Why It's Considered Good Luck to Wear New Clothes on Easter Sunday

The tradition dates back to the fourth century!

I grew up hearing that it was good luck to wear new clothes on Easter Sunday. And while I personally think any reason is a good reason to buy a new outfit, it turns out there is actually some substance to this tradition—and it dates all the way back to the fourth century.

This Easter tradition is based on a similar idea as the centuries-old practice of Christians wearing new white clothes after baptisms to symbolize spiritual rebirth. Christians in medieval times began wearing new, clean clothes on Easter Sunday to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus and the new life for followers of the religion. In 300 A.D. Roman emperor Constantine even declared his court would be required to wear their nicest new clothing on Easter Sunday.

Multi-ethnic children searching for Easter eggs
Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

It's not clear exactly when the superstition started, but from this early tradition came the belief that if you were in a position to buy new clothes for Easter, you would continue to be blessed with good fortune in the coming year. On the flip side, those who could afford to buy new clothes but chose not to would experience a year of bad luck. As this belief spread throughout Europe, the saying, "For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes" became popular.

When European settlers came to America, they brought the tradition with them. In the 1800s, upper-class citizens of New York City would wear their finest Easter dresses and accessories to the large churches along Fifth Avenue and parade down the street when services ended. Since the mid-1800s, the New York Easter parade has grown into a full-blown annual celebration complete with Easter dresses, costumes, and bonnets of all kinds.

So whether you're hosting Easter brunch or celebrating a quiet Sunday at home, take this as a reason to treat yourself to a new outfit this spring. These are our favorite picks of Easter dresses for women and girls.

Easter Dresses for Women

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Pretty in Pink

floral easter dress for women
Courtesy of Target

With puffed sleeves and pretty button cuffs, this bright floral dress is appropriate for attending Easter services, going to brunch, or spending time with the family. Plus, it's available in 10 sizes, so it's a comfortable choice for all sizes.

02 of 06

Festive Floral

pastel easter dress for women
Courtesy of Pink Lily

For a pretty floral Easter dress for women, this mid-length dress is our go-to pick. The sleeve style works for any spring weather (you can wear it as-is or throw a jean jacket on over it), and the stretchy fit means you'll be comfortable all day, no matter how many relatives you're hosting for Easter brunch.

03 of 06

That's a Wrap

kohls spring dress

We love investing in staple pieces, so this pastel spring dress makes the perfect Easter outfit. The sleeveless design can be re-worn all spring and summer, and is outfitted with a flattering tie-belt around the waist.

Easter Dresses for Girls

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Pastel Pattern

pastel easter dress for girls
Courtesy of Old Navy

This checkered Easter dress is cute as can be, but practical too. This cotton tiered dress is trimmed with ruffles and patterned with a classic gingham design. Available in sizes from XS to 2XL, this is one of our favorite spring dresses for girls.

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Playful Pastel

pastel easter dress for girls
Courtesy of Target

We love the ruffles on this pastel Easter dress for girls. The top's soft eyelet fabric is easy to move and play in, and light flowy skirt will keep them comfortable all day. Dress it up with miniature heeled sandals or dress it down with a colorful denim jacket.

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Floral Ruffles

girls easter dress
Courtesy of Hanna Andersson

This lightweight cotton dress makes running around the Easter egg hunt a breeze. The blue and white dress features a sweet bunny face on the top with a pretty chambray skirt.

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