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A Guide To Boys’ Communion Ties

A fuchsia tie folded on a fuchsia background

His First Holy Communion is going to be a memorable day, but there's a lot to prepare for—like what he's going to wear. Every year, we help parents pick out ties for their child's First Holy Communion, and they frequently have questions about colors, patterns, styles and sizes. So, to simplify the process of shopping for Communion ties, we've put together this guide specifically for boys' First Communion ties.

Before consulting our attire guide, we alway recommend reading through any dress code guidelines provided by your church. When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask your church or your child's Catechist for advice.

What Is The Boys’ Dress Code For Holy Communion?

While girls usually have a well-established dress code for their First Communion, boys tend to have a bit more flexibility with what they wear. Nonetheless, there are still some guidelines to keep in mind.

First Communion is indeed a formal occasion. This means no sweatpants, no sneakers and a collared shirt is a must. But just how formal are we talking? Most boys will wear a suit and tie for their First Communion. Before we get to the necktie, let's briefly explore the specifics of each clothing item below.

Do Boys Have To Wear A Suit To Their Communion?

Boys typically wear a suit for their First Holy Communion, which can be quite exciting as it might be their first time wearing one! However, is it a must?

As always, it's essential to refer to the dress code guidelines from your church. While a suit might be recommended, it might not be required. In such cases, alternatives to a full suit could include a combination of a dress shirt, slacks and a tie, or a dress shirt paired with slacks, a vest and a tie. Even when skipping the suit jacket, it's still advisable to stick to the color guidelines outlined below.

A boy dressed in white for Communion

Many boys wear a suit to their First Communion, but there are variations, including a shirt and tie or vest, shirt and tie.

What Color Suit For Holy Communion?

Think light! Nowadays, the most common colors for First Communion suits are white, ivory, light tan, navy blue and gray. Generally, the more traditional the church, the more white suits you'll spot.

However, there's no need to stress too much. It's quite likely that you'll see boys wearing a mix of suit colors, and each child will look perfectly fitting for the occasion. In fact, navy blue suits have gained popularity for First Communion ceremonies. This color complements those light spring tones, is readily available (thanks to wedding trends) and gives off a slightly less formal vibe compared to black suits.

Can He Wear A Black Suit To First Communion?

Speaking of black suits: Unless the church guidelines explicitly prohibit it, you'll likely see some boys wearing black suits. So, if he already owns a black suit, has future use for it or it's the only one available in his size, it's probably okay to wear a black suit to Communion. (In fact, this goes for any suit color he may already own.)

Cake topper of a boy wearing a black suit and praying

Although less common, expect to see a boy or two wearing a black suit to Communion.

Can He Wear A Bow Tie To Communion?

Traditionally, boys wear neckties for their First Holy Communion, and this might be outlined in any dress code guidelines provided by your church.

However, some boys are avid fans of bow ties. If the dress code doesn't specify, it's probably not worth the battle if he's adamant about wearing a bow tie. In fact, it's quite common to see a boy or two sporting a bow tie at their First Communion. Nonetheless, it's important to adhere to the same tie color and pattern guidelines we're about to outline below.

What Color Tie For Holy Communion?

Whether he's opting for a traditional necktie or his beloved bow tie, if you're here it means you need to choose a tie for his First Communion attire. Nowadays, boys are frequently seen wearing white or blue ties, which might feature religious themes. Let's take a closer look at each option, including what’s traditional.

White Communion Ties

Drawing inspiration from girls' dresses, white is the traditional color of First Communion, symbolizing purity and innocence. In some regions, boys will also wear white from head to toe, including their necktie. Even if your church has more lenient attire guidelines, we still recommend opting for a white-colored tie before considering any other colors. Not only will it coordinate with the girls' attire, but it will also match any color suit you select.

While a solid white tie is perhaps the simplest choice, there are other options available as well. Look for white tone-on-tone patterns, such as paisley or stripes. Similar to lace on a girl's dress, this will add a nice touch to his overall look.

Blue or Navy Blue Communion Ties

From the suit to the tie, there's been a noticeable trend towards blue boys’ attire for First Communion ceremonies. It’s important to note that this trend is influenced by cultural and personal preferences, particularly by region. If your church's guidelines simply recommend formal attire, blues are a popular choice today.

For both blue and navy blue ties, consider the same advice we offered for white ties. A solid tie is perfectly suitable, but a tone-on-tone or simple pattern can also be appropriate. Try not to go too bold with the shade of blue tie selected. While navy blue is a classic choice, we recommend more subtle or dusty shades of other blues for a refined look.

Religious Themed Communion Ties

Do a quick internet search, and you'll see just how popular religious-themed ties are for First Communion. These ties typically come in the colors listed below—white or blues—and often feature one or more crosses on the tie. They're certainly an appropriate choice for his First Communion and can serve as a memorable keepsake.

Pastel Communion Ties

Although less common, First Communion is a spring event, which means light pastel colors are in season. Therefore, if you're searching for a tie outside of tradition, consider pastel shades like light yellow, lavender or pastel green. Perhaps he wore this tie for Easter, and he can also wear it for any upcoming summer weddings. Our main advice here is to keep the pattern simple. Avoid anything too bold or distracting, so look for a tone-on-tone paisley, small geometric patterns or an uncomplicated plaid design.

What To Do If You Forgot To Buy A First Communion Tie

Now, let's consider a worst-case scenario: You forgot to buy a necktie and his Communion is today. Don't panic. If he has any necktie in his wardrobe that fits, even if it’s black, this is the tie he should wear. You'll likely see other boys wearing ties that aren't specifically themed for Communion today, so it’s okay. The important thing is that he looks presentable and feels comfortable.

If that's not an option, consider checking Dad or Grandpa's tie drawer. Do they have a meaningful tie in their collection, or one in the colors and/or patterns listed above? While the tie might be too long, you can tie the front to the appropriate length and tuck the remaining tie tail between his shirt buttons to hide it. Remember, today is a day when it's better to wear any necktie versus no tie at all.

Boys’ Tie Sizes

Most boys typically receive Holy Communion around the time they are in 2nd grade, usually between the ages of 7- and 8-years old. At this age, you'll find both pre-tied and regular self-tie neckties available. Let's take a look at sizing for these options.

Boys’ Pre-Tied Neckties

Pre-tied neckties, including clip-on ties and zipper ties, come with the knot already tied and ready to wear. These styles usually come in more than one length, with 11 and 14 inches being the most common for children. While these lengths may seem short, they are measured from the top of the knot to the very tip of the tie. Second graders will usually fit the 14-inch long tie, as it's recommended for boys aged 6- to 10-years old.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and that's where measuring comes in handy. Don't worry, it's a simple process. Just measure the boy from his collar to his belt line, which is approximately where the tip of a tie should hit, and select the length of the pre-tied tie that is closest to this measurement. If he falls between sizes, we personally find it better to go with a longer tie than a shorter one. Besides, if you're ordering early, you never know if he'll have an unexpected growth spurt!

Boys’ Standard Neckties

Boys’ regular self-tie neckties resemble a standard men's tie, but in a smaller size. These ties are longer than pre-tied ties, typically around 48 inches in length, as the entire untied length is measured end to end. This length is often recommended for older boys, typically aged 8- to 13-years old, which matches the age range of 2nd graders. However, younger boys or those on the smaller side might find a standard necktie a bit too long. (If he insists on tying his own tie for Communion, the leftover tie tail can always be tucked between his shirt buttons to manage the excess length.) On the other hand, boys who are taller for their age should have no trouble making this length of tie work.

If you want to confirm this length before purchasing you can always take some quick measurements, just like with a pre-tied tie. Once again, measure from his collar to the belt line. The length measured should be roughly between 14.5 and 17-inches long.

Boys’ Bow Ties

If he's opting for a bow tie, it's worth noting that most boys' bow ties are one size fits all, ranging from babies up to about age 10, so he fits right into this range.

As with any children's item, we always recommend double-checking those size guidelines before making a purchase to ensure the best fit.

Should He Wear A Pocket Square To His First Communion?

When you're purchasing his First Communion tie, you might come across a matching pocket square. Should you add it to your cart? Perhaps.

If he's wearing a suit jacket, adding a pocket square to his First Communion attire can add a nice touch. However, it's crucial to ensure that his jacket has a real lapel pocket. Sometimes, especially in boys' jackets, these pockets are fake and not functional. If there's a genuine pocket, then go ahead and add the pocket square. (As a side note, sometimes the pockets are sewn shut, and all you need to do is release a few stitches to make them functional.)

It's important to note that pocket squares are typically sized for men, so they can be quite large. Boys' jacket pockets are usually relatively small. We suggest opting for pocket squares that are 12 inches by 12 inches or smaller to ensure they fit nicely. When folding the pocket square, you may need to make additional folds compared to standard instructions to achieve the desired fit.

Don't Forget His Socks!

For men and boys alike, socks are often overlooked when shopping for formal attire. Street socks just won't do on a day as important as Communion, so make sure to purchase a pair of dress socks for his outfit.

If he's wearing a white suit, you may find boys' white dress socks available (not athletic socks). Otherwise, opt for black or navy blue socks. For a navy blue suit, navy blue or brown socks are recommended. If he's wearing a gray suit, go with black or navy blue socks, depending on the color of his shoes. And for a black suit, stick with black socks. If you want to add a bit of personality, boys' dress socks in traditional patterns like argyle are appriopriate too, just make sure you stick to those color guidelines above.

In Conclusion

It's a fact that there's quite a bit to get ready for before his First Holy Communion, including deciding on his outfit. While there are some traditional color and clothing guidelines, the key thing is to avoid street clothes for the occasion. That being said, as is customary with all sacraments, First Communion is a formal event and it's likely that a suit and tie will be worn.

Where To Buy Communion Ties

TieMart is an online retailer of neckties, bow ties, socks and other accessories in boys' sizes. The family-owned company specializes in carrying a wide selection of colors, including many styles of white Communion ties. For those matching a specific shade or want to see the material in person before buying, free fabric color swatches are available in the United States and Canada.



We are a family-run tie company based in Illinois. We've been in the biz since the late 90s, so by now we know a thing or two about men's fashion and accessories. Tiepedia is our lil spot on the web to share that knowledge with you.