Category Archives: Special Occasion Dresses

Ooh! La, La! Couture Easter Dresses for Girls

Epfkyp3sedltiwiexq9-sbkjodra5js6lvnh8c4javkm_thumbnailvery season Ooh! La La! Couture brings about a new collection, we are reminded why they are one of our favorites. Their gorgeous styles are just breath taking and completely fun and fabulous for little girls to wear. Let your daughter shine and sparkle this Easter with these one of a kind, gorgeous Easter dresses for girls.

Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Parfait WOW Swarovski Devin High Low Dress

Be ready to be blown away by the wow-factor the Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Parfait WOW Swarovski Devin High Low Dress packs. This light pink tutu dress has elegant Swarvoski crystals and a high-low tutu with lots of fluffy layers. What a great look for Easter and other spring parties. Pair this spring dress with cute bunny ears like the model or the gorgeous Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Parfait Ruffle Shrug. Available in sizes 4-10.

Don’t forget to order your daughter’s Easter shoes when you find the perfect Easter dress. The Joyfolie Pale Pink Vivian Bow Mary Jane are the perfect shade of pink to match all of Oh! La, La! Couture’s fashion.

Ooh! La, La! Couture Yellow and Pink Bunny Tutu Dress

pj3eojldic8iniyh8giq_ypq9uzlncrsyo1fy8bzwde_thumbnailHere comes Peter Cottontail! The Ooh! La, La! Couture Yellow and Pink Bunny Tutu Dress is too cute for words! This sweet dress features a pink glittery bunny with a pink fluffy tail. The yellow and pink tutu falls right above the knee for a fun Easter look. Your princess will look stunning standing next to the Easter bunny. Available in sizes 3T-4. This cute outfit also comes in baby sizes with the Ooh! La, La! Couture Yellow And Pink Tutu Baby Onesie. Your princess will

Don’t forget the shoes! There is nothing like having your little one dressed for the special day without the cute shoes to go with her outfit. The Joyfolie Yellow Vivian Bow Mary Jane are a beautiful yellow that will go beautifully with many trendy kid fashions.

blue-bow-tie-doll_thumbnailOoh! La, La! Couture Blue Ice Tie Bow Dress

Is blue more your daughter’s color? Then she will love the beautiful Ooh! La, La! Couture Blue Ice Tie Bow Dress . Your daughter will look like an ice princess with this Swarvoski lined neckline and delicate blue tutu dress. The cream bow adds a nice touch, making the dress sophisticated. Available in sizes 3T to girl’s size 10.

Dress it up with the Ooh! La, La! Couture Blue Ice Tie Bow Doll Dress and the Ooh! La, La! Couture Blue Ice Flower Headband. ss1514lilacwowdreamdress_thumbnail

Ooh! La, La! Couture Lilac WOW Dream Dress

Get gorgeous with lilac. The Ooh! La, La! Couture Lilac WOW Dream Dress is full of ruffles and glamor. The gold satin bow is a perfect accent. Add a little more pizazz to this outfit with the Ooh! La, La! Couture Lilac Ruffle Shrug . The Coastal Projections Lavender Sequin With Flower Mary Janes are a gorgeous shoe to pair with this dress. sxzlpcvou7lsgkvuginokvclqynxiiaduohg_axoyoc_thumbnail

Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Lady WOW Dream Dress

A similar dress to the gorgeous gown above is the Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Lady WOW Dream Dress. What a perfect pink dress for spring! How much fun would it be to dress your little one in this spring fashion with the matching Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Lady WOW Dream Doll Dress.

Pair the Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Lady WOW Dream Dress with the perfect accessories, like the Ooh! La, La! Couture Pink Lady Flower Headband or the gorgeous Enchanted Shimmer Designs Juliet Headband.

Easter will be here before you know it. Mark your calendars for April 5th! Shop Everything But The Princess for the best Easter dresses for girls. Don’t forget matching shoes, spring jackets, and Easter accessories for girls.

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Christmas is coming early this year

Christmas is coming early this year.  Don’t kill me.  I know, it’s waay too early to be thinking about Christmas.  I mean, we haven’t even made our Thanksgiving menu yet.  Well, Christmas isn’t really coming early anyway, but it’s going to seem like it.  What is coming early is Hanukkah.  In fact, it starts on Thanksgiving.  Which means that Thanksgiving is late this year.

And what that means is that we will have less than four weeks to do all the baking, singing, shopping, visiting, hugging and decorating that we want to do before the Big Day is here.  26 days, to be precise.

So what are you waiting for?  I know, it’s scandalous.  But me personally, I love the season, and I’m going to use this weekend and all next week for the holidays, plural, and just wrap Thanksgiving right in with the rest of it.

persnickety holiday 2013

Time is flying by and it’s time to think about holiday photos, cards, childrens concerts and recitals and not to mention holiday parties. Are you ready?

Our holiday section is now complete and bursting with the most amazing pieces you will find anywhere. We are proud to have the best and largest holiday boutique available anywhere.

Each item hand chosen just for you and your children.

girls christmas dressMud Pie Babybiscotti holiday dresses

Holiday Memories Begin Here

  Winter holidays are upon us and a time of year many of us cherish as a special time with our loved ones and beloved friends. No matter when or how you celebrate, Everything But The Princess has a variety of holiday apparel from casual knits to special occasion gowns. We offer a wide array in every size range from infant to size 16. Many outfits are chosen to coordinate siblings for photos and parties as well.  You will find a selection that is sure to fit every budget and occasion, with shoes and hair accessories to match. We have made convenient sections as well for quicker navigation. Grab a cup of cocoa and join us for this special holiday preview event.

isobella & Chloe  lemon loves limegirls party dresses

 View All Our Holiday Selections Here

holiday tightssanta leg warmers, candy cane legwarmers   Candy Cane Headband

We have a great assortment of holiday accessories too. From hair bows, headbands, to tights and leg warmers. Everything you need to complete those adorable picture perfect looks.

I don’t know why Christmas Pajamas are such a tradition, except that they are nice for Christmas morning photos.  Don’t those little pumpkins look so cute in their new pjs?  My mother always made me a new flannel nightgown ever year, which I got to unwrap on Christmas Eve.  So in our family, Christmas PJs are a must – even for our teenage son.

Girls Holiday Sleepwear
girls mary jane

How to dress children for a wedding

Formal Engraved Invitation

Formal Wedding Invitation (photo courtesy of weddinginvitationsengraved.com)

It’s thrilling to receive a wedding invitation – particularly once most of your friends are married and  you’re into another stage of your life (the baby shower stage, the bar mitzvah stage, the graduation stage, you get the idea).  The beautiful stationery will get you thinking about where you’ll stay, what kind of gift you’d like to give, and what you’ll wear.  That still fits.  (!)  And then there’s the kids.  Don’t forget about the kids!  (If the children are not expressly listed on the inside invitation envelope, call a member of the wedding party to make sure children are invited.  While some couldn’t imagine a family affair like a wedding without all the little ones, others plan elegant affairs that don’t include children.)  Don’t leave it to the last minute, either, because you want the kids to look their best too, and it takes just as much time to find the perfect dress or suit for a child as it does for an adult.  Your heart will fill with pride when your friends and family comment on how handsome and well behaved your children are.

Ooh! La, La! Couture WOW Emma Dress

Ooh! La, La! Couture WOW Emma Dress

These days it seems that little girls are eager to wear party dresses – or princess costumes – to any event they can.  But that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to choose a dress.  You want her to be appropriately dressed and look nice.  But she may have a different idea of what is appropriate for a wedding than you do, and the way she expresses it will vary, depending on her age.  If she is adamant about wearing her torn & snagged Cinderella costume to your best friend’s wedding, then you may have to choose your battles…and this may be one of the times you put your foot down.  How important is it to you that your children look “just so?”  This may be a time to simply explain that you are going to a wedding and everyone is expected to look a certain way.  Perhaps you can come to a compromise and both be happy.  After all, girls like a new dress too!  And then again, she may wish to be more formal than necessary.  Or the reverse – I know a few girls that won’t wear anything but pants, no matter what.  Lastly, little girls still in diapers or pull-ups will need a bloomer or diaper cover.  There’s nothing glamorous about her Huggies showing as she romps about.

Appaman Mist Grey Mod Suit

Appaman Mist Grey Mod Suit. Vans, Converse or tees under a jacket for a casual wedding can look great if artfully done.

The same applies for boys.  While most boys seem to just want to be comfortable, many insist on certain clothing items in their wardrobe (got one that won’t take off his rain boots?).  And a rare few will want to really dress to the nines.  Some kids won’t like the unfamiliar feel of a tie, while others will feel dapper and grown up.  Use discretion and make compromises where necessary.  A pouty kid won’t let you have a great time at the party.  And friends, boys should be dressed just as nicely as girls.  These days we are constantly seeing men and boys wearing jeans or chinos while the ladies are coiffed and primped in taffeta and lace.  Your entire party should match in formality, and ideally in style.  It’s not necessary to be matchy-matchy, but keep in mind that there will be photos, and it’s nice to choose outfits that will coordinate with the other members of your family and not clash.

Casual wedding invitation

Casual wedding invitation (photo courtesy of 4thewedding.com)

Start off by deciding how formal the occasion is.  If the invitation does not expressly say “black tie” or other direct indications of formality, take a look at the invitation itself.  Is it classically elegant, engraved with scrolly calligraphy and formally worded?  The wedding will probably be similarly formal.  Is it casual, with polka dots, flowers or palm trees printed on the invite?  The wedding is probably casual.  Does the wedding have a theme?  That will make a wedding and reception fun, so dress the part if that’s called for.

Is it indoors or outdoors?  If the wedding is outdoors, you will want to check the weather and wear attire that will be comfortable outside.  Choose stable shoes that will be comfortable on grass or sand, and don’t forget your layers so that you can adjust for heat or cold.  Consider the possibility of rain, wind or excessive heat and accessorize accordingly.  A fold-up umbrella, sun hat or shrug is small and easy to bring and leave in the car if not needed.  At a church or temple?  Most people still dress nicely for church these days.  Is the wedding indoors at a fancy location like a country club or four star restaurant?  Not only will it be comfortable to dress up a bit, but a nicely tailored suit or dress will fit in with the setting.

Children's Formalwear

Everyone looks nice when their outfit fits correctly.

Children will have a better time if they are comfortable.  They may not be used to formal clothing, so take steps to ensure their comfort.  Outfits should fit correctly without needing to be pulled, pinned or belted.  Not only will this keep them from fussing throughout the day, they will also look better.  Choose natural fibers where available and appropriate, as they breathe well and feel nice against the skin.  Shoes should be worn at least once before the important day, to ensure they will not be uncomfortable.  Kids are just as miserable with sore feet as adults are.  Similarly, it pays to try the whole outfit on together in plenty of time to make adjustments.  This also gives the child a chance to see him/herself all dressed up fancy for your friends’ special day.

Take into consideration the day’s activities.  If the children will be eating a meal in their fancy duds, choose clothing that will be easy to clean or that you won’t be worried about.  Bring fancy or stylish bibs for tiny ones (make sure they are clean) and have all your kid-emergency-clean-up-stuff at the ready.  If the venue will change during the day, make sure you have the appropriate accessories for the environment at each location, for example an indoor church wedding followed by an outdoor picnic or vice versa.  If it will be a religious wedding, clothing should be conservative.  If a girl will have bare shoulders, bring a shrug or cardigan to cover up while in church or temple.  Clothing should not be constricting, so that the children can sit, stand and play comfortably.

Accessories make the man

Accessories make the man! (photo by Morceau Photography le-morceau.com)

Don’t forget to accessorize!  This is the perfect time for fancy shoes, jackets and purses.  Boys will need a belt and good shoes, and maybe a jacket and tie.  And don’t forget proper foundations like undershirts.  Tiny ladies still in diapers or pull-ups will need a bloomer or diaper cover – Huggies are not glamorous.  And older girls may feel more comfortable in underdresses or bloomers too.  There is a wide variety of slim underdress shorts, slip shorts and bloomers available now that are pretty and fun.  Boys’ socks should match either their pants or shoes–no white tube socks.  Take time to choose hair things for the girls that match the formality of her dress and practice her hairstyle in advance.  Boys should have their hair cut a few days to a week before, so that it will be crisp but not edgy and fresh.

If finances are an issue, consider borrowing items from friends to complete their look.  Many people will be happy to loan shoes, accessories and jackets that aren’t getting a lot of use due to their formality.  Consignment and vintage shops are also great places to look.  Think about simple yet elegant basics that can fit into their wardrobes after the wedding – a white cardigan with pearl trim, for example, is great for everyday.  Boys can use khaki slacks in place of chinos for school.

Lastly, have fun dressing your family.  This is an opportunity to go all-out and look your best while having fun celebrating with the ones you love.

Daytime/Outdoors:

Girls: Florals or soft prints
Light-colored classics and dressy sundresses
Skirt & sweater sets with sandals
Pretty hats and scarves
Nice sandals, mary janes or ballet flats
Boys: Light-colored suits, seersucker or linen (spring/summer)
Dark colored suits, blazer & pants or sweater & tie (fall/winter)
Dress shirt, pants & tie
If the wedding is formal, wear a dark suit or morning coat.  Tuxedoes are not worn in the daytime.
Brown, blue or black casual shoes, oxfords or loafers

Evening Weddings:

Girls: Party or cocktail dress
Theater-appropriate attire
Sophisticated darker colors are dressy, but light colors are still appropriate – she’s still a little girl after all.
Sequins, beadwork and other particularly flashy adornments are best left to formal/black tie weddings
Dress shoes, nice mary janes or ballet flats
Boys: Blazer & slacks (if semi-formal or casual)
Dark colored suit
Black or brown oxfords, dress boots or loafers

Black-Tie Optional

Girls: Party or cocktail dresses
Jewel-tones and rich colors look lovely on little ladies, but lighter colors in formal fabrics are also appropriate
Dress shoes or ballet flats
Boys: Tuxedo
Dark suit
Black dress oxfords or cap toes

Black Tie

Girls: Formal dresses, usually full length
Formal jewelry, purses and accessories; dress shoes or formal ballet flats
Boys: Tuxedo
Black dress oxfords or cap toes
Socks should match either the pants or the shoes

Yikes! Socks should match either the pants or the shoes.

Wedding Don’ts:

  • Girls should not wear black in the daytime.
  • Jeans, shorts, athletic shoes or flip flops.  Nope.  (Unless the invitation or bride or groom specifically says it’s a beach/luau thing or cowboy barbeque and you should wear shorts or jeans.)
  • Anything ill-fitting, torn, stained or age-inappropriate
  • Bare shoulders if it is a religious wedding
  • White socks for boys
  • Don’t forget proper undergarments (like undershirts), foundations and furnishings (like a belt)
  • Don’t forget your smile!

EverythingButThePrincess.com has an excellent collection of tuxedos and suits for boys and formalwear and party dresses for girls.

Looking for other etiquette advice, particularly for a wedding?  Visit Emily Post’s Etipedia, the encyclopedia of etiquette.  There is even a whole section on wedding etiquette.

Holiday Style Guide Vol 1 – Metallics are the New Red

Metallics
Silver, Gold, Bronze

Biscotti Platinum Petals Dress

Biscotti Platinum Petals Dress

Metallics are the new red this season. Shimmer, sparkle and be elegantly shine this holiday season in an array of party dresses, gowns and all the matching accessories.

Metallics have gained popularity recently for parties, as they can be worn again to New Year’s Eve events, weddings and beyond. Plus, glitter is pretty! As we look at holiday dresses and think, “where else can she wear this?” metallics and blacks have become the go-to for wearability and stand-out style.

Classic Black
Elegant & Timeless

Dolls & Divas Tyler Black Maribou Dress

Dolls & Divas Tyler Black Maribou Dress

Black is always a great choice for formal parties and events. Its timeless quality and elegant feel make it the go-to for moms. black and the black/silver mixes are always a hit, since they are easy to wear to multiple events and still be the center of the room.

Everything But The Princess has a great selection of black dresses from knits to sequins. Don’t forget to check out the accessories section for stunning black hair accessories and shoes to make it a true fairytale evening.

Holiday Shoes

Coastal Connection Silver Sparkle Ballet Flats

Coastal Connection Silver Sparkle Ballet Flats

So after many nights of debate, you finally have the perfect holiday dress (this would not be me yet!!). So now: what about those shoes? Don’t fret! Everything But The Princess has a great selection of holiday shoes in all colors to make her toes shine as much as her smile.

Joyfolie Madelyn Black Mary Janes

Joyfolie Madelyn Black Mary Janes

Santa’s Little Helpers

The Rebirth of Trish Scully

Trish Scully Child - Glamour for GirlsForgot about Trish Scully? We didn’t think so. Imagine our joy at seeing the new, just as good as ever, Trish Scully Child at market. It’s just like you remember it, with timeless, detailed styles, quality materials and the unique flair that makes Trish Scully’s designs memorable. After a refreshing few years off, Trish Scully is back with an exciting new collection that reflects the same value and tradition as before, with a nod to European style and a fresh new flair that we think you’re going to really like.  Not to mention affordable prices that you could really start to appreciate.

Trish Scully Child Floral Fantasy Princess Dress

Trish Scully Child Floral Fantasy Princess Dress

If you’re not familiar with Trish Scully, then you’re in for a treat.  This beautiful line excels with dresses and outfits for special days that are fanciful, unique and pretty.  Girls will look beautiful in these pieces, and they’ll feel comfortable too.  The casual pieces also included with each color story are high quality and easy to wear.  Trish Scully Child’s beautiful line in sizes newborn through 6X features groups like Dot to Dot, Retro Rags and Oui Oui Paris and will also include holiday groups like 2012’s Candy Cane and Posh Velvet.

Trish Scully’s introductory 2012 spring line added “Child” to the brand name for the relaunch.  Ms. Scully has been designing for more than a decade, with creative inspiration from many sources, including her own children and her background in formal fashion design for women.  With a solid tradition of quality and unique style, Trish Scully reemerges with a refocused view of today’s priorities.  “The brand is now better priced for the economic needs of specialty retailers and their customers, but with distinctive finishing touches and detailing that buyers remembered and still want,” Scully says.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Henleys and Lace Ruffle Front Cardigan Sweater

Trish Scully Child
Henleys and Lace Ruffle Front Cardigan

This fall, we are pleased to feature a variety of styles from the Trish Scully Child collection including dresses, blouses and tops, skirts, pleated dresses and even blazers and coats for girls.  Lush fabrics, pretty accents and other nice details like lace and ruffles will be sure to attract a lot of attention to this next season.  This is a brand that allows girls to feel like princesses, and mothers to feel like queens.  We are so glad to see Trish Scully Child on our racks and are anxiously awaiting to see what wonders Trish Scully will design next.

That’s why Trish Scully really is Everyday Glamour for Girls.

View the fall preview HERE.

How to measure girls for special occasion dresses

With Spring and Summer come all the very special occasions that mark milestones in our lives.  Weddings, Communion, Baptisms, Graduations, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations and all manner of parties dot our calendars.  And of course you want the entire family to look their absolute best!  Getting a proper fit is so important, for comfort and appearance, and it only takes a little effort to ensure a great fitting dress. Measuring children for clothing

Special Occasion dresses are fully constructed garments and may fit differently from casual clothing.  Additionally, most are made of beautiful, traditional fabrics that stretch very little, if at all, so a good fit is important for comfort.  Everyone looks better in clothes that fit!  If you are ordering online, it pays to have your girl’s measurements in hand when comparing with size charts and guides.  A size chart is different from a size guide in that a size chart is a measure of the garment itself, while a size guide is a general guideline of sizing based on height and weight or general measurements of the child.  If you are using a size chart, you will add ½-1 inch to the measurement of the child to get the measurement of the dress.

ImageMeasuring can be tedious for some children, and they will want to squirm and play around while you are trying to get a good measurement.  Be prepared with your measuring tape and paper & pencil to write down the numbers so that you can be as efficient as possible.  If you do not have a flexible measuring tape, you can simply take the measurement with a string and then measure the string next to a yardstick.  It’s also a good idea to take each measurement twice to ensure accuracy.  If the child is slouching, sucking in her tummy or moving, you may not get a good measurement.  Make sure to place the tape gently and not pull it tightly around or leave it loose.

To start, the child should be dressed in undergarments or tight-fitting clothing and standing straight.  If she is old enough to wear a bra, make sure it is unpadded.  If she will be wearing a padded or specialty brassiere with the dress, then ideally measure her while wearing the item.  But keep in mind that her measurements will be different without it.  Bulky clothing will cause inaccuracies in your measurements, so if she must be dressed, tight-fitting clothing is best.  (Imagine if you were trying on clothes while already fully dressed!)  She should also remove her shoes if a length, inseam or outseam measurement will be taken.

The following is a list of measurements to have on hand, starting with the basics, and last a few additional measurements that may be useful.Size Charts & Guides for fitting flower girl dresses

  1. Chest/Bust:  The bust measurement is the distance around her chest right under the armpits and around the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor.
  2. Waist:  The waist measurement should be taken around her middle at the natural waist, or where she would comfortably wear a belt.  For most children, this is right at the navel, or the smallest point of her waist and just above the hip bones.  Many younger children have a “chocolate milk tummy,” so make sure you get the largest point around her middle if she has a poochy belly.
  3. Hips:  Measure the child around the widest part of her hips & bottom.  It’s important to have enough room here for comfortable movement.  Many dresses will have a full skirt, so some may not need this measurement.

Additional measurements that may be useful for particular types of dresses, pants or other clothing:

  1. Inseam:  The inseam is measured from the crotch (where the seams of her pants would come together) to the bottom of the ankle.  Inseam  measurement is usually rounded to the next half inch.  If the child can’t sit still for this one, you can also measure a pair of pants that fit her well.
  2. Outseam/Leg:  Measure from the waist to the bottom of the ankle.
  3. Arm:  There are several arm measurements:  upper arm/biceps and wrist circumference, and arm length from the top of the shoulder, down to the bent elbow bone, and then to the wrist bone.
  4. Shoulder Width:  Measure the widest part of the girls shoulders, straight across the back.
  5. Torso/Back:  Start measuring at the seventh vertebra (the most prominent bone at the base of the neck) and continue down the spine to the top of the hip bones.
  6. Alternate Torso Measurement:  For swimwear or leotards, a diagonal measurement is taken starting at the top of the shoulder, down the front over the largest part of the bust and through the crotch and then back around to the top of the shoulder.
  7. Dress Length:  Measure from the top of the shoulder to the ankle (or other hem length).
how to measure for a dress fitting

Ballet Length

Special considerations for body type

For the thin or tall girl:  If your girl is tall and slender, probably size charts won’t show any combination that will fit her.  Choose a style that looks good on a thin girl from a manufacturer with a more slender fit.  Brands differ, and your dress shop or retailer should be able to make recommendations.  Styles that have mid-length (such as tea length or ballet length), fuller skirts are more forgiving, since the only part of the dress that is fitted right to the body is the bodice.  These middle lengths won’t be too short in the smaller sizes.  A shorter dress or floor-length dress should be ordered based on her height and altered to fit her chest and waist.

For the big girl:  If your girl is a little bit big, you will have similar problems with size charts not representing her.  Choose a style that will flatter her body type.  Bodices with a little stretch (such as smocking, bias cut fabric or slightly stretchy fabric) will give her room to move, but beware bodices that look “stretched” or tight.  Longer bodice styles may be too long in the torso.   The chest is the most important measurement, since she will feel uncomfortable if the back is tight and you may have trouble with the zipper.  Choose your size based on the chest measurement and have the skirt hemmed to the desired length and waist altered if necessary.

Armed with her measurements, you are ready to shop!  Always allow plenty of time for delivery and read item descriptions and delivery times carefully.  When in doubt, call customer service for advice.  A good dress shop will cheerfully answer your questions.  Starting out with the right size and ending with enough time to make any needed alterations will ensure a beautifully fitting dress on your special day.

Everything But The Princess has a huge selection of Special Occasion, Party and First Communion dresses.

How to measure girls for special occasion dresses

With Spring and Summer come all the very special occasions that mark milestones in our lives.  Weddings, Communion, Baptisms, Graduations, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations and all manner of parties dot our calendars.  And of course you want the entire family to look their absolute best!  Getting a proper fit is so important, for comfort and appearance, and it only takes a little effort to ensure a great fitting dress. Measuring children for clothing

Special Occasion dresses are fully constructed garments and may fit differently from casual clothing.  Additionally, most are made of beautiful, traditional fabrics that stretch very little, if at all, so a good fit is important for comfort.  Everyone looks better in clothes that fit!  If you are ordering online, it pays to have your girl’s measurements in hand when comparing with size charts and guides.  A size chart is different from a size guide in that a size chart is a measure of the garment itself, while a size guide is a general guideline of sizing based on height and weight or general measurements of the child.  If you are using a size chart, you will add ½-1 inch to the measurement of the child to get the measurement of the dress.

ImageMeasuring can be tedious for some children, and they will want to squirm and play around while you are trying to get a good measurement.  Be prepared with your measuring tape and paper & pencil to write down the numbers so that you can be as efficient as possible.  If you do not have a flexible measuring tape, you can simply take the measurement with a string and then measure the string next to a yardstick.  It’s also a good idea to take each measurement twice to ensure accuracy.  If the child is slouching, sucking in her tummy or moving, you may not get a good measurement.  Make sure to place the tape gently and not pull it tightly around or leave it loose.

To start, the child should be dressed in undergarments or tight-fitting clothing and standing straight.  If she is old enough to wear a bra, make sure it is unpadded.  If she will be wearing a padded or specialty brassiere with the dress, then ideally measure her while wearing the item.  But keep in mind that her measurements will be different without it.  Bulky clothing will cause inaccuracies in your measurements, so if she must be dressed, tight-fitting clothing is best.  (Imagine if you were trying on clothes while already fully dressed!)  She should also remove her shoes if a length, inseam or outseam measurement will be taken.

The following is a list of measurements to have on hand, starting with the basics, and last a few additional measurements that may be useful.Size Charts & Guides for fitting flower girl dresses

  1. Chest/Bust:  The bust measurement is the distance around her chest right under the armpits and around the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor.
  2. Waist:  The waist measurement should be taken around her middle at the natural waist, or where she would comfortably wear a belt.  For most children, this is right at the navel, or the smallest point of her waist and just above the hip bones.  Many younger children have a “chocolate milk tummy,” so make sure you get the largest point around her middle if she has a poochy belly.
  3. Hips:  Measure the child around the widest part of her hips & bottom.  It’s important to have enough room here for comfortable movement.  Many dresses will have a full skirt, so some may not need this measurement.

Additional measurements that may be useful for particular types of dresses, pants or other clothing:

  1. Inseam:  The inseam is measured from the crotch (where the seams of her pants would come together) to the bottom of the ankle.  Inseam  measurement is usually rounded to the next half inch.  If the child can’t sit still for this one, you can also measure a pair of pants that fit her well.
  2. Outseam/Leg:  Measure from the waist to the bottom of the ankle.
  3. Arm:  There are several arm measurements:  upper arm/biceps and wrist circumference, and arm length from the top of the shoulder, down to the bent elbow bone, and then to the wrist bone.
  4. Shoulder Width:  Measure the widest part of the girls shoulders, straight across the back.
  5. Torso/Back:  Start measuring at the seventh vertebra (the most prominent bone at the base of the neck) and continue down the spine to the top of the hip bones.
  6. Alternate Torso Measurement:  For swimwear or leotards, a diagonal measurement is taken starting at the top of the shoulder, down the front over the largest part of the bust and through the crotch and then back around to the top of the shoulder.
  7. Dress Length:  Measure from the top of the shoulder to the ankle (or other hem length).
how to measure for a dress fitting

Ballet Length

Special considerations for body type

For the tall girl:  If your girl is tall and slender, probably size charts won’t show any combination that will fit her.  Choose a style that looks good on a thin girl from a manufacturer with a more slender fit.  Brands differ, and your dress shop or retailer should be able to make recommendations.  Styles that have mid-length (such as tea length or ballet length), fuller skirts are more forgiving, since the only part of the dress that is fitted right to the body is the bodice.  These middle lengths won’t be too short in the smaller sizes.  A shorter dress or floor-length dress should be ordered based on her height and altered to fit her chest and waist.

For the big girl:  If your girl is a little bit big, you will have similar problems with size charts not representing her.  Choose a style that will flatter her body type.  Bodices with a little stretch (such as smocking, bias cut fabric or slightly stretchy fabric) will give her room to move, but beware bodices that look “stretched” or tight.  Longer bodice styles may be too long in the torso.   The chest is the most important measurement, since she will feel uncomfortable if the back is tight and you may have trouble with the zipper.  Choose your size based on the chest measurement and have the skirt hemmed to the desired length and waist altered if necessary.

Armed with her measurements, you are ready to shop!  Always allow plenty of time for delivery and read item descriptions and delivery times carefully.  When in doubt, call customer service for advice.  A good dress shop will cheerfully answer your questions.  Starting out with the right size and ending with enough time to make any needed alterations will ensure a beautifully fitting dress on your special day.

Everything But The Princess has a huge selection of Special Occasion, Party and First Communion dresses.