Choosing an outfit to wear to a christening can cause for some serious questioning - How formal do I need to dress? Are jeans acceptable? Is my top too sheer? Is my skirt too short? If you aren't a frequent attender of church, then knowing what to wear to a place of worship can get a bit tricky.
Unless you’re attending a royal christening, the dress codes tend to err towards the more smart casual then formal. In saying that, unless the occasion is super casual, jeans, shorter skirts and anything you’d wear on an every day basis should stay inside the wardrobe. But dressing for a formal occasion, like a christening, doesn't always mean you have to wear a floor length ball gown to fit in! Fashion these days is all about being more creative with how you dress, and expressing your individual style, no matter what the occasion.
With this in mind, here’s some of key styles when finding the perfect christening dress – staying classy, but also showcasing you know what’s in, and what’s out!
Suitably Short or Sheer
While we certainly want to avoid any offensive clothing, sheer materials, and skirts or dresses that are shorter in length, they can be completely acceptable for a christening when styled correctly. The easiest rule of thumb to follow is: one or the other, don't put the two together.
If your outfit includes a dress or skirt that does happen to be on the shorter side, ensure that the hemline sits an inch or two - maximum - above the knee. This way, you can be sure to avoid any unwanted, awkward "too much information" moments with all your relatives present!
A-line skirts or floaty dresses work best as they tend to move with the body and won't ride up higher and higher with every step you take.
When it comes to conquering the sheer look, the most important thing to remember is: "Keep it classy!" Lace or sheer shirts can work wonders when paired with a stylish, plain tube-skirt, or for something a bit different and more edgy, a pair of pants. Depending on how sheer the material is, will determine whether you need a little singlet underneath.
If it's a sheer or lace dress that you are planning on wearing, it's best if you stick to the darker colours - think navy and black, a thicker lace pattern that's properly lined, and a hemline that falls around the knees. That way you can avoid having too many "peep holes" and exposed skin.
Just because we aren't men and we don't have a closet full of suits, that doesn't mean we can't take a page out of their book and have a go at "suiting up" for a christening! Teaming a pair of pants and a classic blazer can make for the smartest of outfits, no matter how formal the occasion you are dressing for. The key to this look is to make sure the tailoring of your pieces is to a T!
Designers these days are providing us with all the goods to step outside our "cookie-cutter", smart-casual dress code box, and practically pushing us to have a go at something different! When the weather starts to take a turn for the cooler, this option will be your best friend :)
Whether it's a cropped cigarette pant, flared tailored trousers or a silk palazzo pant, the options are endless. Team the bottom half with a perfect matching pair of heels - think plain plumps or strappy sandals - and you've got yourself an outfit that will look smart, suit the occasion, and keep you warm throughout the day.
A sophisticated pantsuits or jumpsuits is a slightly more feminine alternative to a complete suit - and there’s plenty of christening-appropriate options out there to chose from. Our top pick is this Bell Sleeved Jumpsuit with Collar by Self Portrait, a perfect mix of class and modern style.
The perfectly tailored pants team wonderfully with the modern floral lace design of the top half. Our favourite feature: the silk organza bell sleeves and bib-like front. Pair the jumpsuit with pointed pumps for a truly top-to-toe christening worthy outfit. Avoid ankle straps on your heels as it’ll cut your leg awkwardly below the hem of the pants.
Bright & Colourful
Christenings these days tend to lean on the more casual side, and as an event that happens during the day, what better way to celebrate new life than with an outfit that 'pops'; full of colour and fun prints! While we don't want you to wear an outfit that looks like you've had your nieces and nephews throw paint all over your garment, a little bit of colour never went astray!
The brighter the colour or the crazier the print, try and keep the dress style simple, and the length respectable. While we are all for expressing your inner-fashionista, you won't feel comfortable sitting in the Church if every second head is looking at you and your multi-coloured frock, instead of focusing on the baby.
Think pretty little garden dresses with a floral print, or team an A-line skirt with a bright pattern with a simple shirt that matches one of the colours in the print. Keep accessories to a minimum and shoes comfortable and classic, and you're bound to have the best outfit at the christening.
One of our favourites, this incredibly gorgeous mid length Bridal Off the Shoulder Dress by Camilla and Marc will be your next best friend for events of all sorts and sizes.
The off the shoulder nature of the dress may seem a touch too “fancy” for a christening, but the classic shape and faux skirt-top silhouette makes it ay-okay for a formal function as such. Style with a simple sling back heel (in a print or colour of course) and loose waves for a simple yet sophisticated look.
If the christening is happening in the winter months, or inside a church, bring along a beautiful silk-cashmere throw to drape over your shoulders for a truly elegant touch.
When it comes to finding the perfect christening dress, while we certainly don’t want to outshine the baby of the day – nor the parents, of course – allow yourself to have a bit of fun with both style and colour. If the Queen of England can wear canary yellow head to toe, then so can we!