Proper Attire for a Baby's Baptism

by Sion Poole
Choose clothes that are smart but colorful.

Choose clothes that are smart but colorful.

George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images

A baptism is a momentous occasion that marks a baby's welcome into the family's church. For friends and relatives of different faiths, it is also a happy day that formally celebrates the birth of the child. Guests will be keen to wear outfits that reflect the joyous nature of the occasion and are formal enough to be appropriate in a religious setting.

Baby's Outfit

It is traditional to dress the baby being baptized in white to represent the innocence of her soul. Some parents will choose to dress the baby in a traditional gown, which may be a gift from the godmother or an heirloom piece. Other parents may choose a more contemporary approach and will dress the baby in a pretty white dress or a smart white suit. Whatever your preference, remember to change the baby into her outfit at the last minute to make sure she looks spotless during the ceremony.

Dress Code for Men

Although it is traditional for men to wear a suit and tie to a baptism, some churches are quite relaxed, so provided you are not the godfather, it is acceptable to wear a shirt and jacket without a tie. It is likely that you will come in contact with lots of small children at a baptism, so you may wish to select fabrics that can be easily cleaned in case they're touched by sticky little fingers.

Dress Code for Women

Women have a wide range of options when dressing for a baptism and can wear a trouser suit, a dress or a skirt and blouse combination. Generally speaking, you will not be expected to wear a hat to the baptism but you should check with the parents if you are unsure about the dress code at the church. If you are likely to be holding the baby, you may wish to select fabrics that are crease resistant in colors that will not show drool marks!

Dress Code for Child Guests

If your child is a guest at the baptism, his outfit should be smart and simple. Formal dresses in modest styles will be pretty on girls, and boys will look handsome in a plain shirt and formal trousers. Pastels and bright colors are acceptable, as this is a celebration, but make sure the child's outfit will not draw attention away from the baby being baptized. You may wish to select an outfit that will be comfortable for your child to play in if there is a reception after the baptism ceremony.

About the Author

Sion Poole taught English in a secondary school for two years before moving into publishing. She now works as an assistant editor on academic titles for undergraduate students. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and Welsh from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and trained as an English teacher at Bath Spa University.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images