There are always a few times during the holiday season when we dress up my daughter and head to a restaurant. She generally loves to put on her fun dresses and accompany us to an adult dinner. I am glad she enjoys it because I want her to be used to eating in restaurants (formal or informal). Exposing her to these experiences within reason will help her develop good table manners and prepare her for properly sitting and enjoying a meal with people other than her parents when she is old enough.
One of the things I’ve learned along the way is that dressing a preschooler for a formal occasion requires a little strategizing. I follow these guidelines to ensure that she looks appropriate for the setting and she is comfortable. After all, if she is not comfortable with what she is wearing nobody will be!
Dressing Children for Restaurants:
- Pick something that is comfy to sit in: Kids are usually forced to sit more than usual at restaurants so it is imperative that what they are wearing is easy for them to squirm around in. Skip the skinny tube dresses that might be restrictive and go with something that they can sit in with their legs criss-cross or curl up their knees under.
- Nothing too slippery: Once I dressed my daughter in what I thought was the cutest dress with a taffeta skirt and she spent the entire meal sliding off her chair. Oops! I learned my lesson on that one. Restaurants are different than weddings where children dance all night.
- Keep food in mind: It is inevitable that food drops off their plate and into their laps. If you have a dress you don’t want her to get stained or is too fragile to handle a splash of butter and some bread crumbs than skip it. Stick with frocks you are capable of washing or at least spot washing when the meal is over. Kids are kids after all and you don’t want to spend the meal shrouding them in napkins and telling them not to enjoy their food!