What to Wear to a Christening, Baptism, Funeral? How a Stylist Can Get it Right
Dressing for a special occasion can be tricky. Adhering to all the unwritten rules that govern these events can be challenging to negotiate but important to do. Should you wear that trendy jacket with those daring cutouts to your uncle’s funeral because, at least, it’s black? A personal stylist can guide you in these types of instances. He or she has lots of experience in dressing clients for all kinds of occasions and can help you avoid making an embarrassing mistake.
Sometimes you just need someone there who will say, “No!”
Here are some tips to consider that I’ve gleaned over years of dressing women for every type of event possible. I am hoping they will help you down the path of choosing the most appropriate outfit for wearing to a christening, baptism, or funeral.
Clothing should always respect the occasion. Respecting the event, venue, and the person(s) you’re celebrating, along with family members and friends involved in these ceremonies should guide how you dress.
For christenings and funerals, you should always dress semi-formally and modestly. It’s always better to err on the side of conservative clothing and colors at these religious ceremonies.
Wearing only a lace bra under a silk jacket is not going to win you any brownie points with your friend(s) or family, trust me. A jacket with just a bra may be a trend, but it’s NOT what your mother wants to see you in. Remember, these religious occasions are not about you, so don’t dress to get noticed. Be sure to avoid low-cut tops and plunging necklines, and any tight and clingy clothes. Spaghetti straps fall on the side of sexy so consider a thicker strap if you’re going sleeveless. Or opt for short sleeves. If you look at your outfit and think “sexy,” you’ll want to change into something more demure. Very short anything doesn’t mix well with church either, so try to keep your hemlines anywhere from just above the knee (around 1 inch) to midi or maxi length. Save your sexy and/or trendy outfits for other events.
Know What Works . . .
Fabric With Movement
Clothes with motion can feel just dressy enough for these occasions. A midi- or maxi-length dress with a great print that has a bit of swirl to it is perfect.
Pants and Pantsuits
Don’t hesitate to wear pants to these events. Just keep them on the side of dressy, so no jeans for sure. They are just a bit too casual for these momentous occasions. Where I think denim could work might be a smart denim jacket worn over a printed midi dress or jumpsuit. Pants, as well as dresses, are most comfortable for these types of daytime events.
No flip-flops or sneakers or, God forbid, Uggs. You are not going to your kid’s soccer game. Find a pair of attractive, formal pumps or sandals that are not too high and don’t attract attention.
Don’t Forget the Important Things
One of my go-to recommendations is to always bring along a wrap, shawl, or cardigan that matches your outfit so that if you get cold during the ceremony, you’ll have something to warm you up that also looks exceptional with what you’re wearing. These accessories can also be the “pop-of-color” you might add to keep that LBD (little black dress) from looking so somber.
Be Careful with Color
Wearing white for either a christening or funeral is perfectly acceptable. Unlike a wedding, where you never want to be in white. You don’t want to upstage the bride, after all. Again remember, the event is not about you. I personally consider white a preferred color for funerals. In many religions, white symbolizes life, celebration, renewal, etc. What better color to wear to a ceremony celebrating a person’s life?
Black is generally an accepted color at weddings, especially the more formal ones, but it can also be a bit too gloomy for a christening or baptism. If you want to wear your LBD, consider adding a pop of color with your accessories to avoid looking too drab.
Black is also a color appropriate for funerals. But something to consider is that people often think about funerals as celebrations of life rather than mournful end-of-life events these days. If this is the case and you’re attending a celebration of life, ask the family involved if they desire a specific look, color, or general feel to everyone’s attire.
Do not wear strong perfumes. They draw attention to yourself as well and can potentially cause allergic reactions like sneezing or coughing among other people during the service.
With these tips in mind, if you’re still unsure of what to wear or want to avoid making a new purchase that ends up being a mistake, ask your personal stylist. She can help you find a new outfit or work with pieces already in your closet that will make an appropriate ensemble.
Having a personal stylist can take the guesswork out of dressing for almost any occasion. It is our job to be up on not only what’s trending in women’s fashion, but to help you with so many different dressing questions like…
How to dress for a Black-Tie Affair?
Best Options when dressing for a Summer Wedding?
What to wear to an Informal Daytime Wedding?
What is Semi-Formal attire?
The best part about consulting a personal stylist is she’ll understand not only what’s acceptable for any occasion, but she’ll be able to take into consideration your body type, your personal style, and your skin tone when making suggestions for what you should wear. The ins and outs of dressing etiquette for all occasions are part of our job description. We can even give you advice on the best stores and boutiques if you need to shop for these special occasions.
We look forward to working with you on your next important occasion!