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Christening & First Communion

Are Christening Gowns Gender Neutral?

Are Christening Gowns Gender Neutral?

The short and sweet answer is yes; however, there is more to it than a simple yes. We must go back to the beginning of Christianism to understand the reasons. Around the 1st century AD, babies were wrapped in swaddling bands, which were the same used to tie the hands of the baby’s parents at their wedding ceremony to “tie the knot!”

Swaddling Band - Baptism

Throughout the centuries to come, this tradition evolved; however, it was not until the 17th century that this rapidly changed. The baptismal ceremony required the babies to be fully immersed in the water; therefore, babies had to be undressed and redressed in a matter of minutes; imagine doing this on a winter day in a cold, stony, and moldy church.

The 18th century arrived, and the immersion of the baby was stopped due to health reasons. Therefore, Victorian Era Fashion took over the swaddling bands and modified them into long gowns, similar to the christening gowns we know today. They started using silks, and other luxurious fabrics, to make these gowns, and babies had to wear a crinoline (or petticoat) underneath it to puffy it and bring it to style!

Slowly, the 19th century took over, and one last modification happened to the gowns, the high-short bodice was added to the long gowns, and we started to see the use of laces and linen fabrics on christening gowns.
In other words, the swaddling bands used at the beginning of Christianity evolved into the beautiful and delicate baptism gowns we have today.

In today’s world, these gowns are specifically made for the ceremony of baptism, usually elaborated by the hands of artisans with elaborate fabrics and laces. Therefore, many families have decided to treasure and pass down the gowns from generation to generation, treating them as family heirlooms; boys and girls would wear the same dress regardless. The best example to portray this tradition is the British royal family since they still wear the same baptismal gown used by Queen Victoria’s oldest daughter two centuries ago.

British Royal Family - Family Heirloom - Christening Gown - Baptism Gown

However, if you still prefer a more masculine christening gown, we recommend a couple of options, such as Toledo, Madrid, Rene, or Peter. These options have been created almost exclusively thinking of boys rather than girls.