Does your toddler love playing dress up? I know mine does.
She can transform from a bed-headed toddler to a fairy princess faster than you can say bibbidi–bobbidi–boo.
She has hats and little white gloves for tea parties, a grass skirt and lei (for when she’s feeling tropical) and even a bridal veil.
And not to be limited by traditional gender roles, occasionally she plays dress up in her brothers’ old superhero costumes.
I love watching her imagination run wild as she steps into character.
But can I tell you something that I’m not a fan of? Having a battle of wills with my toddler when I need her to take off the tutu and tiara and run an errand where costumes aren’t appropriate.
It’s not that I never let her out of the house dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast or wearing an outlandish cowgirl costume (complete with holster and water gun). Sometimes, though, I just don’t want to be so conspicuous. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing battle with layer upon layer of sequined tulle to get my daughter strapped in her carseat.
There’s nothing more pathetic than a fairy princess throwing a temper tantrum in the produce section, am I right?
That’s why I’ve searched Etsy- my favorite destination for all things hand-made- for costumes that won’t cause me to say naughty words under my breath but would still make my little cowgirl happier than a hen at a hootenanny.
Because that’s a thing now. I just made it up.
Sweet as a Strawberry 1 of 8My daughter would be thrilled to wear this Strawberry Shortcake-inspired dress, and it looks enough like a regular sundress that she could wear it around town.
Find it at Lover Dovers Clothing
Over the Rainbow 2 of 8How cute is Dorothy? I can imagine my 3 year old clicking her heels in this getup!
Find it at Bitty Bitty Bum Bum
Super Kiddo! 3 of 8So simple and fun, this superhero set adds a little dress-up flair to your kiddo's wardrobe.
Find it at Birthday Adventures
Little Snow White 4 of 8I am not in love with the poly-blend material most princess costumes come in. This Snow White dress is mostly cotton, which makes it perfect for summer.
Find it at Made for Mermaids
Ahoy! 5 of 8Your little one can hit the town feeling just like Jack Sparrow in this cute pirate outfit.
Find it at The Joyful Princess
Handmade La La Loopsy 6 of 8La La Loopsy is my daughter's newest obsession. She would love to wear this adorable outfit and I wouldn't feel like it was too "costumey" even to wear to preschool.
Find it at Sweet Sophia Bowtique
Cowgirl Cutie 7 of 8Here's another great costume/dress for your toddler. Wouldn't your little cowgirl look adorable in this, maybe with a hat and boots?
Find it at Two Sisters Originals
You’ve Got a Friend in Me 8 of 8The Toy Story movies are a huge hit in my house, and my 4 year old and my toddler would have so much fun dressing like Woody and Jessie!
Find it at Little Wellies
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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