Gone are the days that my daughters will tolerate matching poofy dresses for the holidays. The best I can possibly hope for now is to at least not have them clash. Plus, while two of my daughters adore dressing up (assuming they got to pick the outfit), my other daughter and my son pretty much hate it.
And the fact is, kids who are feeling miserable in their clothes rarely look good in holiday photos.
In an attempt to find some common ground while planning our holiday card photo, I sat down with each of my kids and had them put together their “dream” outfits on Target‘s website. Oddly enough, three out of four kids picked outfits that would totally coordinate, without any discussion about it. The fourth kid picked a different color palette, but when she saw what her siblings had picked, she put together a second choice that would go with the others’ ensembles.
Kids definitely are happier about clothes when they get to have at least some say in them. Younger kids do well with limited choices: “do you want to wear the blue shirt or the green one?” With older kids, it’s great to give them more input. If you know you’re going to buy new holiday clothes, for example, show them what your budget is and have them try to figure out an outfit within that budget. (Mwahahahaha, they’re doing math.)
I have to say, I love the outfits my kids picked out. The outfits would absolutely be appropriate for our family’s holiday events, and definitely show their individual personalities and style. All of the outfits could be worn on more than one occasion, and because it’s Target, of course everything is reasonably priced.
Check out my kids’ style selections below and see if something inspires you for your kids’ holiday clothes!
10 Holiday Outfits Kids Actually Like 1 of 11Ten fun, affordable holiday outfits that will actually get your kids smiling for that holiday card photo shoot!
The Peanut Butter Kid, 8: It’s All About the Details 2 of 11The Peanut Butter Kid adores dressing up. She's a bit of an enigma: she says she doesn't like things "too glittery" and then grabs the sparkle.
Here's why she picked out this outfit as "ideal" for Thanksgiving and Christmas: "I like the flower on the strap, and I like the sash with the bow in the back. The shoes aren't that sparkly," she said without a trace of irony, "and they have little jewels on top of the bow."
She selected the capri tights because "I have a pair like that, and they're really comfy."
And in the sweetest comment of the day, she picked the hair accessory because it reminds her of her grandmother: "I like the hair wrap because it reminds me of Mom-Mom, and how she likes to knit and sew."
(All at Target: Dress, $18. Shoes, $17.99. Tights, $3.99. Ruffle hair wrap, $7.99.)
Cookie, 11: ‘Not so much with the skirts.’ 3 of 11One of my 11-year-old twin girls picked out this outfit. She's generally opposed to dressing up, and usually skirts and dresses just aren't her thing.
"I like the cardigan because of the color, and it looks pretty without being too glittery. I like the pants because they look really soft and comfortable. And the hair clips look artsy and creative."
(All at Target: Velour pants, $12.99. Cardigan, $14.00. Lace tank, $6.99 Aerosole flats, $44.99. Harajuku Mini hair barettes, $7.99 for a pack of 3.)
Little Dude, 6: Comfort is King 4 of 11My six-year-old son, Little Dude, is not a fan of getting dressed, even on a good day. He's got sensory issues, fine motor skill issues, and a mad streak of independence. So the shirt-and-tie look is pretty much out. This outfit that he picked out is one that he can completely put on by himself. No zippers or buttons to fuss with on the pants, a soft collar on the shirt, and no laces on the shoes equals a holiday outfit win for him.
I should note that the pull-on pants he picked out are ones he already owns in several colors. They're lined in a super-soft t-shirt material, and the elastic waist fits comfortably without having those adjustable waist button thingies to irritate him.
(All at Target: Pants, $12.00. Polo, $12.99. Shoes, $29.99. Socks, $3.99 for a pack of 3.)
The Pork Lo Maniac, 11: ‘I love red! And stars!’ 5 of 11My other 11-year-old daughter loves red. She picked out this outfit for being comfortable, with just enough sparkle to be festive. As my only kiddo with pierced ears, she had fun finding these star earrings, that would coordinate with the starred tights.
She also liked that the sweater dress could be dressed up or down. "I could wear jeans under it, and add a long-sleeved t-shirt under it, if it was cold," she said.
(All at Target: Sweater dress, $16.00. Flats, $14.99. Tights, $3.99. Hair clip, $3.99. Earrings, $14.99.)
The Pork Lo Maniac: Outfit #2 6 of 11Funnily enough, all the other kids had picked out purple outfits without discussing it with each other, except the Pork Lo Maniac. When I pointed it out, she decided to pick out a second outfit that "would look good for a Christmas card," she said. "You know, not too matchy-matchy but still looking like we belong together."
She picked this outfit as "fun" and "cool" without being too little girl-ish. She was particularly fond of the two-tone tights. The Converse one stars keep the outfit from being too grown-up looking.
(All at Target: Skirt, $12.99. Cardigan, $18.99. Lace tank, $6.99. Footless tights, $3.99. Converse One Stars, $27.99.)
The Peanut Butter Kid: Outfit #2 7 of 11
Cookie: Outfit #2 8 of 11My normally skirt-hating daughter liked this long skirt because it would show the cool knee-highs better than pants. The trade-off for wearing a skirt? Sneakers now a must. The pretty top and flower hair clip still make it dressy.
(All at Target: D-signed tube skirt, $16.99. Cardigan, $16.99. Holiday socks, $5.00. Hair clip, $5.00. Converse One Stars, $34.99.)
Tip: Compromise. Or at least pretend to. 9 of 11For boys that simply hate to wear anything other than jeans, trendy colored denim at least brings jeans up a notch. If your kid throws a fit over collared shirt, try a soft and stylish sweater as a compromise. Pretend to cave in and let him wear his favorite Minecraft t-shirt underneath.
(All at Target: dENiZEN jeans, $21.99. Sweater, $14.00. Converse One Stars Mid-Tops, $27.99.)
Tip: Just don’t even try to fight it. 10 of 11Some kids just have their very own sense of style. Do you want to spend the next decade banging your head against the wall, or do you want to embrace it and pick more important battles? Assuming my kids are all warmly dressed and reasonably clean, I'm fine with it.
(All at Target: Skirt, $14.99. Sweater (in the boys' department), $14.00. Tie-dye tights, $3.99. Boots, $29.99. Faux Fur Hood, $15.19. )
Tip: There’s room for something fun. Always. 11 of 11
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