What To Wear To A Christening Or Baptism

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Figuring out what to wear to a christening or baptism is not as difficult as it may seem, but it takes a little navigation.

Other ceremonial gatherings like weddings and funerals either have a strict unspoken dress code, or the dress code is assigned in the invitation.

A christening or baptism does not come with a set of ‘rules’. It’s a far less formal ceremony than most, so you have a lot of options.

Herein lies the problem… what does ‘far less formal’, mean? The last thing you want is to show up inappropriately dressed or overdressed.

In this article, I am going to go through some great outfit ideas for christening and baptism outfits. And although there are no written rules as to what to wear, there are a few things you should avoid, so we’ll have a look at those, too, to make sure you show up to the christening or baptism, looking on point.


What To Wear To A Christening Or Baptism

Baptism and christening invitations don’t often specify a dress code, so take your cues from the venue and setting of the ceremony.

Even though baptisms and christenings are not usually super formal ceremonies, they are always at least a little formal and are usually performed in a church.

Anytime you enter a place of worship, be it a church, temple, or mosque, you need to dress appropriately. This means modestly, with shoulders covered. You can go with a sleeveless blouse or dress, as long as you also have a wrap, shawl, or basically anything with sleeves that will cover bare shoulders.

Even though baptisms and christenings are not usually super formal ceremonies, they are always at least a little formal and are usually performed in a church.

Besides modesty, one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing what to wear to a christening or baptism is the season. I am going to split this up into spring/summer and fall/winter categories and show you some great outfit ideas for both warmer and colder weather ceremonies.

1. Dresses

When looking for a dress to wear for this occasion, you can go one of two ways – more flowy or A-line, or you can opt for a more fitted dress. Understand that ‘fitted’ does NOT mean skin tight. Skip the bodycon dresses altogether.

And when it comes to the more flowy dresses, go for something that has at least a bit of structure to it. Try to avoid the mumu-styled boho summer dresses that are just a little too casual for this occasion. Here are a few dress options that will work well.

Spring / Summer

Spring Summer Dress 1
Spring Summer Dress 2
Spring Summer Dress 3
Spring Summer Dress 4
Spring Summer Dress 5

Here are links to check these out on Amazon:

Fall / Winter Dresses

Fall Winter Dress 1
Fall Winter Dress 2
Fall Winter Dress 3
Fall Winter Dress 4
Fall Winter Dress 5

Here are links to check out these fall and winter dresses on Amazon:

2. Skirts and Blouses

If you prefer separates, going with a skirt and a blouse is also a great option. Midi and maxi skirts are a more appropriate length for a church setting. And just make sure that your blouse neckline is high enough that you’re not showing any cleavage.

You have so many options, but here are a few to get you inspired.

Spring / Summer Skirt and Blouse Combos

Spring Summer Skirt 1
Spring Summer Blouse 1

Here are Amazon links to these:

Floerns Women's Floral Printed Elastic Waist A Line Pleated Ruffle Midi Skirt White Floral XS
Floerns Women's Floral Printed Elastic Waist A Line Pleated Ruffle Midi Skirt White Floral XS
Notice: Fabric has no stretch; Floral print, midi length, elastic bow tie waist, boho midi pleated skirt
$28.99

Spring Summer Skirt 2
Spring Summer Blouse 2

Here are Amazon links to these:


Spring Summer Skirt 3
Spring Summer Blouse 3

Here are Amazon links to these:

Fall / Winter Skirt and Blouse Combos

Fall Winter Skirt 1
Fall Winter Blouse 1

Here are Amazon links to these:

Velvet by Graham & Spencer womens Meri Surplice Top Shirt, Black, Large US
Velvet by Graham & Spencer womens Meri Surplice Top Shirt, Black, Large US
Feminine neckline; Gauzy whisper classics group; One of our bestselling knit tops in a surplice long sleeve body
$73.00

Fall Winter Skirt 2
Fall Winter Blouse 2

Here are Amazon links to these:

Alex Evenings womens Jacket and Scoop Tank Top Twinset (Petite Regular Sizes) Dress Shirt, Black/Stone, Small US
Alex Evenings womens Jacket and Scoop Tank Top Twinset (Petite Regular Sizes) Dress Shirt, Black/Stone, Small US
2 piece set includes tank and jacket; Hook-and-eye closure jacket; Center back length of jacket: 24 1/4", tank: 13 3/4"
$151.06
Vince Women's Brushed Flannel Side Slit Slip Skirt, DARK TAUPE, 00
Vince Women's Brushed Flannel Side Slit Slip Skirt, DARK TAUPE, 00
Invisible zipper.; Model’s height is 5’ 10”, bust 32”, waist 24”, hips 35”. Model wears a size S.
$325.00

Fall Winter Skirt 3
Fall Winter Blouse 3

Here are Amazon links to these:

Sale
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Lightweight Long-Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater (Available in Plus Size), Charcoal Heather, Medium
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Lightweight Long-Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater (Available in Plus Size), Charcoal Heather, Medium
Close-but-comfortable fit with easy movement; Lightweight and soft yarn; Turtleneck neckline
$22.50
Sale
IDEALSANXUN Womens High Elastic Waist Maxi Skirt A-line Plaid Winter Warm Flare Long Skirt (X-Large, Mid-Calf Black&White)
IDEALSANXUN Womens High Elastic Waist Maxi Skirt A-line Plaid Winter Warm Flare Long Skirt (X-Large, Mid-Calf Black&White)
Mid-calf length wool skirt for fall winter; Side pocket with PU leather; Black&White plaid pattern midi wool skirts
$36.99

3. Slacks and Blouses

No one said you can only wear skirts and dresses. A lot of women just feel more comfortable wearing pants. When it comes to baptisms and christenings, think more like slacks – as in dressier pants. Something you might wear in a formal office setting, for example.

When it comes to putting together an ensemble with slacks, just go with well-tailored pieces. Think in terms of more ‘lunch at the country club’, rather than ‘just nipping out to pick up some groceries’.

You have so many options with slacks. Here are just a few to get you pointed in the right direction.

Spring / Summer Slacks and Blouse Combos

Spring Summer Blouse 1
Spring Summer Slacks 1

Palazzo pants can be a great choice, see here for some great inspiration on Palazzo pants. Here are Amazon links to these:


Spring Summer Blouse 2
Spring Summer Slacks 2

Here are Amazon links to these:

MakeMeChic Women's Floral Print Long Sleeve Ruffle High Neck Blouse Shirt Top Multicolor XL
MakeMeChic Women's Floral Print Long Sleeve Ruffle High Neck Blouse Shirt Top Multicolor XL
Allover print bishop sleeve frill trim mock neck blouse; Fabric has no stretch, but it's soft and comfortable
$24.99
FUNYYZO Women's Wide Leg Pants High Elastic Waisted in The Back Business Work Trousers Long Straight Suit Pants for Summer (Large, Beige)
FUNYYZO Women's Wide Leg Pants High Elastic Waisted in The Back Business Work Trousers Long Straight Suit Pants for Summer (Large, Beige)
MATERIAL -- 95% Polyester, 5%Spandex; OCCASIONS -- Work, Coffee Shop, Daily Casual, Exhibition, Vacation
$35.00

Spring Summer Blouse 3
Spring Summer Slacks 3

Here are Amazon links to these:

Romwe Women's Floral Print Ruffle Puff Short Sleeve Casual Blouse Tops Blue Middle
Romwe Women's Floral Print Ruffle Puff Short Sleeve Casual Blouse Tops Blue Middle
★Fabric: Fabric is comfortable with no stretch; ★Design: Floral print, puff frill trim sleeve and keyhole back blouse tops
$22.99
Nine West Womens Printed Formal Dress Pants Blue 14
Nine West Womens Printed Formal Dress Pants Blue 14
Style: Dress Pants; Size Type: Regular; Country of Origin: Vietnam; Care Instructions: Dry clean
$49.99

Fall / Winter Slacks and Blouse Combos

Fall Winter Slacks 1
Fall Winter Blouse 1

Here are Amazon links to these:

Alex Evenings Women's Mandarin Neck Twinset Tank Top and Jacket Petite Regular, Black/White Leaf, L
Alex Evenings Women's Mandarin Neck Twinset Tank Top and Jacket Petite Regular, Black/White Leaf, L
Two Piece Glitter Knit Twinset; Scoop Neckline Tank; Soft and Stretchy Knit Fabric with Glitter Detail
Alex Evenings Women's Wide Leg Chiffon Dress Pant (Petite Regular Plus Sizes), Black Side Tie, LP
Alex Evenings Women's Wide Leg Chiffon Dress Pant (Petite Regular Plus Sizes), Black Side Tie, LP
Evening pant; Elastic waist; This style is available in Regular, Plus Size and Petite on Amazon.com
$85.00

Fall Winter Slacks 2
Fall Winter Blouse 2

Here are Amazon links to these:


Fall Winter Slacks 3
Fall Winter Blouse 3

Here are Amazon links to these:

Sale
The Drop Women's @lucyswhims Long Sleeve Button Down Stretch Satin Shirt, Pacific Teal, XXS
The Drop Women's @lucyswhims Long Sleeve Button Down Stretch Satin Shirt, Pacific Teal, XXS
Made of a light-weight, soft, stretch satin; This button down shirt has fabric covered buttons and a functional sleeve cuff
$15.64

4. A Pantsuit

A pantsuit is another perfect option for baptisms and christenings. Pant suits can work in any season.

Pantsuit 1
Pantsuit 2
Pantsuit 3

Here are Amazon links for these pantsuits:


Can I Wear Jeans To A Christening?

Even though a christening isn’t a super formal affair, jeans are too casual. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and go for smarter, more polished pieces. You don’t want to get there and realize you are underdressed.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution and go for smarter, more polished pieces. You don’t want to get there and realize you are underdressed.

Say it’s your grandma’s 90th birthday and the family is treating her to a special dinner in a fancy restaurant. Presumably, you wouldn’t be wearing jeans to that. It’s kind of the same idea. Nothing over-the-top fancy, but you are expected to be more than casual.


What Should You Not Wear To A Christening?

We’ve given you some great outfit ideas to show you what to wear to a baptism or christening, but there are a few things you need to avoid:

Avoid tight clothes. You can wear fitted outfits, just not skin-tight. Skip the bodycon pieces.

Avoid cleavage. Think modesty and higher necklines.

Avoid loud, bold colors and patterns. You want to dress nicely, but it’s not ‘your day’, so avoid wearing anything that screams: “Look at me!”

Avoid Sheer fabrics, unless it’s part of an outfit that has you fully covered underneath.

Avoid showing too much skin.

Avoid miniskirts. Slacks and longer skirts are more appropriate. You can even wear a dress or skirt that falls just above the knee IF it’s part of a modest, well-put-together outfit.

Avoid wearing really high heels. There’s nothing wrong with wearing heels, but you will be standing for most of the ceremony, so you will want to wear comfortable shoes. If you want to wear heels, go for a block heel with more support, rather than pumps or stilettos.

Avoid anything too casual, like jeans, sweats, shorts, and any super casual attire. You don’t have to be really formal, but you should look like you made at least a bit of an effort.


What’s The Difference Between A Christening And A Baptism?

If you’ve been invited to someone else’s christening or baptism, and it’s not part of your own culture, it’s easy to understand why there would be some confusion. The terms christening and baptism are often used interchangeably and essentially, as far as invites go, mean the same thing if we are talking about someone’s baby.

The christening is the name for the entire ceremony that ‘christens’ or ‘gives name to’, which is done for infants. The baptism, which is done during the christening ceremony, is the actual sprinkling, or pouring of the water over the baby’s forehead, or sometimes the dunking of the baby (depending on the religious sect) into the water.

Think of it this way – a baby is baptized during a christening ceremony, just like a couple is married during a wedding ceremony.

However, a baptism can be performed for older youths and adults as well, as a separate ceremony. If you’ve been invited to the baptism of someone who is not an infant, it will be just the baptism.

The good news is that whether it’s a christening, a baptism, or both, all of our “what to wear” advice applies to all christenings and baptisms.


Final Thoughts

Most christenings and baptisms aren’t super formal. Let’s put it this way…. You can pretty much wear anything (modest) that you would wear for an occasion you’d go out of your way to shave your legs and do your nails for. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).