Baby Formal Wear: How to Find the Best Picks for Your Baby

Baby boy dressed in a formal suit
Babies can dress up, too!

Beautiful lace dresses, adorable miniature tuxedos, and other baby formal wear make your special days even more special. And pictures of your baby in her very first formal dress are perfect for your personalized Christmas cards, photo albums, and online baby book.

Shopping for Baby Formal Wear

When you are shopping for your infant's fancy clothing, it can be easy to throw practicality out the window. After all, your baby would look so cute in those spiffy duds! Still, there are a few things you should consider before buying.


Since babies grow so quickly, buying the right size can be a real challenge. In general, the main factor is how long and how often you want baby to wear the outfit. If the outfit is to be worn for one specific occasion, such as a Christmas party, birthday celebration, wedding, or christening, then you will be safe buying the outfit in baby's current size. It is a good idea to buy the outfit as close to the event as possible, just in case a pesky growth spurt hits.

If, on the other hand, you are hoping to get several uses out of your baby's new outfit, it would be wise to buy one at least one or two sizes too large. This will allow her to grow into the outfit. It will look a little big at first, but that is better than being too small later.


Comfort is a major consideration in baby clothes. Since "cute" often equals lace, ribbons, bows, and other embellishments, it can be difficult to find irritant-free formal wear. The most important part of outfit is the inner lining, the part closest to baby's skin. Make sure that liner is soft and free of buttons, zippers, or lace. Here are a few other tips for buying the most comfortable outfits:

  • Avoid irritating lace near the face or neck.
  • Do not use bow-ties. Some shirts feature faux ties-- these are a good alternative.
  • Avoid overdressing. A heavy dress or three-piece suit in the heat of summer could lead to heat rash.
  • Have a back-up outfit on hand in case baby seems uncomfortable or unhappy.


Clothing from reputable manufacturers should adhere to safety rules, but you can never be too careful with your baby. Here are a few tips designed to keep baby safe in her formal wear:

  • Make sure that buttons are firmly attached. Loose buttons have been known to make their way into curious infant mouths.
  • Make sure bows and ribbons cannot be wrapped around baby's neck.
  • Do not put a real tie on your baby-- it can choke him. Instead, use a clip-on tie or a faux tie, or skip the tie.
  • If your tot is walking, make sure the dress or pant length does not interfere with walking.
  • For toddlers, make sure the fancy baby shoes are not too slippery for safe walking.
  • Be sure to put socks or tights on your baby, so the shoes do not rub painful blisters.

Where to Buy

During holiday seasons, baby formal wear is available everywhere from the local mall to the discount department stores. At other times of the year, it may be necessary to shop at specialty stores or consignment shops. If you are willing to shop online, you'll find precious outfits at the following:

  • Pink Princess sells christening, dedication, and baptism outfits for boys and girls.
  • Sophias Style features a nice collection of formal wear for infant boys.
  • Hip Hop Boutique has formal dresses and tuxedos for babies.
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Baby Formal Wear: How to Find the Best Picks for Your Baby