fbpx How to Dress Your Kids for Formal Family Gatherings This Holiday Season

How to Dress Your Kids for Formal Family Gatherings This Holiday Season

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 9:06am
Last updated
6 months ago
Time to
Holiday dinner with family

The holiday season is full of exciting opportunities. Your kids might look forward to filling up on their favorite Thanksgiving foods or picking out the perfect Christmas tree together. While you're stringing up lights and pulling decor out of storage, you're probably thinking about upcoming holiday events.

Families come together during the holidays to celebrate with the people they love, but sometimes those events are formal. Leave your kids' sneakers and jeans at home and prep them with fancy clothes.

If you're not sure where to start, here are a few pointers. After you plan their outfits and know what to expect, your formal holiday events will be a breeze for kids of any age.

1. First, Stay Calm

Holidays are fun, but you probably spend them rushing around getting gifts and making travel plans. The added pressure of figuring out how to dress your kids for formal events can send stress levels through the roof.

Try to stay calm as you plan your kids' outfits. Practice deep breathing and remember that this is only one event. After it passes, your kids can reuse the same clothes next year if they still fit, or pass them on to younger siblings.

2. Limit Their Options

You might want to take your kids to the mall immediately to find nice clothes, but that could be a mistake. If kids see they have a ton of stores to choose from, they'll most likely become overwhelmed.

Limit their options by showing them a few pictures of possible formalwear in magazines or online. You can also help them by choosing sensory sensitive clothing, like soft pants or dresses. When kids don't have an entire store to choose from, they'll come to a decision faster and appreciate what you buy.

An example of this would be showing them different versions of vests, dresses or shoes that are all formal, but different enough for the kids to pick their favorites.

3. Invest in Long-Term Clothes

Kids who are a bit older have less growing to do, so you can invest in long-term clothes for them. Girls can wear dresses that will look good at school dances. Guys might pay attention to suit details before buying one for the holidays. Formalwear that fits and doesn't feature specific holiday patterns can last a long time and be worn during other occasions.

4. Practice Putting on Formalwear

Another source of stress with kids' holiday formalwear is the act of getting dressed. Your life is busy, so you can't plan on having an hour or two to dress the kids and make them look perfect while also getting ready yourself. 

A few days to a week in advance of the event, encourage your kids to practice putting on their fancy duds. Once they walk through the process of putting on pantyhose or clipping on their tie, you'll have less to monitor on the big day. Make this a fun opportunity by making a fancy dinner at home so your kids can wear their fancy clothes for a bit after putting them on.

5. Prep Your Supplies

No parent should ever find themselves without emergency supplies. For formal events, skip the first-aid kit and go straight to what your kids' clothes might need.

Before they get dressed, prep your iron by plugging it in. Even if you don't use it, it's good to have on standby in case you need to banish wrinkles as you head out the door. 

Buy a lint roller to brush things off your kid's clothes before they get in the car. There are always little pieces of string and lint on clothing, which is only more noticeable if your kids wear something dark.

The last thing you should think about is getting a trusty stain remover stick to keep in your pocket or purse while you're at the event. If your kids accidentally spill sparkling cider or cranberry sauce on their nice clothes, the stick will get the stains out before they set.

6. Don't Forget to Layer

After you've picked out the clothes and prepped your supplies, don't forget to layer. Some parents get their kids bulky formalwear like thick dresses or sweaters, but family events make rooms get stuffy. Layer your kids' clothing with a jacket or two so they can remove them inside and remain comfortable when the room starts to heat up.

Formal but Not Stuffy

Fancy clothes can be fun to shop for and wear, and they don't have to be stiff and stuffy. Even if your kids only put on the items once or a few times, you'll always have pictures of them looking their best and having fun during the holidays.

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the...