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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am getting baptized in the Catholic Church this coming Saturday evening and would appreciate some advice as to appropriate attire. As I have gone through the process to join the Church, I have only attended daytime masses. As such, I've worn lounge suits for regular masses, and a stroller for masses where I have partaken in certain rites.

My dilemma arises from the following thoughts:
1.) My baptism will be in the evening;
2.) A baptism is a significant event in my life, and as such a lounge suit feels too informal; and
3.) The evening equivalent for my stroller would be my dinner jacket, but I feel that these days a dinner jacket has connotations of more social than formal evening events (weddings, galas, etc.).

What are the thoughts of the brain trust here? Should I wear a lounge suit or a dinner jacket? I'm familiar with most of the classic rules of dress, but this particular scenario escapes me. What did folks back in the day wear to evening baptisms?
 

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Hello All,

I am getting baptized in the Catholic Church this coming Saturday evening and would appreciate some advice as to appropriate attire. As I have gone through the process to join the Church, I have only attended daytime masses. As such, I've worn lounge suits for regular masses, and a stroller for masses where I have partaken in certain rites.

My dilemma arises from the following thoughts:
1.) My baptism will be in the evening;
2.) A baptism is a significant event in my life, and as such a lounge suit feels too informal; and
3.) The evening equivalent for my stroller would be my dinner jacket, but I feel that these days a dinner jacket has connotations of more social than formal evening events (weddings, galas, etc.).

What are the thoughts of the brain trust here? Should I wear a lounge suit or a dinner jacket? I'm familiar with most of the classic rules of dress, but this particular scenario escapes me. What did folks back in the day wear to evening baptisms?
In my neck of the woods you are substantially overdressed wearing a suit for nearly any church function. I believe suit and tie would be perfectly acceptable.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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You don't list your locale, but in any RC (Or other denomination!) church I've been to, dress is hyper-casual. A stroller!? Really!?!? Obviously, you've already received God's blessing since you can carry off that attire at services.

As other members have noted, as you like to dress up, (I do too!) a dark lounge suit will be more than adequate for the occasion, yet not place you beyond the pale sartorially.
 

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You don't list your locale, but in any RC (Or other denomination!) church I've been to, dress is hyper-casual. A stroller!? Really!?!? Obviously, you've already received God's blessing since you can carry off that attire at services.

As other members have noted, as you like to dress up. (I do too!) a dark lounge suit will be more than adequate for the occasion, yet not place you beyond the pale sartorially.
+1 with Flanderian and fishertw
 

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Your RCIA advisor will go over specifics with you prior to the event, but basically a suit (I can't bring myself to call it a "lounge suit") or sportcoat and trousers; afterwards you'll wear a white robe over it, so you can color-coordinate accordingly. Remember, respectful and humble, not "look at me!" or fabulous.

(Mine was easy! I wore a Christening gown...)

DH
 

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Congrats. I came into the Catholic Church in 2008 at 21 years old. I wore a regular ol' suit.

Even though this was before I knew more about clothing, I'd still wear a suit if I went through it now.

I was fully immersed with my baptism so I changed into other clothing for that and I think the small handful of water on the head is more standard, but at my current church the baptizee gets on his knees and has water dumped over his head so I definitely would not recommend wearing a suit for that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the replies gentlemen; I will consider a suit then.

I guess I have trouble with wearing a suit and tie for such an event because that's what I would wear to a regular mass. It seems odd to me to dress no more formally for my baptism than I would for a regular observance. To me that would be like wearing a regular suit I wear for business day to day to my daytime wedding. If the manner in which we dress signifies the importance we place on the event, how does dressing the same for a special event as we do for a regular event make any sense?

Also, for those who mentioned it, there will not be full immersion.
 

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Thank you for the replies gentlemen; I will consider a suit then.

I guess I have trouble with wearing a suit and tie for such an event because that's what I would wear to a regular mass. It seems odd to me to dress no more formally for my baptism than I would for a regular observance. To me that would be like wearing a regular suit I wear for business day to day to my daytime wedding. If the manner in which we dress signifies the importance we place on the event, how does dressing the same for a special event as we do for a regular event make any sense?

Also, for those who mentioned it, there will not be full immersion.
I think you may be confusing formality with significance. Formality of dress pertains to social conventions, not religious or personal significance.

After all, what were you wearing when God welcomed you into this world? ;)
 

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Not to get too preachy, but I’d focus a bit more where God is focusing....on the heart, rather than the earthly vessel. Showing respect for the significance of the occasion is great. Dressing in a way that makes a spectacle of yourself, in my opinion, risks an altogether different and undesirable effect.

I’m sorry, but a stroller to church?
 

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I'm a serious Catholic and actually attending my daughter-in-law's confirmation this Easter vigil at the Cathedral. Either dark suit and tie or dress trousers with navy blazer and tie would be perfect. As others have suggested, please do not consider anything more formal. Dress trousers and sport coat sans tie would also be perfectly acceptable, but a bit sub-optimal IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello Gents, I appreciate your insights.

Flanderian, you wrote,"I think you may be confusing formality with significance." Confusion would be an apt word here. My understanding of dress codes is that formality and significance are strongly positively correlated. The more significant an event, the more formally we dress. Having breakfast at home is not a significant event, so I do not wear a jacket and tie. The death of a family member is a significant event, so we wear a black suit. What am I missing here?

FLMike, I'm unsure how wearing a black odd jacket, cashmere stripe odd trousers, and a black waistcoat makes a spectacle of anyone. To most people it looks no more formal than a suit, and the same level of formality as a three piece lounge. I'm not walking into church with a monocle and a sword-cane. While I am new to the Church, I am not new to organized religion, and in my respectful opinion, the oft-expressed position that we should focus on the relationship to God and not on the Earthly vessel is a convenient cop-out for people who don't care to put in much effort to presenting themselves in a manner befitting the importance of the event.

Just to be clear, at this point I'm not trying to justify dressing more formally than others, nor am I interested in anachronism. At this point I'm simply trying to understand what the underlying rationale is for the positions expressed above. If a baptism is a more important/significant event than mass, and I wear a lounge suit to regular masses, how does wearing the same thing to my baptism reflect the general principle that formality increases as the importance of the event does?
 

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Your RCIA advisor will go over specifics with you prior to the event, but basically a suit (I can't bring myself to call it a "lounge suit") or sportcoat and trousers; afterwards you'll wear a white robe over it, so you can color-coordinate accordingly. Remember, respectful and humble, not "look at me!" or fabulous.

(Mine was easy! I wore a Christening gown...)

DH
Dhaller, I have a hard time with the term "lounge suit" as well but used it as the OP had for consistency. Actually I think that is the first time I ever wrote/typed the words;-)
 

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My understanding of dress codes is that formality and significance are strongly positively correlated. The more significant an event, the more formally we dress... What am I missing here?
At this point, I am fairly sure we have a troll (the suffix "ookami" - "wolf" - perhaps sways my opinion here) in our midst.

That said: What are you missing? Well, you are very wrong in your assertion that "formality and significance" are strongly correlated. It's usually events of fairly low significance which are formal, like balls, opening nights and so on. I think you are mistaking "ceremony" with "significance", but even ceremony doesn't necessarily imply "formal"... it DOES imply "correct", and a stroller (sigh) is certainly not correct dress for an adult baptism.

Take it from someone who attended Catholic schools, attended Catholic churches, has met a Pope, and whose mother had an audience with the Pope in Rome: it is ridiculous - not simply wrong, ridiculous - to wear a stroller to your baptism (or even to a Church service). It is absolutely making a spectacle of yourself.

DH
 

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When I was baptized (just with water on the forehead - Anglican service) I actually wore just a white shirt and black pants. I was 12, nobody was expecting me to wear a jacket, and at that point in time I didn't even own a suit, nor could my parents afford to buy me one for one occasion, as important in spiritual life it was.

When I do get confirmed at some point down the road, I plan to wear my best suit. However, I'm in my mid-30s and it is an entirely different affair.

If you are getting baptized, I would encourage you to wear a suit. Nothing fancy, no stroller or morning dress. Baptism isn't a time to make people say, "Look at the guy up front", it's a time to say, "Look at God". I'm not familiar with the RC rites, but in my faith, the ceremony is performed during a Mass, and is part of a bigger ceremony, often with Scripture readings and Holy Communion. When it's time to be baptized, you are called to the front, certain prayers and requests of the congregation are made (for example the congregation agrees to help guide you in your spiritual life) and you get a bit of oil or water on your head and you go back to sit with family who are there. You are not asked to speak or do anything which requires you to adopt a costume, as an adult undergoing baptism.

I would no more wear my stroller to baptism as I would wear my frock coat, my tuxedo or my morning coat. Each has a purpose, and you will get to wear many such items through your lifetime, but you want to look like the other people there, and while this is a very special time in your life, the lounge suit is perfectly fine and proper.

C.
 

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Not RC here, but I'd say that you couldn't go wrong with a black or solid navy suit, black shoes, black socks, white spread collar shirt, and a very subtle, very dark burgundy tie.

Skip the french cuffs and pocket square.

Apropos of nothing really, but the last denominations who still (try to somewhat) dress for church in my neck of the woods are Episcopalians/Anglicans, some older Methodists, and most of the older (and single younger female) Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics.
I would replace the black suit recommendation with a charcoal suit. As for socks, navy with the navy suit and charcoal with the charcoal suit.

Otherwise, I agree with your recommendations.
 
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