Shannan from Michigan writes: I am looking for fairly inexpensive, cute matching Holiday Dresses for my daughters. I have one that is a princess and one that’s a tom-boy but too young to know, so I want something a little “foofy”, as my oldest, Abbigail would say. Any suggestions?

Thanks Shannan for the excellent question:
For fairly inexpensive dresses for baby to 4T (
the big girl options aren’t as cute), I think Children’s Place is carrying some good looking “foofy” options this year. They are in the $40 range, but if $40 is more than you want to spend, you’re in luck, because they markdown every couple of weeks. I like this red velvet ribbon dress paired with this crisp white collared shirt and I really, really like this satin and lace dress in winter white.

Note: Sometimes Children’s Place doesn’t know when to stop — think Angela’s rosettes on Project Runway. I’d have to see it in person, but I’d be tempted to remove the bow on the velvet ribbon dress.

Gymboree also has some way cute and “foofy” options this year in sizes for baby through 12 years. And Gymboree has recently become more aggressive with markdowns, so watch for sales on these as well. I love the Red Tulle Twirl Dress and the Plaid Dress and the (decidely unfoofy but still wonderful) Houndstooth Jumper. They carry coordinating shirts for the sleeveless dresses.

With pretty much all of these dresses I would finish with white tights and black patent-leather shoes. (I find my daughter’s holiday shoes and tights at Target.)

Other places I can usually find fairly inexpensive holiday dresses are TJ Maxx and Costco. Both stores sometimes carry Laura Ashley dresses for girls that are gorgeous. The versions at TJ Maxx will be better quality and more expensive, but then again, how often is this dress going to be worn? Does it need to be the best quality? Also, if you have one in Michigan, I found holiday dresses one year at H&M; that I loved, loved. So far, I haven’t seen anything at Gap or Old Navy that is impressing me for the Holidays — maybe they haven’t put everything out yet.

Pretty much everything else I’ve seen is in the $80 range, which I don’t call fairly inexpensive for a little girl’s dress. Has anyone else out there spotted a fabulous dress for the holidays? Josh, I certainly hope you’ll chime in.