How to Dress for a Baby's Baptism

Three Methods:Women’s AttireMen’s AttireKids’ Attire

A baptism is a special moment in the lives of parents, children, and the guests that observe the ceremony. Because it is a special event, you will need to dress up a bit. Make sure that you check with the church or the family having the baptism to find out how formally they want guests to dress. Scroll down to Step 1 for some tips on what you should and should not wear to a baptism.

Method 1
Women’s Attire

  1. Image titled Dress for a Baby's Baptism Step 1
    Dress up for the occasion. Baptisms call for a fancier attire than what you might wear everyday. You should invest in a pretty dress, skirt, or pantsuit, or wear one that you already own. As a guide for how classy your outfit should be--you should be more dressed up than if you were at a backyard barbecue, but less dressed up than if you were attending a wedding.[1] Some outfit ideas include:
    • A dress with an optional wrap or light sweater.
    • A skirt and blouse that is not too revealing.
    • Tailored pants with a smart top (think business casual).
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    Wear bright colors if you feel so inclined. Unlike weddings, baptisms don’t have any rules about what colors you can and can’t wear (its pretty unlikely that you’ll match the baby, unless you show up in white from head to foot). Because this is a happy occasion, feel free to wear bright colors and interesting patterns.[2]
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    Avoid clothes that might be deemed inappropriate. While there might not be restrictions on color choice, there are restrictions on what cuts of clothing you can wear. Avoid showing off your bare shoulders and definitely avoid low-cut necklines. If you pick out a dress or skirt, make sure that it reaches down below your knees--miniskirts are frowned upon.[3]
    • Other clothes that you should avoid include: jeans, flip flops, Uggs, sneakers, or anything that you might see at a nightclub.
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    Bring a sweater or wrap with you. Churches can get pretty chilly, especially during colder months. You can kill two birds with one stone when you wear a sweater or jacket--it will make your outfit seem more demure, and it will keep you warm.
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    Wear cute but sensible heels. Sky-high heels are generally not appropriate for a baptism. Instead, wear lower heels that you can walk and stand comfortably in. Wear shoes appropriate for the weather--if its snowing outside you might want to leave your open-toed slingbacks at home.

Method 2
Men’s Attire

  1. Image titled Dress for a Baby's Baptism Step 6
    Dress to impress. Pick out either a sport coat or suit that looks good while also being relatively comfortable. While some baptisms may be more casual than others, if you are unsure about how dressy the event is, go for a suit. If you want to skip the sport coat, you can also generally wear a nice dress shirt and tie paired with some killer slacks.[4]
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    Pick out a fun tie. Baptisms are a happy occasion and your tie should reflect that. This doesn’t mean you should break out that tie covered in cartoon characters for the occasion. However, ties in light colors and fun patterns are definitely acceptable. Make sure your tie matches with the rest of your outfit’s color scheme.[5]
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    Wear some nice dress shoes. Shoes are an important part of every outfit--particularly an outfit that involves a suit. Ditch the sneakers and wear some dress shoes. Before the big day, buff your shoes up to give them a bit of shine.
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    Consider bringing a change of clothes for the reception. If you’re going to a party or reception after the baptism and really can’t stand being in a suit for very long, you could bring a change of clothes that still look nice but are more comfortable than a suit. An appropriate change of clothes would consist of a nice polo and some ironed khakis.[6]

Method 3
Kids’ Attire

  1. Image titled Dress for a Baby's Baptism Step 10
    Dress your kids up in church-appropriate clothing. While they might want to wear their favorite animal onesie day in and day out, you will have to pick out some nice clothes for your kids. For girls, dresses in bright colors or floral patterns are a great option. Boys can wear corduroys or khakis and a collared shirt. Other clothing ideas include:
    • For girls: A dress and sweater; a skirt and blouse; some khakis, a blouse, and a sweater.
    • For boys: Khakis and a button up shirt; corduroys and a sweater; slacks and a polo shirt.
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    Think about comfort. While it’s important to keep the dress code in mind, you also don’t want fidgeting children making a ruckus at the baptism. When picking out their outfits, like the ones listed in the previous step, make sure that the materials are comfortable and loose fitting. If possible, let your kids pick out which fancy clothes they want to wear--they will be happier if they’ve picked out what they want to wear.
    • You can skip the tights for your little girls--this is a semi-formal event and there is no need to squish them into tights unless specifically asked to do so by the church or family that is having the baptism.
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    Pick out comfortable shoes. Like tights, fancy, uncomfortable kids shoes are probably not necessary. However, it is your call. If you do decide to have your kids wear dress shoes, make sure to bring comfortable shoes that they can change into for the reception.


  • Offer to take pictures. It might be a good gift to give to the parents or to place in a church bulletin.
  • Don't wear too much cologne or perfume.

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Categories: Religion