Guest or godparent, if you’ve been invited to a christening or other naming ceremony, you’ll need to dress to reflect both the significance of the occasion and any specified dress code.
A christening is a happy occasion, although some degree of formality is required. It’s also a great opportunity to project some character and flamboyance through your choice of threads and treads. Read on to find out what’s appropriate to wear at a Christening.
What to Wear
A two piece matching suit is a safe option for what is usually a formal occasion. If the ceremony is conducted in church at least a jacket and tie is recommended. We strongly suggest you do not wear jeans. It’s always best to err on the side of caution by dressing up rather than down.
If you have a classic navy or charcoal suit for all occasions, wear it. If you have a choice of suits, consider the weather and the people who have invited you. Then pick a suit that will complement the climate and please your hosts.
A christening is the ideal opportunity to invest in some new formal wear. Now’s a great chance to get yourself something in a less standard colour. A grey or perhaps a check like the Prince of Wales suit featured above – it’s still formal but with a stylish edge that makes it ideal for weddings, christenings and other functions.
If the thought of sweltering in wool makes you hot under the collar, consider a lightweight linen suit. A quality item worn well will look great, but because linens have a tendency to wrinkle with use, it’s important to consider what the christening day celebrations are likely to entail.
Will you perhaps be forced to make an appearance on a christening party dance floor? If so, linen will keep you cool, but at some cost to your appearance. A good option for summer events is to pair a linen jacket with chinos in a complementary colour – that way your trousers will stay pressed all day long.
When the dress code is smart casual, you can afford to push the boundaries a little further. At the more formal end of the spectrum, a traditional navy blazer worn with contrasting trousers is always a winner. Alternatively opt for a tweed or moleskin jacket and for less formal occasions, corduroy is a great choice.
All-wool suits are unbeatable for winter weather. Choose one that’s manufactured using the traditional half-canvas construction. This stiff interlining material ensures the jacket front and lapels retain their shape, ensuring it looks great year after year.
Winter colours tend to be darker, charcoal and navy are always a safe bet. But consider lighter blues or perhaps a natty pinstripe. Less formal dress codes could see you ditch the suit in favour of a jacket and tie. For the colder months, tweed is a great choice because it’s warm, traditional and looks fantastic.
Pay attention to your trousers – it might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people neglect what does after all constitute half their outfit. Don’t be the person who turns up sporting a dapper jacket paired with trousers so shiny with use that even Last of the Summer Wine’s Compo would turn his nose up at them.
Buying a suit? Double up on the trousers, as they’re more prone to wear and tear, and will ensure your suit lasts longer. For jacket-trouser combos, choose from chinos, moleskin or even cords. Consider injecting a bit of zest into your look by opting for coloured trousers which will contrast nicely with a more neutral jacket and shirt. Burgundy and red go well with light beige or cream, blues look great set against light greys, while greens match well with some tweeds.
A crisp white shirt is perfect for all occasions. But if you’d like to try something with a little more character, pastel shades will work well with your suit, as will stripes and checks. As a rule of thumb, the plainer your suit or jacket, the further you can afford to push the boat out in the shirt department.
Do make sure you go for a cut that complements your body shape. Slim people look best in fitted shirts, larger men should go for a classic cut. And do make sure that before you order, you check out our essential suit guide to ensure the perfect fit.
Shoes and boots
Oxfords or Derbys are the standard match for suits, but within these confines there are actually quite a few options to choose from. You might, for example, decide to make a statement by wearing a pair of tan or brown brogues with a dark blue suit. Want to be bolder with your footwear? Burgundy leather works well with a blue or grey suit. And suede is an excellent match for a summer suit.
Is the dress code smart casual? If so, there’s considerable scope to express your individuality. How about a smart pair of Chelsea boots or monks to go with your jacket-trouser combo? Loafers look great with chinos, and boat shoes are just the ticket if you’re considering wearing linen.
A silk tie, pocket square and a pair of subtle cufflinks are about all you need to put the finishing touches to your christening outfit. Our advice is to go for a plain suit, tie and shirt. Stripes, checks and even spots are acceptable but avoid loud novelty ties.
Now you have the information you need to look truly dapper at a christening, all that remains is to enjoy your day safe in the knowledge that you look the part.