With their fine fabrics, glorious style, and exquisite detailing, christening gowns reflect the significance of special beginnings. The perfect Baptism gown accentuates the fresh innocence and pure beauty of a precious baby. Countless styles of christening gowns can be found through online retailers or in department stores and specialty shops. Yet choosing this once-in-a-lifetime gown does not have to be an overwhelming experience. When parents learn the basic facts about christening fashions, they will discover the best style for their beautiful baby.
Without exception, the perfect choice for a christening gown should be a comfortable style for the baby. Designers always consider the baby’s comfort and choose the finest fabrics which will feel soft and gentle next to a baby’s tender skin. Since all-natural fabrics breathe well, 100% cotton, linen, and raw silk are popular for Baptism gowns.
Christening dresses can be made from soft matte satin or silk shantung. Cool organza as well as taffeta, tulle, and tricot, are also used in Baptismal gowns. Often the special dresses combine two fine fabrics such as a luxurious satin dress with organza overlay. Lighter fabrics and short sleeves are best for warmer climates and christening blankets can add warmth in cooler weather.
Knowing a baby’s correct size will also add to their comfort. Since babies of different sizes and ages require christening gowns, choosing a Baptism outfit can never be a ‘one size fits all’ purchase. A baby’s weight, age, or size for casual clothing is not an exact indication of the perfect size for a christening dress. Children of the same age can be different weights or two babies can be the same weight but still could not wear the same gown (such as in the case of tall and shorter babies). Since different clothing manufacturers use varied measurements, sizes for casual clothing in a particular brand can differ from sizing in another brand.
For christening gowns, measure a baby without bulky clothing and wrap a measuring tape around the chest and pull it snug but not to give a tight fit. For maximum comfort, the selected size should be 1-2” greater in the chest than the body measurement. If a baby’s measurement falls between two sizes, always choose the larger size. Babies must be able to move comfortably in their gown.
Comfort is the baby’s priority and their comfort level affects everyone around them. Today’s special moments will become tomorrow’s precious memories. Years into the future, young adults (today’s babies) will view photo albums and video journals of this special day. They will not remember those comfortable moments but they can still take comfort in their unique beginnings and reflect on their religion, family, and childhood.
Since a christening is a lasting memory, parents should choose a christening gown which suits ‘their’ baby. The wide variety of available styles means that everyone can find a gown to suit their budget. Often families like to add a touch of tradition with their baby’s Baptismal outfit. Whether gowns have Irish shamrocks, Venice lace, Swiss embroideries, or French ribbons, these symbolic fashions can reflect a family’s heritage.
Parents may prefer a traditional, heirloom-style gown for their baby. The traditional style can include the classic elegance of cotton batiste or the lavish luxury of pure silk. During the eighteenth century in the United Kingdom, traditional christening gowns were made from embroidered and trimmed silk and satin. During the early Victorian era, fine cotton and linens became the preferred fabrics for christening dresses.
Cotton Victorian-style gowns with smocked bodices offer simple beauty and fine details such as delicate embroidery. Even in Victorian times, the classic cotton gown was embellished with exquisite white embroidery known as Ayrshire work (in which the embroidery was worked with extra needlework fillings and cutwork). In mid-late Victorian times, pin tucks and lace inserts added extra special touches to christening gowns.
Baptism gowns can have just a touch of elegant detail such as a single row of embroidery or elaborate embellishments including rosettes, sequins, beads, and pearls. Today’s parents can even get custom embroidery created for their store-bought gowns. Flowing script-type embroidery of JMJ (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) or crisp embroidery of a baby’s name and christening date can be sewn by a seamstress on underslips or skirts.
If modern style is more appealing to a family, a more contemporary style gown will suit the christening. Introducing a slight touch of color, with pink ribbons or blue floral accents, lends a stylish and fashionable touch. Tailored outfits, pleated styles, and convertible gowns (suits with detachable skirt) are popular choices for today’s little boys. Trendy christening rompers, classy tuxedos, and less formal gowns (for informal services) are gaining popularity with new parents who may prefer a modern look.
Adorable accessories such as satin booties, ruffled socks, and lace-trimmed blankets add extra style and charm to any christening outfit. Whether parents prefer traditional styles or modern designs, every baby just wants to be comfortable on their special day.
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