What to Wear to a Christening

what to wear to a christening

Judging by the search terms that bring people to the site, it seems a lot of you are wondering what to wear to a christening.

Now, I can’t say I blame you on this: I was invited to my first ever christening just a few years ago, and I have absolutely NO idea what to wear. Would it be super-formal? Smart casual? Can you wear black to a christening? What about other colours?

It was all a bit of a minefield, really, but I did some research, and today I’m here to share it with you, in this guide to christening attire. First things first, though…


The first thing to bear in mind when you’re working out what to wear to a christening is that christenings are formal events: they’re someone’s special occasion, and although most don’t have an “official” christening dress code, they should still be treated as such. What that means is that, NO, you should not wear jeans to a christening: and I say that because this question has popped up in the site’s search referrers a few times now, so I know there are people out there who want to do it.

Honestly, jeans aren’t really appropriate for ANY kind of formal or semi-formal occasion: they’re just not. Jeans – even smart ones – are strictly casual attire, and, as such, it would be a little rude to turn up to an event someone has put a lot of effort into, looking like you haven’t made the effort to at least dress smartly. So, jeans are out – as are jogging pants, leggings, and anything else you’d typically wear around the house on your day off.

So what DO you wear to a christening, then?

The main “rule” I’ve seen quoted most often here is that you should dress for a christening in much the same way you’d dress for church. That’s all very well, of course – but what about those of us who don’t go to church: or who attend very casual churches, where jeans etc ARE considered perfectly appropriate? What then?

Well, you may not have been to church recently, but chances are you’ve attended a wedding at some point, or some other kind of formal event, and although christenings tend not to be quite as formal as weddings (unless you’re a parent or Godparent), the same kind of dress rules still apply. Every christening is different, of course, and some will be more formal than others (if you really have no idea what to expect, there’s absolutely no shame in asking the person who invited you if there’s a dress code), so perhaps the easiest way to approach your christening outfit is to think about what NOT to wear, first of all. I’ve already given some specific examples above, but here are some other things not to wear to a christening…

what to wear to a christening - and what not to wear


  • ANYTHING TOO CASUAL: I’ve already mentioned jeans and jogging pants, but let’s add sneakers, flip-flops, and anything else that looks like it belongs on the beach/at the gym/on the couch to that list. Christening’s aren’t normally casual, so unless you’ve been told otherwise, it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed for them.
  • EVENING WEAR : At the opposite end of the scale, while you don’t want to turn up to a christening looking like you just rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing you could find, you also don’t want to look like you’re heading on to a nightclub as soon as you leave the church, or like you’re Cinderella en route to the ball. Christenings normally take place in churches or other religious buildings, and they’re generally daytime events, so clubwear and ballgowns will be equally inappropriate.
  • ANYTHING TOO SOMBRE: People often wonder if they can wear black to a christening, and the answer to this one is yes: unlike weddings, there aren’t many colour-related superstitions related to christenings, and black should be fine, as long as the outfit affects the occasion. Christenings are joyful occasions, after all, and while that doesn’t mean you have to break out the bright colours if that’s really not your look, you don’t want to look like you’re on your way to a job interview, or -worse – funeral, either. If you are wearing black, make sure your outfit isn’t too severe, and consider adding some accessories to lighten the look.


Other than that, when it comes to deciding what to wear to a christening, it’s really a matter of personal taste and style. Dresses are usually a safe bet, though, so here’s a quick selection of dresses to wear to a christening…

Oasis organza midi dress

Oasis organza midi dress

Warehouse lace shirt dress

Warehouse lace shirt dress

Coast red bow dress

Coast Darcia-May bow dress

Ted Baker Dolci floral dress

Ted Baker ‘Dolci’ floral dress

ASOS floral belted midi dress

ASOS floral belted midi dress

What to wear to a christening if you don’t like dresses…

For those who aren’t so keen on dresses, meanwhile, some other christening outfit ideas…

Gestuz Elise Tailored Culotte

Gestuz Elise Tailored Culotte

ASOS trouser suit

ASOS Premium Trouser Suit

What would you wear to a christening?


  • Oooo I love the colour of the trouser suit! My default response to any outfit dilemma is a knee length dress and heels! Except for the gym of course….

  • It’s interesting to know that a christening is someone’s special occasion and you need to wear formal clothes. My husband and I have been invited to a christening, and I’m looking for advice. I will look for a really nice and formal dress to attend this special day.

  • I’m the one getting baptized, and I was only told Friday by my mom. I don’t have a dress or heels. I’m thinking of wearing my white shirt that has laces on the sleeves, and a black skirt, but that’s all I have. I have white puma sneakers, but that’s all. I’m really worried and insecure about it. I’m getting baptized tomorrow, and I know isn’t a place to be ranting, so sorry. Thanks for the tips

  • I like the idea that a christening lace dress is a good way to have a nice sense of style while still being quite modest. My sister’s son will be baptized soon and immediate family members would be needed in the ceremony. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a church so I’m a bit conscious about what I should wear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *