What to wear to a christening: Appropriate outfits that hit the right mark

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Christening invite but no outfit?

    In some ways, deciding what to wear to a christening is far easier than outfit planning for a wedding.

    For one, there are no rules surrounding which colours you can and can’t wear – nor do you have to worry upstaging anyone. (That is, of course, unless you’re planning on wearing a full-length white gown.)

    But, with fewer rules in place, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    If there’s no dress code specified on the invite, it’s best to take your cues from where the ceremony will be taking place, or which part of it you’re attending.

    Smart casual is perfect for more low-key occasions, but for fancier events, take notes from Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits for her own children’s christenings, and that of her nephew Archie.

    You’ll need to put slightly more consideration into your outfit if you’re attending the church, making sure your shoulders are covered and you’re not showing too much skin.

    Can you wear a short dress to a christening?

    Super short dresses and churches don’t tend to mix. To ensure your outfit remains respectful whether you’re sitting or standing, opt for a knee-grazing length or longer.

    The high-street is brimming with midi-length skirts and dresses, so you won’t struggle to find something that hits the mark.

    Is it OK to wear jeans to a christening?

    Whether or not it’s ok to wear jeans to a christening is up for debate, and will depend on both the style of jeans you’re planning to wear and the dress code of the celebration.

    As a general rule, we’d say white skinny jeans teamed with a tunic or blouse sit on the right side of appropriate, whereas acid-wash or ripped denim will be a no-no.

    What to wear to a christening


    Christenings tend to involve running around with little ones, so if you are worried about a wardrobe malfunction, a jumpsuit is a great choice.

    Go sleeveless on warmer days, or, if you’re not keen on showing off your arms, a caped or angel sleeve is really flattering. Cropped styles are great for petites, while a wide-leg style will suit all silhouettes – flaring out from the waist to create the illusion of a longer, leaner frame.

    Lightweight linen

    A shift towards more natural fabrics has fuelled the linen comeback in recent years. A great choice for christenings, it will help you carefully toe the line between formal and casual.

    Think a tailored linen blazer thrown over a silky midi dress, or a lightweight linen suit in a rich rust or pastel tone.

    Worried about creases? Look out for linen mix fabrics, that won’t crumple as soon as you leave the house.

    Bold brights

    Christenings are joyful occasions, so don’t be afraid to dress to match the mood. The bigger and brighter the print you opt for the better.

    Normally favour a more muted palette? Ease yourself in by teaming a vibrant blouse with a neutral pair of trousers, or visa versa.

    Go-to brands when shopping for a christening outfit

    Phase Eight

    Specialising in occasionwear that’s as pretty as it is practical, Phase Eight have all events covered – including christenings. Shop here for feminine floral wrap dresses through to stylish jumpsuits and tailoring.

    Shop Phase Eight new in


    Reiss’ coats are the jewel in their crown, perfect for grown-up layering when the weather isn’t playing ball. Their work-ready separates are easy to dress for a christening too, creating a gorgeous, well-cut base for you to build your outfit on.

    Shop Reiss new in 


    For something a bit different, you can’t beat high-street hero Whistles. Classic pieces with a fashion-forward twist, invest now in their printed dresses and skirts and you’ll have a failsafe christening outfit for years to come.

    Shop Whistles new in

    What to wear to a christening