Special Occasion Dress Ideas for Little Girls

Allison Cooper
Special Occasion Dresses

Special occasions that require a new dress are a special treat for girly girls. Some of the most common occasions where young girls get to dazzle in show-stopping dresses include first communion, confirmation, and weddings - just to name a few! Shopping for the perfect dress can be a special treat for mothers and daughters to share.

Finding Girls' Special Occasion Dresses Online

A number of online retailers sell special occasion dresses for little girls. With a seemingly endless variety of gorgeous gowns to choose from with these specialty retailers, your daughter may find it challenging to pick just one.

chasing fireflies

The online boutique chasing fireflies was created to celebrate childhood and they have truly created something magical with their special occasion collection for little girls! The pieces that they select to sell are strategically chosen to help create memories for the many 'firsts' that little girls will be celebrating in these dresses. They have a wide range of party dresses, flower girl dresses, first communion dresses and more. There is even an option to personalize some of the styles! You will be able to find sizes starting at baby through size 10.

The Wooden Soldier

The Wooden Soldier was inspired simply by the magic of the holiday seasons and has been in business for more than three decades. You are able to search the website by both season and holiday, which makes life easier for busy parents! Their pieces are truly special. Each style has a very classic look. They feature everything from Easter dresses to first communion dresses in sizes 18 months to 10 years. They also have all the accessories you could ever want or need for your little girl to wear underneath and outside of her dress!

Coral and white special occasion dress
Flower girl dress

The Precious Girl

The Precious Girl focuses on formal events such as weddings, pageants and graduations, offering pieces in an affordable price range. You are able to find over-the-top ball gown look-alike dresses here, as well as more practical options. You will also be able to find shoes and accessories (such as tu-tus) to wear underneath dresses for more fluff! Most dresses are available in sizes 2 through 16, though christening dresses are also available for babies.

communion dress
Communion dress

SophiasStyle.com

SophiasStyle.com is an online boutique focused solely on children's fashions. It was founded in 2006 and named after the owner's daughter. They have a wide range of options to offer parents that their daughter's will love as well! They have a huge selection of special occasion dresses and accessories, and as an added bonus, -you can shop their website based on occasion. Their sizing goes all the way from preemie babies up to girls' plus size collections.

Online and Traditional Shopping Options

If you'd like the option of shopping for your daughter's special occasion dresses in a bricks and mortar store in addition to online, David's Bridal and JCPenney are two great options.

David's Bridal

Whenever you think of David's Bridal, you may automatically think of wedding dresses, but that's not all they sell! While many of their pieces sized for children are typically worn by young flower girls, they also have many selections that can easily be worn for first communions and holiday events. Their sizing starts at age 2T and most girls' pieces go all the way to size 14 plus. Visit a store in your area or shop online.

JCPenney

Every busy mom on the go knows that they can always turn to JCPenney for great deals on special occasion dresses for their little ones! Most dresses for little girls are available in a 2T through 6X, with larger sizes available for older girls. They have a wide variety to choose from, offering many modern options so that little girls can feel more grown up as well as classic silhouettes with lace and bows. Shop in your local store or online. When shopping online, you can search dress styles by occasion for easy browsing.

Getting the Right Fit

The key to looking stunning in special occasion dresses for little girls is finding the right fit. For a dress to look its best, it has to fit as though it was made specifically for your little princess.

Measuring Tips

When selecting a size for a special occasion dress it is important to remember that every manufacturer has a different sizing standard. Consequently, it is a good idea to take your daughter's measurements prior to selecting a particular dress.

The following are tips to consider while measuring your little girl for the perfect special occasion dress:

  • Use a good tape measure. Ones that are stretched out or damaged will yield inaccurate measurements.
  • Have your youngster stand with both feet planted firmly on a flat surface. In addition, she should be wearing the exact shoes that she'll be pairing with the dress so that you will get a better idea of where the dress with actually hit in the length.
  • Have your little girl look straight ahead - looking up or down will change her shape and measurements. Simply instruct her to look forward with her arms dangling loosely at her sides.
  • Measure over the underwear she will wear with the particular dress.

Select Style Based on Measurements

The measurements that you take will give you a good idea about which silhouette will look the best on your daughter. Keep the measurements handy and your read through dress descriptions online and compare her measurements with those of the dress. If the measurements are very off, even when you choose her correct size, its best to choose a different dress because the silhouette will be off.

Considerations for Tall Littler Girls

If your daughter is especially tall and lanky, consider the following tips to ensure she gets a dress that will help her shine on her big day:

  • Purchase a size or two larger to get the proper length. A dress with a pretty sash that ties can assist with minor fitting adjustments. However, major differences will need to be tailored to fit properly.
  • Select a dress that can be ordered with additional length. Many styles are available with an additional three to six inches.
  • Order a custom made dress that will fit her perfectly.

Special Occasion Dress Style Tips

Karen Clarke
Karen Clarke

Special occasion dress expert Karen Clarke, owner of Fiona's Children's Clothing in Sarasota, Florida, advises, "Keep it simple. First, choose a silhouette that fits the child's frame. Listen to your child; little ones today have an innate sense of style. My store opened during first communion season, and I was amazed that each child chose the perfect dress for her frame!" Style tips to keep in mind whenever shopping for your little one include:

  • Keep comfort in mind, because no matter how stylish you think something is, your daughter won't wear it if it's itchy, tight, or uncomfortable in any way.
  • Rich, dark colors make for beautiful holiday dresses!
  • Opt for age-appropriate silhouettes such as an empire waist with a sash that ties into a bow in the back.
  • For evening events, little girls dresses should come to the knee or slightly longer. For day events, it is style appropriate for both to hit at the knee or slightly above.
  • Make sure if you are choosing to pair the dress with accessories (such as tights, gloves, barrettes, and purses as needed_ in colors that match the dress.

Making Childhood Special Occasion Memories

Let your daughter have a say in selecting her special occasion dresses. Clarke shares, "A big mistake parents often make is choosing something that appeals to them emotionally but may not be suitable for the child's aesthetic or frame. I feel sad for the children who are told that they can choose a dress for a very special day only to see them disappointed by a parent who overrides their every decision. Some children do not like glitz or bubble hems, but there are many other options for simple yet fabulous silhouettes."

Overall, your little one just wants to have fun and feel special. She will remember these moments of shopping and dressing up for the rest of their life, so give her some freedom (with guidance, of course) and let her make an independent decision about what to wear on her momentous day.

Special Occasion Dress Ideas for Little Girls