First Holy Communions are the main introduction to the Catholic faith for children, after the initial baptism as a baby. Typically, children practice for their Communion with their class if they go to a Catholic school, and make their First Communion at the age of seven or eight. Unlike girls, who commonly wear special white dresses for the day, boys generally only need to be dressed up in formalwear.
Before going out and buying First Holy Communion clothes for a boy, it is important to check the rules for the rites where he will make his Communion. These can vary from parish to parish, and his teacher or the priest can provide the specific details. Other parents whose kids have recently made their Communion are also good sources for the type of clothes he should wear. As children grow so quickly, suitable outfits can also be passed on from friends.
Most commonly, boys should wear formal suits to First Communion. Long trousers with a jacket are suitable, with a smart shirt and a tie or bowtie. Black smart shoes are also commonly worn, and he can also wear a formal waistcoat. Red or blue ties are traditional for boys. Some parishes request that the boys remove jackets for pictures, and therefore require them to all wear the same colour shirt and no waistcoat, so all the kids look similar. Specific colour trousers or shorts may also be required.
Some parishes have introduced robes for all the children. These have the effect of reducing the pressure on parents to spend lots of money on fashion for their child, and also allows the children to match. Underneath the robes, of course, boys should still ideally be dressed formally.
Some parishes provide the children with accessories like sashes, rosettes or medals. This unifies the group for the day, and can be re-used then the next year for the next First Communion group. Generally there is a specific way in which to wear the accessories, and this information will be provided by the parish.