guests choose to wear one. Simply remove it later in the day if you want to take the formality down a notch.
If the dress code is smart casual, or you don’t have a suit, wear a pair of dress pants or chinos with a smart blazer. Always avoid jeans. Even if you’ve been assured it’s a relaxed event, it’s better to err on the side of caution rather than turn up under-dressed.
What to wear to a summer baptism
A versatile charcoal gray or navy suit is a safe choice for any occasion, but the joyous nature of a baptism provides you with an excellent excuse to invest in something new. For summer christenings try pale gray, light blue, and brighter colored suits for something a little different. They’re smart, have plenty of flair, and can be worn again at weddings and other festive events.
In warm weather, a lightweight linen suit is a popular choice, as it looks sharp and won’t feel like a sauna if you’re outdoors in the sun. If you’re worried about your pants creasing during the day, a linen jacket with chinos may be a comfortable compromise, especially if the dress code is more relaxed to take account of the heat.
For a smart look in summer, feel free to pair your crisp chinos with a navy blazer, or a summer tweed jacket.
What to wear to a winter baptism
Your dark-colored wool suit is ideal for winter baptisms and christening ceremonies, but it’s not your only option. Try traditional tweed – the rich colors add warmth to your complexion and keep you cosy on even the coldest winter day.
Although dark colors like charcoal and navy are classic winter choices, baptisms often have that spring-like excitement of the start of a new life. If a dark suit is your only option, brighten it up with a warm-colored tie, pocket square or socks. Pale pink or yellow shirts bring a bit of fun to the party, or choose a stripe or check if you want something a little more subtle.
If you think the party might extend into the evening, don’t forget to wear a shirt that looks good once your jacket has been removed, and some comfortable shoes for the dance floor!
What to wear at a baptism: the quick guide for men
- Double check the dress code. Ask if it’s unclear.
- If the event is a full religious ceremony in a church, go for a smart suit over chinos and blazer – but not black. While black is certainly elegant, this is a celebration, not a funeral.
- A smart-casual dress code gives you more options. A blazer, chinos and pair of leather brogues is ideal.
- If you have a favorite tie you’d love to wear, go for it, but it’s usually okay to go without. A good compromise is to wear it for the baptism or christening ceremony but remove it for the party.
- No matter the season, baptisms are joyous events, not stuffy business meetings. Go lighter and brighter than normal – especially if you’re the proud father or godfather!
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