Tween dresses. Not too dowdy. With sleeves.
March 7, 2017 3:01 PM   Subscribe

My kid wears girls size 12 pants but I think a girls 14 in dresses. Where can I get her dresses with (at least) cap sleeves and knee length, that aren't too ugly?

My own propensity to always be on the wrong side of current fashion has apparently been inherited, and my tween refuses to wear any of these: sleeveless tops, long sleeves, and short skirts.

So the dress I need to get her must have short or cap sleeves and hit the knee. I don't want to spend much, as I know she'll only wear it once or twice, but it has to look nice. Not tight, not transparent, not tatty.

Here is a link to the sort of thing I want, and I may just get her this, but white is always dicey with her so I'm hoping to find other options. Also cheaper would be better.

I used to find beautiful things at the Children's Place but it's all sleeveless there now. I found a couple contenders at Macy's, but very slim pickings. Surely there are other sites? All those easy-to-shop-for little girls turn 12 at some point, where are we supposed to shop for them then?
posted by fingersandtoes to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Old Navy has some good options. Lots of sleeveless and whatnot too, but some cute sleeved stuff. Are elbow-length sleeves OK?
posted by brainmouse at 3:05 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

The tween girls in my life seem to be pretty enamored of the store Justice. There are a few cute dresses that might appeal?
posted by goggie at 3:06 PM on March 7, 2017

Are you looking for dresses for special occasions or just to wear to school, etc? Here are some short sleeved dresses in size 14 on ShopStyle. This Brooks Brothers' one is kinda cute, as is this one from the Gap (not sure how tall your daughter is for knee length).
posted by bluefly at 3:18 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Here's a cute dress at LL Bean.

I've seen some in-person at Target that might work, but I've found their cuts/sizing somewhat strange recently and would recommend trying them on rather than ordering online.
posted by belladonna at 3:19 PM on March 7, 2017

This is for a special occasion. Good call to check Old Navy in these cases though - will keep in mind for casual wear!

Brainmouse, elbow sleeves put us into a ~limbo of twelve-year old capriciousness~ and I will probably avoid them on those grounds.

Bluefly, is ShopStyle a portal to search many different sites by desired attributes? It looks awesome at first glance.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:25 PM on March 7, 2017

Bluefly, is ShopStyle a portal to search many different sites by desired attributes? It looks awesome at first glance.

Yes; it's a good starting point, as it aggregates from other sites, though I do think there is an algorithm behind the scenes that's curating in one way or another. I just plugged in "girls' short sleeve dresses" and then filtered by size and price.
posted by bluefly at 3:28 PM on March 7, 2017

Check out Boden. Some of the dresses are obviously for little girls but there are a few that look good for a tween.
posted by Kangaroo at 3:58 PM on March 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Nordstrom has some cute styles, some more expensive than others.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:00 PM on March 7, 2017

Regarding clothing size, thanks to Google: "a girl's size 14 is designed for a girl who is 60 to 62 inches in height with a 32-inch bust, a 26.5-inch waist and 34.5-inch hips. This is equivalent to a juniors' size 1 or 3."
So, you may want to start looking in the juniors department.
posted by Ardea alba at 4:07 PM on March 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hanna Andersson has some cute dresses right now with sleeves. has two with cap sleeves but she's just barely too big. They've been expanding their size range lately so keep an eye out.
posted by checkitnice at 4:46 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

She may fit into the smallest women's sizes, which expands your choices vastly. A plus in your situation is that these dresses will probably be longer on her than they would be on an adult woman. I didn't look around a lot but here's an example of a style that could work; maybe more casual than you want for this occasion but keep looking.
posted by lakeroon at 9:30 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

LulaRoe has several dress styles that may work. Amelia looks very similar to the one you linked.
posted by jenny76 at 5:09 AM on March 8, 2017

Kohl's juniors section.
posted by heathrowga at 9:44 AM on March 8, 2017

Here's a few options. (Some of these are going to be more than you'd want to spend, but the dress seemed like it could be worn for a special occasion and casual. Check out H&M for inexpensive tween casuals, too. Better for bottoms than tops.)

A cute dress with pockets

Basic black floral

Separates might be a good option, too. This skirt & long sleeved top from Boden is cute. Usually you can find Boden clothing on other sites cheaper or good coupons to their site.

If you're open to preloved clothing, ThredUp has some interesting options and a hefty discount for first purchases:

Might be more designer look than you want and a bit too big but you never know

Miniature version of an adult dress. Worn with sneakers, it could work.

Or a more casual dark blue?

Unsure about length but one of the most classic designs I've seen on a tween dress

How does she feel about owls? Looked for something that still was acceptable aesthetically but had some character.

Hope you find the perfect dress -- or at least the dress that keeps the peace. For more shops generally, search for "tween + 2017 + fashion" and you'll get many. I also searched for "modest tween fashion" as the combination of a sleeve & knee length hemline is difficult to find. The fashion mags targeted at her age group, as questionable as they are, may have other sources, too. Oh, and if she'll do it, don't discount the sleeveless dress plus sparkly or lightweight cardigan option. That opens up many more dresses to consideration. And perhaps by summer her willingness to bare arms will be different -- and you'll have two seasons of dresses in one!
posted by Kalatraz at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2017

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