You’ve got the baby shower invite, selected the most adorable gift and can’t wait to see the glowing mom-to-be. But what do you wear to an event that’s definitely not as fancy as a wedding, yet more dressed up than a birthday party? If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear to a baby shower, don’t worry—we’ve got some simple advice on etiquette, dress codes and outfit ideas to get you started.
Since the dress code for a baby shower can vary widely (think: backyard brunch vs. country club affair), you’ll first need to figure out the level of formality. Need a hint? Look to the invite, says professional planner Emily Butler, co-owner of Karson Butler Events, a bi-coastal event planning firm with their own online store. “A mailed invitation with a patterned liner and calligraphy would lend itself to the shower being more formal than an electronic invitation or email,” she says. “Dress accordingly.”
If it’s an in-person event, the venue can also offer some insight into what to wear to a baby shower as a guest. If you’re not familiar with the location, a little online sleuthing can give you an idea of just how dressy you should get. If all else fails, Butler recommends just asking the host for guidance when you R.S.V.P. For a fancier event, a nice dress or skirt-and-blouse combo are a safe bet. If you prefer pants, opt for dress pants and heels over jeans or leggings. For a casual affair, however (think: at someone’s home or a park), jeans might be totally acceptable with a dressy top or a blazer. “When in doubt… dress one step above what you think it might be. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed,” Butler says.
In this article:
Our favorite places to buy baby shower guest attire What to wear to a virtual baby shower What to wear to a baby shower in winter What to wear to baby shower in fall What to wear to a baby shower in spring What to wear to a baby shower in summer
Our Favorite Places to Buy Baby Shower Guest Attire
Ready to start shopping? Check out our list of the best stores to browse for what to wear to a baby shower as a guest.
ASOS: If you’re on a tight budget (or just want to score a look for less), ASOS is a must-shop. This online retailer is known for their wide variety of styles, representing just about every trend imaginable. Bonus: Many of the pieces from their in-house label, ASOS Design, come in petite, tall and “ASOS Curve” sizes. Their free shipping and returns also ensure you’ll find just the right outfit for you.
J.Crew: For a smart, casual look, J.Crew is known for its modern take on American sportswear staples like the basic button down or pencil skirt. Their dressy options include everything from classic sheaths to fun, patterned skirts.
ModCloth: If vintage-inspired ensembles are more your style, ModCloth is the place to shop for classic silhouettes with a fun and quirky twist. Their unique prints, colorful designs and festive dresses are a great fit for the celebratory nature of a baby shower.
Rent the Runway: Don’t want to invest in an outfit you might only wear once? Rent it instead. Rent the Runway features looks from over 450 designers and brands at a fraction of the retail price. They offer both one-time rentals and monthly plans, so you can choose a single outfit for an event or four for the whole month.
What to Wear to a Virtual Baby Shower
With more and more events happening virtually these days, you’re probably wondering what to wear to a baby shower that’s online. While it might be tempting to dress extra comfy at home, Butler suggests staying away from athleisure. “Put as much effort into planning your outfit for an in-person shower as a virtual shower,” she says. “It not only helps you look and feel your best, but it makes the guest of honor feel special and loved." Since you’ll be seen from the waist up, consider adding a fun touch to your upper body wear, such as a statement necklace, printed top or detailed blouse.
There are also a few pointers to keep in mind specifically for being on camera. Butler suggests avoiding anything too tight or low-cut and checking to see if your top pulls or gapes open while sitting. It’s also a good idea to test your lighting beforehand: Pick a bright spot where you can face a window (instead of being backlit) for the most flattering light. Butler has a few camera-friendly makeup tips as well. “Keep it fresh and light without heavy eyeliner, which can make your eyes look smaller on camera,” she says. She also suggests a little lipstick and blush to bring life to the face and counteract the dullness a computer screen often casts.
What to Wear to a Baby Shower in Winter
Cold weather can definitely make it more challenging to figure out what to wear to a baby shower as a guest (bye, bye summer sheaths!). In that case, layering is key. “I’ll add a denim or leather jacket to a dress for cooler months,” Butler says. A cozy sweater or smart blazer can go far when warming up an outfit as well. If the event seems more casual, pants are always an option too: Search for dressier details like a unique silhouette, fun pattern or more formal fabric to elevate the look.
Image: Courtesy Gap and Lulus
The juxtaposition of textures makes this outfit interesting, while also keeping you warm and toasty. A cozy cropped sweater is the perfect contrast to the silky feel of this satin skirt. Plus, the leopard print and pleats feel very fashion-forward.
Image: Courtesy ModCloth
Velvet serves a dual purpose on this stylish dress: It’s totally on trend, and it’ll help keep you warm. We especially love the wrap silhouette that looks great on everyone and the fluttery, boho sleeves.
Buy it: Modcloth Timeless Embrace Velvet Maxi Dress, $119, Modcloth.com
Image: Courtesy Old Navy and Revolve
A plaid blazer and slacks is a combo so classic, it’s a no-brainer when deciding what to wear to a baby shower in winter. Update the look with modern touches like an oversized cut on the jacket and a stylish jogger silhouette with a paperbag waist. These dressier details keep the look from leaning too casual.
What to Wear to a Baby Shower in Fall
Dressing for the more transitional seasons can always be a bit tricky. When deciding what to wear to a fall baby shower, you’ll need to prepare for a wide range of weather. “For fall and winter, layers are key, especially if the shower will be outdoors,” Butler suggests. Plan an outfit that will pair well with a blazer, cardigan or light jacket but still look great even if you take it off.
Image: Courtesy J.Crew and Lulus
While a blazer and blouse is always a smart choice, you can keep the look from feeling like office attire by choosing a softer, sweater knit jacket with oversized patch pockets. A tie-neck top adds just the right amount of femininity. If the shower is more casual, feel free to rock your favorite skinny jeans and some ankle boots; if you need to dress things up a bit, a pair of cigarette pants and heels will look effortlessly chic.
Image: Courtesy ModCloth and Zappos
If the cooler weather makes you wish you could just curl up in your favorite sweater instead, opt for a sweater dress. A cable-knit stitch and slight gathering at the shoulders give this option a more put-together feel. Knee high suede boots really take the look to the next level.
Image: Courtesy ASOS
This jumpsuit screams, “I’m the fun aunt!” so everyone in attendance will know exactly where you stand with baby. Trendy details like an X-front wrap, wide leg and blouson sleeve make this a fashion-forward pick, plus the polka dot print is ideal for such a cheery occasion.
Buy it: ASOS Design Jersey X-Front Long Sleeve Jumpsuit, $56, ASOS.com
What to Wear to a Baby Shower in Spring
Spring might just be the easiest season to decide what to wear to a baby shower as a guest (floral dresses and cheerful colors are a given), but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a few outside-the-box ideas. If the shower venue seems a bit too casual to warrant a dress (or if that’s just not your style), a blouse with unexpected details—think: lace sleeves, embroidery or a fun pattern—will dress up a pair of cropped chinos.
Image: Courtesy Lulus and Old Navy
No worries if dresses aren’t your thing: a sleek pair of white ankle pants will look just as sophisticated. Pair them with a lace-sleeved top for a feminine touch, no skirt required.
Image: Courtesy Gap and J.Crew
The mixing of a more formal fabric with a super-casual staple feels both totally of the moment and perfectly suited to a smart casual event like a baby shower. We love the idea of pairing a sleek, swishy skirt with classic chambray for a look that’s equal parts classy and comfortable. For an added trendy touch, tie the shirt in the front.
Image: Courtesy ASOS
If the baby shower venue seems a bit more formal, this embroidered dress is just the pick for the occasion. The floral motif and ruffled cuffs add just the right amount of fancy without feeling too fussy, while the longer sleeves and high neck will keep you from freezing if the weather is still chilly.
Buy it: ASOS Design Embroidered Pleated Midi Dress, $67, ASOS.com
What to Wear to a Baby Shower in Summer
Hot weather calls for light fabrics like chiffon, linen or cotton. Your best bet when selecting what to wear to a baby shower is an airy sundress or even blousy shorts, especially if the venue is outside. This is the perfect season to play with fun prints or bright hues. “Don’t be afraid of pattern and color,” says Butler. “A shower is a celebration. Dress the part!”
Image: Courtesy Verishop
This sunny summer dress perfectly suits such a happy occasion. The lightweight linen fabric feels easy and breezy, as do sweet details like the button front and a tiny, peekaboo cutout at the tie waist.
Buy it: LUSH Printed Button Tie Front Midi Dress, $59, Verishop.com
Image: Courtesy Old Navy and Verishop
For a backyard brunch or BBQ in the summer heat, you’ll stay cool in this airy crochet-sleeve blouse and rainbow shorts. The playful pattern is a perfect match for the celebratory mood.
Image: Courtesy ASOS
Nothing says summer quite like seersucker stripes. This mini dress puts a festive twist on a classic with delicate covered buttons, a nipped in waist and tied cuff sleeves. Pair it with a straw hat and you’ll be made in the shade.
Buy it: ASOS Design Button Neck Mini Smock Dress, $56, ASOS.com
Jeans and blouses are both appropriate attire when attending a friend's baby shower, but as long as there's no dress code required. You can wear a pair of jeans and a simple blouse with lace sleeves if you don't want to look too casual.What do guests wear to a baby shower? ›
For a fancier event, a nice dress or skirt-and-blouse combo are a safe bet. If you prefer pants, opt for dress pants and heels over jeans or leggings. For a casual affair, however (think: at someone's home or a park), jeans might be totally acceptable with a dressy top or a blazer.Is it OK to wear jeans to a baby shower? ›
Jeans can be easily dressed up for a nice casual look. White jeans or capris could be great for the spring or summer, while darker jeans are great for the winter! If the baby shower will be more formal or there is a specific dress code or theme, stay away from jeans unless specified.Does it matter what you wear to a baby shower? ›
One thing to keep in mind when sifting through your wardrobe for the perfect baby shower outfit is that, unless specified on the invitation, you can pretty much wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable, be it a dress or pantsuit.What color to wear to baby shower? ›
You could go for feminine and fun because you're about to become a mum or because you're having a girl. Dark colors, especially navy are traditional for a boy but are also typical winter shades. Be light and cheery. A baby shower is a celebration of new life, there's no room for being sombre or stuffy!Is it OK to wear white to a baby shower as a guest? ›
Can You Wear White to a Baby Shower? We all know wearing white to a wedding is a no-go, but does the same rule apply to baby showers? Unless otherwise specified by the host, you can absolutely wear white to a baby shower. In fact, light and bright colours are generally preferred.What is the etiquette for baby showers? ›
Classic baby shower etiquette rules state that a close family member or friend should be the baby shower host. And this is good advice. While you don't have to be related to the person, ensure it's someone close. If no one has offered to host yet, it's ok to ask someone to throw you a little soiree.What should you not bring to a baby shower? ›
- Anything hard to clean or, worse, dry clean only. Just don't. ...
- Personalized gifts. ...
- Anything vintage/used. ...
- Dollar store gifts. ...
- Anything that makes assumptions; a collection of pacifiers (she may not use them), breastfeeding supplies (maybe she's using formula), etc.
A color traditionally associated with mourning and funerals, wearing black to a baby shower can be frowned upon.How much should I give for a baby shower gift? ›
We'll break it down by relationship: For coworkers or acquaintances, people tend to spend around $30 to $50. For friends or distant relatives, many people spend between $50 and $100. For close friends or family members, most people spend between $100 and $200 or more.
Most baby showers should be hosted by a sister, mother, mother-in-law, or close friend. Baby showers were traditionally thrown by family members who weren't close with the parents-to-be, to avoid the assumption that close family members wanted to collect gifts for themselves.Who should attend a baby shower? ›
Who Do You Invite to a Baby Shower? Close friends and family members should be invited to the baby shower. You should always consult with the mom-to-be on the guestlist though, just in case she has any co-workers or friends she wants to add to the list.What do you wear to a baby shower as the mom? ›
At a baby shower, you can look effortlessly gorgeous with a single piece of clothing. Wear your favorite pair of jeans and pair them with a statement blouse that makes your body look nice. You can go for a neutral or bold color; just make sure you choose a shade that matches your skin tone.Can I wear heels to a baby shower? ›
Guest. A baby shower held outdoors is usually more informal, so this is the perfect time to bring out your jeans and t-shirts. However, keep the heels at home - they will tend to sink in the grass unless they're very chunky. Pumps, wedges, and boots are fine.What should a guest wear to a baby shower in the winter? ›
For a winter baby shower that falls on a particularly chilly day, a statement jacket and boots are the name of the game. If you have a plaid jacket, use it as your statement, and keep it simple underneath with a basic black dress.Should guests wear pink to baby shower? ›
Typically, guests wear a color representing the gender of the baby to be born. Pink for a baby girl and blue for a baby boy. However, it's 2022 so I'm throwing in some gender neutral colored dresses too – yellow, beige, green and more! Without further ado, here are several outfit options for a baby shower!Who should not be invited to baby shower? ›
From parents to college roommates, and anyone else who plays an important role in the parents-to-be's lives. It's safe to say that those who weren't included in the initial guest list are the people you shouldn't invite.Are baby showers for family or friends? ›
Who plans and hosts a baby shower? According to tradition, baby showers should be hosted by a friend or distant relative (like a cousin or an aunt) instead of a close family member. This custom is believed to have developed in order to avoid the appearance that the family was simply on a mission to collect gifts.How long are you expected to stay at a baby shower? ›
A typical baby shower lasts about 2-3 hours. As guests arrive, they are offered food and drinks and they mingle. Once all of the guests have arrived and had a chance to enjoy food and drink, about 30-45 minutes into the shower, the games begin. There are usually 3-5 different games lasting for another 30-45 minutes.How long is polite to stay at a baby shower? ›
The typical amount of time for a baby shower to last is about two hours. That gives your guests plenty of time to eat or snack, chat with the mom-to-be, play games (if you're offering games), and watch the mom-to-be open her gifts.
Men are allowed at baby showers — especially if the father's in attendance. It's rare for a mom to have a co-ed or Jack&Jill baby shower and not invite any of her and the father's male friends and family members.Do I bring a gift to a baby shower? ›
Though a gift is expected if a guest attends, guests should only be invited to help celebrate the upcoming arrival, not for the gift they bring. If a guest is invited to a shower but can't attend, there is no obligation to send a gift, though they certainly may if they want to.What not to wear to a baby shower as a guest? ›
Black. Black is not the perfect color to wear to a baby shower because the vibe is dark and might give a different interpretation to the expectant parents. Baby showers are about fun and happiness, so unless the theme requires you as a guest to wear an outfit in color back, you should avoid choosing this color.Do people serve alcohol at baby showers? ›
It's not uncommon for light alcoholic beverages to be served at a baby shower. After all, often guests at a baby shower may be meeting one another for the first time, and a little alcohol can help people open up. But a baby shower drink is not a reason to over-indulge.What does blue mean in baby shower? ›
The gender reveal party often involves gender stereotypes such as pink and blue denoting girls and boys, respectively.Is $100 dollars good for a baby shower gift? ›
"I don't feel that it should ever be expected that you should spend more than $100 on a baby shower gift," says Patrick Kucharson, author of the Better Gift Coach newsletter. "An expected range that feels appropriate for most people is $25-100, depending on how close you are to the expecting parents."Who pays for baby shower? ›
Who Traditionally Pays for a Baby Shower? The hostess traditionally pays for the baby shower and its associated costs. However, the hostess can divide up the responsibility and costs by asking a few close family members or friends to co-host.Is $50 enough for baby shower? ›
We recommend a budget of $50 to $150 depending on how close you are to the expecting parents. When choosing the gift, it will always go a long way if you opt for buying something unique and/or highly useful. This will show a higher level of appreciation.What do guests wear to a baby shower in the summer? ›
SPRING/SUMMER: A flowy maxi or MIDI SKIRT with a SWEATER is great for the spring. During the summer, swap the sweater for a blouse or a short sleeve sweater. Pair it with ANKLE BOOTS, sandals or wedges or flats, and then finish the outfit with some fun accessories like EARRINGS or a FELT HAT.Who traditionally pays for a baby shower? ›
Who pays for a baby shower? Most often, the host pays for the baby shower. This is not always one person. For example, several aunts and cousins might cover the full tab of a shower at a restaurant, or a group of coworkers may help coordinate all the decorations, food and fun.
For coworkers or acquaintances, people tend to spend around $30 to $50. For friends or distant relatives, many people spend between $50 and $100. For close friends or family members, most people spend between $100 and $200 or more.Is it OK to wear black to a baby shower? ›
A color traditionally associated with mourning and funerals, wearing black to a baby shower can be frowned upon. This is a happy occasion, so your outfit should match the sunny mood. That being said, if you throw some vibrant accessories into the mix, you should be able to get away with a chic black outfit.Who not to invite to your baby shower? ›
From parents to college roommates, and anyone else who plays an important role in the parents-to-be's lives. It's safe to say that those who weren't included in the initial guest list are the people you shouldn't invite.Is it appropriate to serve alcohol at a baby shower? ›
"Light alcoholic beverages are best, like wine, spritzers, Champagne, and mimosas," says Ehsaei. "Hard liquor generally should not be served at baby showers to prevent guests from overindulging." And if you're a guest, expect to sip, not shotgun.Is it good to give money to a baby shower? ›
The Benefits of Monetary Gifts for a Baby Shower
As the parents, you know what your baby needs best. Cash gifts provide endless possibilities and allow you to use the funds in the best way possible. Gift cards can also be nice, but even they miss the mark.
Can You Go Without A Gift? Never show up to a baby shower without a gift in hand! That being said, you're not required to buy a gift from the registry. Feel free to shop around and choose any special gift for the new little one (and their mommy!).How many hours should a baby shower last? ›
Baby showers last on average 2-3 hours, depending on what's planned for the celebration. Plan for enough time to enjoy all of the baby shower games and activities you have planned for the day. Factor in things like the opening of gifts, snacking on hors d'oeuvres and cake, and catching up with friends and family.