We reveal how the style etiquette differs from weddings, plus we pick some perfect pieces...
With a another royal baby having arrived, it seems the country has got babies on the brain. From the gender to names and presents, we can barely contain our excitement for the new Windsor addition. But baby Archie also reminds us that christening season is upon us, and soon we’ll be wetting the heads of our loved ones babies. So it’s only right that we should start thinking about our clothes, because every year we find ourselves asking the same question while staring into our wardrobe: what to wear to a christening?
We often complain about the rules of dressing imposed at weddings – no white, nothing sheer, nothing that might take away from the bride – but having a set of general guidelines of what not to wear, makes dressing for an occasion so much easier.
Hence the panic that dressing for a christening – the ever-ambiguous smart causal of the occasion world – often incites. It’s casual, but is it casual enough for denim? It’s formal, but is it formal enough for a fascinator? Well, yes and yes.
What to wear to a christening very much depends on who invited you, and what sort of day it’ll be. If it’s the imminent christening of a royal baby (or the like), then by all means, it’s an occasion for full frock coat and fascinator regalia. But if it’s close family and there’s the possibility of spending part of the day chasing after small children and eating cake off a paper plate in somebody’s back garden, then there’s no reason why you can’t dress up a pair of white jeans with a tailored blazer and pretty ballet flat.
Jumpsuits are a great halfway point between style and comfort, making them the mecca of occasion wear. And they’re on the up. What’s been pipped as the “Phoebe Waller-Bridge” effect has seen a surge in sales of jumpsuits this Spring after the writer and actress wore one in her BBC Three smash hit show Fleabag. But jumpsuits aren’t exclusively for the young and extremely lithe, as proven on numerous occasions by our favourite women of ageless style Lorraine Kelly and Twiggy.
As we embrace summer, linen is a great fabric for straddling the formal-casual divide, be it in the form of a pretty tea-length dress or pair of bang-on-trend wide leg trousers. (See our style picks below.) For a more formal crowd wondering what to wear to a christening, take a leaf from Carole Middleton’s book – with four grandchildren under her belt, if anyone knows good christening style, it’s her.
Baby Archie was christened on July and the official family picture is a great example of what styles might be expected from the parents, in-laws and extended family in a super formal setting.
Meghan, 37, wore a white Dior gown and matching hat and while most of us might not be able to afford couture, there are plenty of simple yet stylish pieces out there in white and ivory. Meanwhile Kate and Meghan’s mother Doria wore soft coral colours and Camilla followed Meghan’s lead.
Christenings are joyous, happy, occasions and this should be reflected in the colour palette worn by guests. One of the world’s most famous grandmothers looked bright in a pale, pistachio-hued blue knot front dress and matching hat to the christening of Prince Louis in July of last year, giving us the expert lesson in christening dressing we all needed.
But if you want to be bolder, don’t be afraid to be a bit more daring by braving bright prints and vibrant hues that will make you stand out. After all, it doesn’t really matter if you upstage a baby…
So if you’re wondering what to wear to a christening, see our favourite church-ready fashion picks to buy now…
What to wear to a christening:
You can’t go wrong with a stunning, brightly-coloured midi skirt – and this feathered one from Coast is a brilliant pick. Pair with a simply coloured piece on top – let the orange do all the talking.
Unlike a wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear very light colours. We love this stunning Hobbs coat in oyster – a style much loved by the Duchess of Cambridge. At £279, it’s pricey, but this will never date – meaning it can stay in your wardrobe for decades.
Animal print is the trend of the season, so make a statement in this gorgeous Lorraine Kelly jumpsuit from JD Williams. The wide leg design and wide sleeves mean it’s a super comfortable fit.
A pencil skirt needn’t be just for the office – and this bright yellow number would work brilliantly when you next ask yourself, ‘What to wear to a christening?’. Keep the rest of the outfit laid-back, and let the skirt speak for itself.
If you’re not one for pale pastels and creams, and prefer a more dramatic, glamorous look, this Whistles maxi dress is perfect for a summer christening. The frill detail softens the look, while the flowing material ensures a flattering fit.
Swap your painful stilettos for these ultra-comfy, and so on trend mule sandals, which will go with dresses, trousers and skirts. The chic, striped nautical print with peep toes are super stylish.
Keep it simple and classic with this stunning, fitted blazer from Wallis. At only £37.80, it won’t break the bank either! But it’s selling fast, so get yours quickly.
A super bright blouse will transform your outfit from drab to fab in seconds. We love this one from one of our favourite high-street stores, Hobbs.
Nothing is more versatile than a good pair of crisp white trousers, and this pair from Emma Willis’ collection at Next are perfect. The wide-leg tuxedo-style trousers can be paired with either a blazer, simple top, or a jumper, for a sleek, put-together look at a moment’s notice.
You can’t beat florals when it comes to occasion dressing, and this Ted Baker dress, with flattering Bardot neck and berry print, is one of our favourites. Pair with simple black heels and a black blazer for chillier days – and voila!
Which will you buy?
Words by: Kate McCusker and Amy Hunt