These days, little girls' Sunday dresses for winter are more likely to be marketed as holiday dresses. With fewer parents dressing their children up for church when it isn't Christmas, a good dress that's only suitable for one season isn't as necessary. However, you can certainly still find a pretty and warm dress in specialty boutiques and other select shops.
Little Girls Sunday Dresses for Winter
While even the wealthiest children historically had fewer clothes overall than their modern-day counterparts, they had more clothes that were used for only one purpose, such as Sunday clothes. The very wealthy had a Sunday dress and would also have a special dress just for Christmas or Easter. Most children just had their Sunday best. On a holiday, a child's hair might be done more nicely, but there was no expectation of them being clotheshorses.
The notion of Sunday best has gone by the wayside for a lot of people, even some of the most ardent churchgoers. However, there are many who still want to dress their children and themselves well, and are in the market for a dress that will keep a child warm in a drafty church while also looking lovely.
Classic Winter Dresses
The classic little girls' Sunday dresses for winter can be considered simpler versions of a Christmas dress. They are usually made of a heavier fabric, like velvet, wool or velour. The sleeves are either three-quarter or full-length - although they can also be shorter, on the assumption that the child will be wearing a coat when outside and that the indoors will be heated.Until the early 1960s, a girl would wear a petticoat under her dress, both for the look of the skirt and for warmth. This was especially true because little girls did not yet wear tights, but rather ankle socks, no matter what the weather. For Sunday, they would wear socks with lace cuffs, but even knee socks were not available till the 1970s. Petticoats are virtually unknown for little girls' clothing today, unless they are built into the dress. Women who were children in the 1960s point out how lucky girls are in this regard, as the petticoats could be very scratchy. Parents who like to dress their children in vintage clothes might find a 1950s dress, but will look for a softer nylon petticoat.
The classic winter dress, like dresses in other seasons, features a snug bodice and a sash, with a wider skirt. Although the notion of winter colors and patterns is no longer so widely adhered to, darker greens, blues, reds and even black are traditional.
Traditionally, all but the wealthiest parents bought little girls' Sunday dresses for winter that were too big. They would have the dresses altered to fit the child for that season, and then let it out so that it could be worn at least one more year, if not two. The advantage of a dress that was only worn once a week for one season, and not given arduous wear, was that it would last and still look good - that's why most of the vintage clothes available for children are better dresses.
These days, parents instead look for bargains in a dress that will fit for a few months and then be given away or passed down to a younger child. Purveyors of dresses appropriate for winter Sundays are easily found online.
Just Dresses, a UK-based shop, has a collection of lovely, simple, season-appropriate clothes for girls. You can choose from an enormous range of traditional styles or more modern "party dresses" that are all guaranteed to please.
There is no reason to have more than one "best dress" for the colder months - but that dress should be something to treasure!