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Old 03-20-2013, 03:29 PM
 
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Hi, first post in this forum. Lots of interesting reading here!

My daughter, 11, goes to a middle school that holds dances. She went to the Halloween one (as Gumby) and last week went to another one, just in jeans/T-shirt. She had a fantastic time. (This is just everyone going together, hanging out, etc., nothing like pairing off.)

She says she does not want to go to the "formal" that is held around May, because she would have to dress up. But I am sure she would love to go, if the outfit were not an issue.

She's very tomboyish and isn't comfortable with the way she looks - she's tall, slightly overweight, already wears a bra, and *hates* wearing dresses - has maybe worn one once in the last three years.

So, if she does what I think she's gonna do -- tell me at the very last minute that she wants to go (which is what she did last week)-- can anyone suggest some ideas for a nice outfit that isn't girly or too grown-up? I haven't a clue where to start!

I did a cursory search online and was horrified at what supposedly passes for young girls' party dresses. That stuff simply would not work for her -- it's either too frilly and flower-girlish, or is way too old for any girl her age, IMHO.

I may be jumping the gun, granted, but I always have to try to be one step ahead of her -- she can be mercurial on stuff like this. One week she told me she wanted to be girly, the next week she was back to black jeans and scowls.

(To be clear, I am totally fine with her living the rest of her life in jeans -- I do not care and have never told her she has to do anything differently. But she knows she couldn't go to a formal dance in jeans, and I don't want to be caught flat-footed).

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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How about tights and a loose fitting dress or long shirt? You can dress it up with accessories. If she's self conscious about her body a long maxi dress may be good. There are a lot of pretty maxi dresses that aren't too over the top and they fit most body types.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:41 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
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Ugh, welcome to trying to dress tween girls. I feel your pain. My girls are tall, and it's hard to find anything that is not already very short. Neither of my daughters needed to show that much thigh in middle school, especially my younger one, who is developmentally disabled. I have seen some good things online but never at the right time, so it's hard to remember. I still have that problem with my younger daughter, who is now a freshman. She'll be going to the dressier dances soon (she's already gone to homecoming and was very plain in her 8th grade graduation dress, next to the satin and sequins that most of the other girls wear) and I have to start looking around again.

Around homecoming/prom/graduation seasons, the major department stores I've seen will carry a few dresses that are not spectacularly short or too grown up. Easter is too little-girl, but sometimes you can find a pretty dress for spring. I know Lands End has a ton of new dresses, but I'm not sure what size your daughter is. You say she is not very girly, so maybe a simple sheath with a little jacket or shrug. Something with an A-line skirt or inverted pleats can be very pretty and not so froufrou in a subdued fabric like navy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:03 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
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What size does she wear? Kids or juniors or? I ask because we have a 10 year old DD who is slightly overweight and as result she can wear both girls 16/18 and women's small so in some ways it offers more choices.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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Thanks, everyone -- she wears 16 and probably a 6/8 adult, depending on the cut.
Good idea on Lands End and places like that.
A suggestion for others - I haven't found anything yet, but Etsy is a great place to search for vintage stuff. My kid is just different enough that I'm going to sit down with her and try browsing there!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I was walking past the juniors dress department in Target today and saw lots of dresses. They may have a few casual summer dresses that would be appropropiate for a young teen. I have noticed a lot more dresses this year than in past years in a lot of stores.

I agree that many girls, of all sizes and ages, wear tights or leggings under dresses. They can look great on 10 year olds or 25 year olds (like my daughter and her friends).
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gettingouttahere View Post
Thanks, everyone -- she wears 16 and probably a 6/8 adult, depending on the cut.
Good idea on Lands End and places like that.
A suggestion for others - I haven't found anything yet, but Etsy is a great place to search for vintage stuff. My kid is just different enough that I'm going to sit down with her and try browsing there!
Would she wear some dressy pants with a cute top and maybe a slightly fancy bolero, or something like that? Our daughter likes dresses but she actually looks great in pants, much more flattering for her than dresses! Maybe some fuller cut capris? Might be a good compromise between pants and a dress. Or gaucho pants?

And yeah, Etsy is great! If you have the time and are willing to spend a bit you could even have something made for her.

Last edited by Sally_Sparrow; 03-20-2013 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,750,097 times
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My daughter is a tom-boy and is currently worried about her sisters wedding and the dress she will have to wear to be a bridesmaid (the wedding is over a year away ), so I feel your pain with trying to find something she will be comfortable in but that will be appropriate for the occasion.

Best suggestion I have: black stretch pants (Target has them in their kids section for about $6. Get the size 14/16 XL and they should fit just fine), with a short flippy black skirt over top of them (again, Target for around $6... they are skorts, but cut the shorts out from under them and you have your little skirt. You could try junk stores in your area too - I've had good luck at our local Goodwill for skirts. Look in the junior section). All you would have to do is find a shirt that she likes to go with it.

My daughter loves this combo. It's "feminine", but still casual and comfy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:58 PM
 
1,168 posts, read 1,827,500 times
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She actually loves vests and fedoras (channeling Michael Jackson? LOL)....
Maybe we can come up with something along those lines, Sally - thanks for the idea
ETA - and sabinerose, great suggestion on leggings/mini!

Last edited by Gettingouttahere; 03-20-2013 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:05 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,258,861 times
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Check out the pants on this page.. hope the link works. There are some longer wide leg pants and some shorter gauchos and they are black, but would probably be useful beyond just the one time wear.

Bon-Ton
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