What Type Of Party Is It?
First and foremost it is absolutely crucial that you find out what type of party your child will be attending, because trust me if you send them off dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and it turns out to be a Disney Princess themed party, your child will never let you live it down. If you haven’t received a party invite, or if the invite isn’t clear enough make sure you check with the host to see if there is a dress code.
Is it a fancy dress party, is there a theme, is it a birthday party, is it likely to be active or more of a sit down tea party? Is there likely to be water involved, will they need a swimsuit and a change of clothes to change into? Perhaps it’s a wedding reception or something more formal. Or maybe it’s a more casual affair like a family BBQ or friends getting together for a garden picnic.
Finding out the type of party will allow you to make a much better choice when it comes to your child’s outfit and once you have this information then you can move onto the fun part… shopping! There are plenty of beautiful clothes out there for children, like this selection from Strawberry Children, so shop around and get ready to crank the cuteness factor to maximum!
Kids get messy, fact. Whether it’s mud or grass stains from cartwheels and play fighting, spilt food and drink, or smudged face paint, they will without question find a way to get themselves grubby. When planning your child’s party outfit you will need to think about whether you are willing to spend vast amounts of money on something that risks being ruined after just one wear. Again some of this decision will boil down to what type of party they are going to and of course what the weather forecast is looking like (more on this in a bit). Plus as a parent you know your own child and you will know better than anyone whether they are more messy than most, slightly clumsy, or whether they are likely to be the child rolling around in the sandpit and climbing trees. Parties are all about having fun and they are most definitely not a time for you to get all precious about your child’s clothing and spend the entire time chasing them around with a wet wipe! It’s best to save the fancy, smart, more expensive outfits for special occasions like weddings and christenings etc. and choose the slightly cheaper alternatives for birthday parties and BBQs.
Check The Weather
When you’re organising a garden party in the UK there’s one thing you absolutely cannot guarantee and that is good weather. But come rain or shine, us Brits know how to throw a good party and it’s all because we’re so good at dealing with any eventuality. Check the weather forecast prior to the party so that you can be as prepared as you possibly can be. Admittedly most of the time the forecasts are wrong, but it should help you out a little. Think about whether your child will be warm enough. It might be worth investing in a cover up for their arms, but remember to keep the layers light as kids get really hot when they’re running around. If it’s forecast to be hot remember to pack sun lotion, sunglasses and a sun hat to protect them from the sun and choose an outfit that’s made from breathable material such as cotton or linen to keep them as cool as possible.
Comfort Is Key
Comfortable needn’t be unfashionable and sometimes it’s better to dress your child in something practical rather than something frilly. Kids need to be able to move, and run and be free, and tight restrictive clothing doesn’t allow them to do this. From a prudish practical sense, if there’s going to be a bouncy castle, consider whether your little girl is happy flashing her knickers to all and sundry… perhaps leggings and a sparkly top isn’t such a bad idea after all. Shoes should also be easy to take on and off. Sure a pair of laced up Converse trainers look cool, but if your child hasn’t quite got to grips with tying their own laces yet it’s going to be a real struggle when they need to keep taking them off and on to go inside the house to use the toilet or if they’re going on that bouncy castle. Keep it simple with ballet flats for girls and slip on shoes or velcro trainers for boys. Little girls love letting their hair down at parties, but it’s a good idea to keep hair tied up out of the way of birthday candles. French plaits look cute, or as a compromise go for a sparkly alice band to at least keep hair out of their face.
Let Their Personality Shine
Finally let’s think about what your child actually likes to wear – what would they choose themselves. I know you shouldn’t always let them get their own way, but equally don’t try and dampen the truly unique personality that shines within them. There’s no point forcing them to wear a big frilly dress or a suit and bow tie if they’re going to spend the whole time looking grumpy and tugging at it because it’s uncomfortable – that definitely won’t make for good photos! Pick out a few outfits that you like and then let them choose the one they want. They’re happy because they feel they’re in control and you’re happy because ultimately you know YOU are in control 😉
Whatever you decide to dress your little ones in this summer, just remember to have fun, smile, laugh and make lots of happy memories!