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Published 03/14/2019

First Communion is a special day for every young Catholic girl. This blessed sacrament is a milestone that will be remembered for years to come. Your daughter’s communion dress is a big part of that. But there are a few rules and guidelines when it comes to choosing communion dresses. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide to help you find the right white dress for your little girl’s big day.

1. Know The Dress Code

As a First Communion is a religious sacrament, your daughter should be dressed conservatively. If there is a provided dress code for the event, it should be respected without exception. This dress code is typically dictated by the church and is passed out to all parents. Therefore, you should only choose from the list of recommended pieces.

If there isn’t a dress code provided or you’re wondering what the dress code typically entails, the following are a few simple rules of thumb:

  • Choose a simple, age-appropriate outfit
  • The dress should be elegant and in white or ivory
  • No casual clothing or accessories allowed
  • No overly embellished garments or accessories
  • A jacket or sweater is optional
  • Opt for light-colored flats or dress shoes without heels
  • A headpiece or communion veil is optional
  • Socks or tights are optional but should be white, ivory or nude
  • Gloves are optional but should not be worn during the ceremony

2. Consider Your Family & Cultural Traditions

A First Communion is a very sacred and religious ceremony, so it’s rightfully important to take both family and cultural traditions into account when choosing your daughter’s dress. Some cultures may steer toward minimal embellishments on a dress whereas some cultures go for fancy and elaborate frills. It’s a nice touch to consider family tradition.

3. Take Into Account Your Daughter’s Personality

In addition to your family and culture, you should also take into account your daughter’s personality. Every girl is different and has different tastes when it comes to dresses (or pantsuits). Make sure your daughter likes her dress and feels comfortable in it. Don’t force her into a communion dress she’s going to be picking and tugging at all day long.

4. Measure Twice, Purchase Once

Finding the right fit means having the correct measurements. Follow this quick measuring guide (with tape measurer in hand) to make sure your daughter’s dress fits perfectly.

  1. Measure the waist, located an inch or so above the belly button.
  2. The bust should be measured by taking the tape around the back and bringing it across the fullest part of the chest. Make sure your daughter’s arms are relaxed and down at her sides.
  3. To measure the hips, take the tape around the widest part, across the hip bone.
  4. For the inside sleeve measurement, start the tape in the armpit and measure straight to the wrist.
  5. For arm width, have your daughter relax her arm and measure around the largest part of the upper arm.
  6. To get the shoulder to shoulder measurement, measure from shoulder blade to shoulder blade.
  7. And lastly, measure from the base of the neck to the back of the waist for the nape to waist measurement.

5. Choose A Dress With Sleeves Or An Option For Sleeves

Sleeve length is a subtle detail that is actually very important when it comes to communion dresses. While it will depend on your church’s dress code, First Communion dresses usually have to have sleeves. If your daughter falls in love with a sleeveless dress, that’s perfectly fine! Simply pair it with a cardigan or satin bolero to wear during the ceremony.

6. Pick The Proper Fabric

First Communion dresses are typically made of formal fabrics like silk, satin, lace, linen, chiffon or organza. So, if you go with one of these, you’ll be just fine. Again, be sure to consider your daughter’s comfort. If she’s uncomfortable, it could make the day memorable for the wrong reasons.

Shop Communion Dresses From Chic Baby

At Chic Baby America, we have a wide variety of adorable communion dresses to choose from. From this lace-sleeved dress to this scallop-hemmed gown, there’s an option for every personality. Have a question or need more information about choosing an appropriate dress for a First Communion? Reach out today—we’re happy to help!