Choosing Formalwear for My 8-year-old. While I Still Can.

I had big plans for this Christmas season:  this year, by gum, I was going to take my daughter to a musical. Or a play.  Or a ballet.  You know, something fancy, at a venue that cried out for formal clothing. Something where she had to wear tights and patent leather. It was going to be great.

And then I took a look at what tickets cost.

So, we’re not going to be able to go this year. However, as circumstance would have it, we’ll be attending midnight mass at our local church on Christmas Eve, and since, as a child, I used to love the magic of being in a candlelit church at midnight, I’m going to use this as my excuse to get Alex all dressed up.

Especially since this might be the last time I’m going to get to do it.

At 8 years old, Alex is starting to have very definite ideas of what is fashionable; and sadly for me, looking like “the personification of a lump of spun sugar” isn’t to her taste anymore. In fact, there have been far too many instances on school mornings where she’s asked me if “she looks like a teenager” in her jeans and denim jacket (“well, you look at least 10,” is my pat response). But there’s a loophole in her fashion rules: girlfriend loves a twirly skirt.  I mean, she loves it. So I figure if I can find a party dress that is a full-on twirling machine of a frock, I’ll be able to get away with adding a little sweeter-than-a-candy-cane-ness to suit my tastes.

And so, turning to my trusty, go-to-store-for-inexpensive-kids’-clothes, Target, here are the four dresses I’ve narrowed my decision to:

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  • The quintessential spun sugar dress 1 of 4
    The quintessential spun sugar dress

    Seriously, how perfect is this lovely dress? She'll be a snow princess in this. Even though we live in Houston. Where there's no snow.

    Blush dress for $24.99

  • Dramatic enough for her, sweet enough for me 2 of 4
    Dramatic enough for her, sweet enough for me

    Usually I frown on black as a colour for little girl dresses, but this one is pretty awesome.

    Dramatic pink and black dress for $24.99

  • Pink sweetness 3 of 4
    Pink sweetness

    I love the embroidery on this dress. And the bow. The bow!

    Pink confection for $27.99

  • She’s decided her favourite colour is blue 4 of 4
    She's decided her favourite colour is blue

    "Because pink is for babies." Works for me -- this dress is lovely.

    Blue party dress for $34.99

Lovely, right?  So pray that I can get away with getting one of these for her for Christmas this year.  I’m not sure how long her twirly-skirt-fascination will last — unless you can point me in the direction of a famous teenager with a penchant for high-necked, ankle-length frocks.

Do you keep your family festively stylish during the holidays? We’re giving away three $50 Target giftcards to brighten the season! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you dress your children conveniently — and with style — during the holidays!

A big thanks to Target for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.



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