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First Communion For Him

Shopping for 'first communion for him' shouldn't be a boring experience. Boys' communion fashions can now be found in exciting and varied styles to meet every parish and cultural requirement. There are suits, tuxedos, and separates to suit every young gentleman.

Communion Suits

Boys' communion suits may be single breasted, double breasted, or even tuxedos. Many retailers offer five piece 'all in one' sets - jacket, pants, vest, shirt, and tie. Popular colors for suits are black and navy. Boys also wear black, navy, or dark grey pinstriped suits. Light or dark grey, light or dark brown, beige, as well as olive, are commonly seen in fashions. Certain retailers offer suits in more than 30 shades. The all-white suit is also worn for First Communion. Always shop early for an all-white suit. Since many manufacturers make boys' white suits only once a year, the supply can be limited later in the season. To take advantage of the best styles in any color, early shopping is recommended when preparing for his First Communion.

SingleBreasted

Boys often choose dark suits. A single breasted black jacket with a notch lapel has a timeless look. Yet a single breasted white suit, with a paisley vest and a white shirt, is another stylish choice. Most communion suits have a look similar to the more expensive adult styles. Boys' suits, however, are available in all price ranges. The higher priced suits may be wool or wool blends. For those who prefer an international flavor, there are "Italian style" suits as well as suits imported directly from Italy. Specialty shops, department stores, and online retailers carry a variety of suits. Online stores have an impressive selection plus the convenience of at-home shopping.

Double Breasted

A double breasted suit is the height of elegant fashion. This suit type, in black or navy, is very popular for First Communion. Many boys will be wearing this style. Yet it is always advisable to check with other parents about their sons' outfits. Every child wants to fit in with their friends. Most young boys won't want a dark suit if their friends are wearing white suits.

Tuxedos

A Communion tuxedo should be white and must be a 'day' tuxedo - without tails. Boys' tuxedos are available in terrific styles. Boys have different choices including a mandarin type, with a tuxedo-style, white shirt, and a white bow tie. A white single breasted tuxedo with a jacquard vest is just perfect for a little guy. At first, boys may not look forward to such formal dress. Yet a boy in a tuxedo looks like a little gentleman. The experience will also familiarize him with formal attire. He will most likely enjoy dressing like an adult.

Separates

If a boy prefers an informal look, then he may feel more comfortable wearing separates. Dark blazers (black or navy) are often mixed with grey, tan, cream, or white pants. If his choice is white pants, then remember the importance of early shopping. A white shirt and a conservative tie add the finishing touches to this classic outfit. The separate pieces can get considerable wear in the future.

Matching Apparel

Communion Ties

There are special communion ties available for him. Boys can choose white to match white suits or select a style embedded with a chalice or cross design. A white satin damask bow tie, sporting these religious symbols, is a stylish choice. Communion ties may have a white background but are often in red or blue. Within some parishes, boys wear red or royal blue sashes and therefore choose a matching tie. Some of these bright colored ties even have the Communion date stamped on them. For an Irish First Communion, a boy may choose a tie with a shamrock embroidered on its fine fabric. Communion ties can also be in a dark, conservative style. Navy ties look best with Highland dress. Often a 'zipper' tie is chosen for First Communion. This style is especially appropriate for younger boys. There is an easy pull zipper underneath, allowing easier adjustments. Most boys receiving First Communion are younger boys. Yet sometimes an older boy may be receiving the Eucharist for the first time. Some retailers address this reality by offering Communion outfits up to size 14. Many boys do not fit the standardized sizing chart. Communion suits shouldn't be too tight or uncomfortable for the child.  Yet the suits should be more fitted than casual clothes. Always buy early to allow time for any necessary alterations - as well as avoid last minute stress.

Vests

Vests are optional for communion suits. At present, vests are regaining their popularity. For First Communion, however, the vest must not be in a contrasting color. 

Shirt

A fine quality, white shirt is standard fashion for First Communion.

Communion Shoes

Boys should wear shoes to match their outfit. They have various options such as white Oxford communion shoes, leather loafers, or black patent styles.

Accessories

Arm Bands Or Rosettes

Some parishes require that boys wear arm bands - sometimes white satin damask with a chalice design and gold lettering. A few parishes will supply plain ribbon arm bands for the group. In most instances, however, even if arm bands are a requirement, they must be purchased by parents or guardians. During the 1980s, rosettes were a common accessory for First Communion. Some parishes still require rosettes attached to a boy's left sleeve. Always check with individual parishes regarding their specific guidelines.

Tie Clips

Some boys wear tie clips with religious symbols such as a cross or chalice.

First Communion Pins

Various pins are available for purchase such as the gold cross lapel pin or a First Communion pin with chalice and grapes. An ichthus fish lapel pin makes an interesting accessory. The ichthus fish is one of the oldest symbols of Christianity. Irish communion pins (or other Irish accessories) can show the shamrock or a Celtic cross, symbolizing eternity and God's endless love. The Trinity is also seen on communion pins as well as the claddagh, a symbol of love and friendship. If a boy is required to wear a sash, the communion pin holds the sash together for a tidy look.

Rosary

A boy's Communion rosary usually has black glass beads and the rosary centerpiece shows a religious scene. The centerpiece is often an image related to the Eucharist such as a little boy receiving First Communion. Boys of Spanish heritage often carry an Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary. This rosary may have black hearts as Hail Mary beads and silver hearts for Our Father beads.

The History

Boys' communion outfits have changed throughout the years. Different countries, and even different regions within a country, have varied traditions. During the twentieth century, the evolving fashion scene in the USA  translated into changes in the First Communion attire.

Pre-1910

Boys wore knee pants suits for First Communion.

1910-1939

Between 1910-1939, knicker suits were the style and less often, short pants suits. Until the 1920s, boys wore long stockings - white stockings with white suits and black stockings with dark outfits. Knee socks came into fashion during the 1920s. Ankle socks became popular in the 1930s. Yet knee socks were often the favorite for First Communion. With knicker suits and long stockings, boys wore dark oxford lace-up shoes. With white short pants suits, boys wore white lace-up shoes, a shoe with straps, or sandals.

1940-1969

Long pants gained ground in the 1940s. Yet suits with short pants could still be seen at First Communion in the fifties and sixties. During the 1950s in the New Jersey area, boys wore white suits with white short pants, white knee socks, and white shoes. This communion outfit was very popular in the United States during this era. All types of suits were very popular in the 1950s including dark suits with long pants. White suits, however, were also part of the fashion scene.

1970-2009

Since the seventies, boys' communion fashion encompasses diverse styles. Suits are still popular but separates are gaining popularity. Some boys wear just a white shirt, tie, and pants, omitting the blazer. Certain parishes have even opted for wearing white, cotton, full-length robes for the ceremony (girls and boys). They are worn over school uniforms, or in some instances, clothing of their own choice. The idea behind wearing robes is to avoid a resemblance to a fashion parade. They are also seen as a link between First Communion and Baptism. Wearing the robes ensures that all children look the same for receiving the sacrament. There won't be any distractions around who is wearing an expensive or a budget outfit.  Children can still dress in their own special clothes for any celebrations outside the church. Today's communion fashions for boys offer much versatility in a variety of styles. Yet the final choice must suit the parish requirements. The young gentleman must also be pleased with the outfit.

When shopping, remember that the focus should be on the special boy and the significance of the sacrament. Ultimately, everyone must remember that the special day is 'first communion for him.'

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